Archetypes In Mid Summer Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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They were later referred to as hobgoblins, which is believed to be an abbreviation of ?Robin Goblin?, and later Robin Goodfellow, a name that Druids gave to the first goblins once they first entered Britain. A hob is a short form of the word Robin and Robin itself was a nickname for the devil. The Welsh version of Robin Goodfellow was the bwca (or pwca) who if treated badly would pound walls, throw things, pinch people, destroy clothing, and tell peoples secrets. The Irish myth knew him as Pooka, who aside from being a mischievous horse-like sprite was also an omen of death. This more than likely developed out of the Celtic belief that spirit-horses brought dead heroes to their final resting place. This Pooka is a cognate of Old English Puca, which later became Puck. Pucks were

known as more sinister entities whose deeds ranged from preventing milk from churning and embarrassing old ladies to misleading night travelers. Puck became another term for the devil by the middle-ages whose description again varied from culture to culture, however, most viewed him as a shapeshifter most often in the form of a horse or Pan-like creature of Greek mythology. Shakespeare?s Puck does not deviate far from these definitions, and upon closer inspection might be right on the button. The character of Puck might very well have fooled his audience to this day. The most widely seen interpretation is that the fairies only intent is that of good and Puck?s actions are completely without malice or ulterior motive, but overall with good will. However, when looked at more

closely it is quite easy to see how the audience of Shakespeare?s day might have taken this a completely different way. This audience might have witnessed the battle between Oberon and Titania as one that devastated nature ruined crops and wounded people. Neither fairy cares in the slightest. The fairies enact a charm around the sleeping Titania to ward off dangerous and harmful night creatures?worms, poisonous snakes, spiders, newts, and beetles. There is only one fairy that silently betrays his mistress to Oberon, who says to Titania, ?Wake when some vile thing is near.? Titania tells Bottom ?Thou wilt remain here, weather thou wilt or no.? Shakespeare must have derived his forest spirits from oral folk traditions. The mysterious people of the forest might be in turn helpful

(household chores), mischievous (pranks, illusions), or sinister. Puck is referred to a mischievous spirit and in his opening monologue describes himself as all the myths have. He misleads night-travelers, and laughs at their harm. He remarks that only one male in a million keeps his promises. And his actions throughout the play might be looked upon as intentionally malevolent. People may have believed, or half-believed, in the fairies (elves, sprites, pixies, leprechauns, and so forth). They might also have been imaginary figures of fun that personify nature, as we speak of “Mother Nature” and the artistic “Jack Frost”, painter of autumn leaves and creator of the beautiful ice patterns on windowpanes. Whichever Shakespeare?s intent was it is definitely important to take

into account his audience at the time of the initial conception and first performance to see what affects these archetypes had on the people of his day. Today we are less likely to look towards fairies and sprites to blame, however we cannot help but recognize certain elements when we see them. This type of imagery has been ingrained in our collective subconscious. They are uniform ideas that we as people, and especially Americans, have more or less borrowed from countless other cultures. The use of horns and satyr?s legs on Puck?s costume, for example, would immediately connote a sense of evil to the general public. These types of archetypes are the same kind that Shakespeare more than likely used when writing Midsummer Night?s Dream such subtle references that we do not put

much thought into and yet somehow know of their importance, are exactly the same kind used in the play. Jacobus, Lee A. The Bedford Inroduction to Drama Boston: Bedford Books, 1997