In PlaysThe masks of comedy and tragedy are only distinguishable by a smile or frown,happiness or sadness, life or death. The same is true of Shakespearean plays. The comedies are known for their happy conclusions, reconciliation of thecharacters, a justification of events, and life at the end.
On the other hand,the tragedies are known for their miserable conclusions, destruction of thecharacters, a question of why this had to happen, and death at the end. Comediesmake us laugh, triumph in the human nature of people, and smile. Unliketragedies that make us weep, doubt the human nature of people, and frown. AMidsummer Nights Dream is a whimsical, well-written comedy matching what Ihave described. Though the lovers, Hermia and Lysander, have troubles throughoutthe play from an interfering knavish sprite called Puck. They are reunitedat the end, accepted by her father, and alive.
Also, the other pair of lovers,Helena and Demetrius, who were not in love to begin with are united at the endto form a parallel pairing of the four main characters. “Here comes thelovers, full of joy and mirth. Joy, gentle friends, joy and fresh days of love. On the other side of the coin is The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. A tale ofdoomed young lovers.
The prologue to the play describes it all is aShakespearean sonnet: In fair Verona where we lay our scene, *From ancientgrudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. *Fromthe fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-crossd lovers take theirlife; Whose misadventur’d pious overthrows Doth with their death bury theirparents strife. The fearful passage of their death-markd love, And thecontinuance of their parents rage, Which, but by their childrens end,naught could remove, Is now the two hours traffic of our stage; The which ifyou with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive tomend. *From the onset of the play, we know what the ending is going to be death.
We are lead through a series of tragic circumstance and left at the endwith a horrible conclusion, the death of two young lovers, and no faith in Loveconquers all. Our belief in human existence be worth something is shattered, andwe are left with all are punished. There is no reason for the deaths inRomeo and Juliet, besides an unjustified “fate. ” The conclusion of AMidsummer Nights Dream, is a hysterical, creative justification (not tomention the covering of some asses) of the events that had taken place: If weshadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended.
That you have butslumbered here While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme Nomore yielding but a dream, Gentles do not reprehend. If you pardon, we willmend. And, as I am an honest Puck, If we have unearned luck Now to scape theserpents tongue, We will make amends ere long; Else the Puck a liar called. So,good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shallrestore amends. It was all a dream, or so puck says. However, if it were not adream, and the events did take place in reality, then the fairy world will makeamends for all the trouble they had caused. From the beginning to the end of theplay, we are humored by Shakespeares wit, and cunning way to trap us into thestory. At the end, our hope and dreams are refreshed with an optimism thateverything will turn out for the best.
Everything is solved; there are noquestions to ask. A happy conclusion verifying that love, in fact, does conquerall. As seen by the two plays: A midsummer Nights Dream and The tragedy ofRomeo and Juliet the mask that covers the face of the play is all in theconclusion and justification.