Chaos or confusion

As the reasoned order of events becomes destabilised - children disobeying their fathers, the fairy world disrupting the order of nature - a series of parallel illustrations of disorder are developed in Acts II and III of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The action moves away from the civilised, ordered environment of the court, to the wild, natural world of nature in the woods.

Oberon's magic potion spreads confusion, as Puck mistakenly anoints Lysander, causing him to fall in love with Helena (Act II, scene 2, 103-134). In an attempt to rectify matters, Demetrius is then also enchanted, provoking comedy and upset, and causing a rift in the friendship between Hermia and Helena. Having appeared at the outset of the play to have gained her desire, happiness with Lysander, Hermia finds herself alone and unloved (Act III, scene 2, 177-344).

The greatest confusion is that wrought in Titania. Bewitched by Oberon, she falls in love with the weaver, Bottom, who has in his turn been transformed into a donkey. Oberon's aim is to humiliate his partner, and he is initially gleeful to learn of her cavorting with a beast (Act III, scene 1, 118-147).

Fairy on Hoop

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