Transformation Through Submission To Disorder English Literature Essay

The power of transmutation within Shakespeare ‘s comedies non merely provides an audience with amusing alleviation and sarcasm, it holds the power to open up a overplus of arguments sing cardinal subjects of his single dramas, therefore leting them the ability to transform the positions of the audience themselves.

Absorbing this construct of transmutation, both A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream and Twelfth Night, turn out to be solid illustrations in corroborating the power of this technique. However, although both dramas steadfastly illustrate metabolism, it becomes evident that in A summer solstice Night ‘s Dream we are able to witness alteration in the signifiers of emotions, visual aspect and topographic point as a consequence of the occurrences that take topographic point within the non world dream universe. Acting as a accelerator, the charming universe makes manner for these transmutations ; events of pandemonium upset occur and therefore characters are transformed as a consequence of fast ones and thaumaturgy set upon them by Puck. It is clear that the characters are non in control of their state of affairss and later, this adds to the amusing alleviation of the drama. Contrasting, Twelfth Night brings to light transmutation as a consequence of witting human determinations, in Twelfth Night the characters are in control of their ain determinations and ability to transform themselves every bit good as being able influence others.

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A cardinal subject environing A Midsummer Night ‘s dream is love. It appears Shakespeare has been influenced by the impressions of courtly love affair in ancient literary resources and it could be of the sentiment that the characters within this drama have been formulated from this ideal. In the gap act of the drama Shakespeare uses the characters Theseus and Hippolyta to present the subject of matrimony, foregrounding the transmutation that that will go on as immature lovers develop into married grownups, ‘ Now, just Hippolyta, our bridal hr… Another moon-but O, methinks, how slow ‘ . Furthermore, the Amazonian Queens response highlights the prevalence of dreams within the drama and touches upon the rhetoric of Diana Goddess of the Moon:

Four yearss will rapidly immerse themselves in dark,

Four darks will rapidly woolgather away the clip ‘

And so to the Moon, like a Ag bow ( 1.1.8-10 ) .

Although Theseus and Hippoolyta play little functions A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream, they centrally tied within the dramas construction, without this event, Oberon and Titania and the groups of histrions would non be present in the wood. It is possible Shakespeare is utilizing this matrimony to portray local imposts and Torahs, by which a society should stay. Theseus reveals he wooed the Amazonian Queen ‘with thy blade, And won thy love making thee hurts ‘ ( 1.1.16-17 ) , connoting that it is male power that dominates the drama. Furthermore, Hermia ‘s male parent Theseus proclaims she is ‘to wed Demetrius, as he would, or on Diana ‘s alter to protest for aye asceticism and individual life ‘ ( 1.1.88-9 ) . Hermia is left to plead ‘I would my male parent looked but with my eyes ‘ ( 1.1.57 ) . This is yet another illustration of male laterality over female matrimony imposts. Like Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Egeus sees his girl as his belongings, ‘as she is mine, I may dispose of her- ‘ ( 1.1.42 ) . Ironically, it is this ultimatum that leads the lovers into the wood where the charming events unfold doing assorted transmutations, in both the dream universe and world.

Helena ‘s quotation mark, ‘love looks non with the eyes but with the head ‘ ( 1.1.234 ) appears to sum up the transmutation that happens to all of the characters. The pandemonium instigated by both Oberon and Puck, interestingly it appears that throughout the drama, Shakespeare restricts Puck ‘s duologue. It appears he is stray and excepting his address with Titania ‘s faery, Puck merely speaks with Oberon throughout the entireness of the drama. Critics have stated that he ‘exemplifies the spirit of metabolism for its ain interest ‘[ 1 ]. Supplying folly and humor, as an audience we are made cognizant of Pucks capablenesss as we witness his ability to transform. Puck non merely transforms the lover ‘s emotions but besides transforms himself into a ‘roasted crab ‘ ( 2.1.48 ) or ‘a hog a headless bear ‘ and even ‘sometimes fire ‘ ( 3.1.103-104 ) , therefore making a topographic point of instability. Furthermore, his of all time altering names, from Puck to Robin Goodfellow besides back up his dramatic usage for stand foring alteration.

The love potion used to help the lovers turns the love trigon on its caput, once more supplying comedy to the audience. Hermia ‘s dream within the dream, foresees and intimations at the coming events: ‘ [ Awaking ] Help me, Lysander, assist me! make thy outdo /To gutsiness this creeping snake from my chest! ‘ . Upon realisation that Lysander has vanished, the serpent from her dream has been transformed into world through the personification of Demetrius:

And hast 1000 killed him kiping? O brave touch!

Could non writhe, an adder do so much?

If an adder did it with doubler lingua

Than thine, thou snake, ne’er adder stung ( 3.2.70-3 )

Dramatic Irony is used as at the really start of the drama, Lysander refers to Demetrius as ‘ spotted ‘ and ‘inconsistent ‘ . Due to Pucks mischievousness, Lysander ‘s love has been transferred to Helena, doing Lysander ‘inconsistent ‘ himself. Consequently Hermia attempts to hang onto him in despair and confusion ensuing in her mimicking Helena.

Twelfth Night ‘s Viola, provides another illustration of the importance of transmutation within Shakespeare ‘s ‘ comedies. Viola transforms herself from a adult female to a adult male, once more leting for upset and pandemonium to develop within the drama. Furthermore, although amusing, this besides allows for an array of love trigons to draw a bead on as a direct consequence, therefore metamorphoses is experienced when Viola, Olivia and Orsino autumn in love and this action dominates the drama.

However in contrast to A Midsummer Nights dream, Viola controls and plans her ain metabolism, she is in full control and aware of the events that are taking topographic point. Notwithstanding, this transmutation besides allows the argument of gender to go evident as Viola confesses her transmutation is knowing:

Hide me what I am, and be my assistance

For such camouflage as haply shall go

The signifier of my purpose. I ‘ll function this Duke. ( 1.2.49-51 ) .

It is evident that it is merely through this gender transmutation that Viola feels she will last in the society of Illyria society. This transmutation is amusing, yet besides addresses cardinal societal issues in the Elizabethan society. As life progresses Lady Olivia falls in love with what she believes is a adult male. Shakespeare uses Viola as a tool to demo the comedy involved with dramatic sarcasm as viola confesses “ Poor lady, she were better love a dream ” . In add-on, Duke Orseno admits he is attracted to Cesario and finally, when all truth is revealed and he learns she is in fact Viola, he still refers to her as a “ Boy ” in this duologue. During her declaration of love, he still uses her male name, go forthing the audience to oppugn his gender. In adittion, Orsino ‘s original desire for Olivia becomes short lived and he transfers his emotions to Viola, go forthing the audience to oppugn his reading of love and inquiry the strength of his relationship with Viola.

In add-on to the transferability of emotion, the physical transmutation of Nick Bottom developing the caput off an buttocks at Robin ‘s disbursal is by far one of the most humourous actions within the A summer solstice Night ‘s Dream. Not merely would this hold proved amusing to an Elizabethan audience, whilst witnessing his fellow histrions run off from him in desperation, ‘Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee. Thou art translated ‘ ( p.185, 113 ) but by this, Shakespeare besides emphasises the dramatic sarcasm environing the personality of Nick underside himself. Making an analogy environing Nick Bottom and his inability to see what a general ‘ass ‘ he makes of himself throughout the drama as a whole.

It is likely that Shakespeare would hold been familiar with other plants environing general transmutation of adult male to Ass. Deborrah Baker Wyrick states that ‘Shakespeare had at his disposal a invitingly slippy universe, the intensions of which ranged from the sacred to the abusive ‘ .[ 2 ]There are striking connexions between Bottoms transmutation and that of Lucius in William Adlington ‘s, The Golden Ass[ 3 ], where Similar to Bottom, Lucius is transformed into a animal by the abuse of a charming unction. Distinguishing Bottom from Lucius nevertheless, it is of import to observe that Lucius did this to himself, possibly as an analogy to adult males wonder, nevertheless in A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream ; the contrast is it is Puck who controls undersides misfortune. Although this may be an ideal beginning, it would be wrong to disregard other debatable differences as Bottom merely has the caput of an buttocks, where Lucius is to the full transformed. The general transmutation subject of physical visual aspect is besides rhetorical of Ovid ‘s Metamorphosis,

Shakespeare portrays the character of Bottom as uproariously overt, his love of being centre phase and his house belief in his ain abilities build him up for his amusing autumn. Ironically, bottom sees himself as a movable histrion, able to take on many functions and foregrounding his ability to alter form, which is subsequently juxtaposed to his alteration of signifier to an buttocks:

And I may conceal my face, allow me play Thisbe excessively. I ‘ll

speak in a monstrous small voice: “ Thisne, Thisne! ‘ – ‘Ah

Pyramus, my lover beloved, thy Thisbe beloved and lady beloved ‘ . ( p.149, 45-47 )

Shakespeare ‘s pick of linguistic communication refering underside is besides a tool used to exacerbate undersides absurdity. His linguistic communication is really confused and he frequently makes grammatical mistakes within his address. To an audience Bottoms inability to recognize his ain absurdity sing his overdramatized and self-aggrandising addresss provide a amusing alleviation, particularly the dramatic sarcasm that comes about from Bottom ‘s ain belief that everyone takes himself every bit earnestly as he does. His ulterior transmutation, holding his caput replaced with that of an buttocks, portrays Bottom as a dramatitized ocular metaphor for his ain stupidity. Unaware of his transmutation, his linguistic communication is full of sarcasm:

What do you see? You see an ass-head of your

Own, do you? ( p.184. 111-112 )

Notwithstanding, the ocular prop of an ‘Ass-head ‘ would hold provided amusement within itself. Therefore individuality alteration allows for the usage of excessive props and costumes, prosecuting an Elizabethan audience and keeping popularity, possibly a ground why the technique of transmutation was so popular in Renaissance play.Moreover, why William Shakespeare used this subject in so many of his dramas.

Strengthening Shakespeare ‘s ‘ portraiture of Bottoms ego, it once more becomes amusing to an audience that he is in no- manner surprised of his jokes with the faery queen, therefore taging that his unknowingness of his transmutation into that of an buttocks parallels his inability to see the absurdness of the idea that Titania could love him. However, ironically by passing the dark with the faery queen, Bottom achieves a rareness that in literature, others had merely dreamed approximately. To indulge with a faery queen is something most coveted, in Chaucer ‘s Sir Topas ‘ , the character of the amusing knight is ambitious of courting a faery queen in his dreams:

Me dreamed al this nyght, pardee

An elf-queene shal my lemman be ( two, 787-788 ) .

Transformation into a love object is besides represented by Malvolio in Twelfth Night. However, Malvolio ‘s aspirations to prosecute Olivia are the consequence of a trick played upon him by Maria.

Like underside, it is Malvolio ‘s ego importance that creates his ruin and besides adds to the amusing value. He embarks upon a physical transmutation and frocks as up following what he believes are the desirable wants of Olivia. Like underside, Malvolios haughtiness makes himself unable to see his ain absurdity

If this autumn into thy manus, revolve. In my stars I am above thee

but be non afraid of illustriousness. Some are born great,

some achieve illustriousness, and some have illustriousness push upon ’em. ( 2.5.140-3 ) .

Ironically, it is through Marias hocus-pocus that Malvolio transforms from a heterosexual laced stick in the clay into a love stricken huffy adult male. He is unmindful of his lower category position and unsuitableness to Olivia, and becomes a victim to the instructions within Maria ‘s missive. Continuing his desire to court Olivia, he comically follows what he thinks are her wants, bearing ‘yellow stockings ‘ and ‘cross gartered ‘ . Ironically, it is these actions that cause Olivia to believe he is stricken by ‘very summer solstice lunacy ‘ ( 3.4.56 ) . Shakespeare uses linguistic communication to besides foreground Malvolio ‘s freshly founded lunacy. At the start of the drama we witness him talk in perfect prose, yet by the terminal of the drama Shakespeare distorts his address so he is unable to utilize iambic pentameter. Causing his emotion to do his address panicked:

Lady, you have. Pray you, prosecute that missive.

You must non now deny that it is in your manus:

Write from it, if you can, in manus or phrase.

Shakspere has used the characters of Twelfth Night to procure Malvolios ‘ transmutation. Furthermore, Orsinos ‘s earlier history ‘so full of forms is fancy / That it entirely is fantastical ‘ is representative of Malvolio ‘s desire and besides open up the argument that love evokes absurdity and that these aspirations have the ability to take one off from world. Thus imaginativeness holds more power world. Similarly, Orsino and Olivia transfer their emotions of love so easy within the drama.

Sing the dramatic signifier of transmutation in both A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream and Twelth Night, it is clear that this technique holds a powerful ability. Transformation can be instigated both through thaumaturgy and witting human determination, yet they each lead to deductions and let for sub-plots to develop. The fickle construction within each drama, has been used to foreground the incompatibilities of love and societies and how easy 1s imaginativeness can be influenced. Hermias line ‘love looks non with the eyes but with the head ‘ is an ideal sum-up, suited to both dramas. The terminations of both A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream and Twelfth Night resoluteness with happy terminations for all, except of class Malvolio, who singles himself out of the ‘pack ‘ through usage of his metaphor. However both dramas do animate ideas of uncertainty, refering the significance of love and imaginativeness. Though Theseus changes his opinion and allows the twosomes to marry, it is still questionable that Demetrius ‘s transmutation to love Helena has merely transpired as a consequence of him looking ‘not with the eyes but with the head ” , Thus it was merely the events of the dark that allowed this metabolism to take topographic point. Both dramas highlight the arbitrary nature of love and turn out that throughout life that nil is changeless except alteration itself.

Carroll, William C. The Metamorphoses of Shakespearean Comedy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985

Leech, Clifford. Twelfth Night and Shakespearean Comedy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965.

Howard, Jean E. “ Crossdressing, The Theatre, and Gender Struggle in Early Modern England. ” Shakespeare Quarterly. 1988 Winter v39 ( 4 ) : 418-440.

Wyrick, Deborah, ‘The Ass Motif in Errors, and A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream ‘ SQ 33 ( 1982 ) , p.439.


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