Acd. English II
08 December 2017
Puck is one of the most interesting characters in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck is a servant and a jester to the Fairy King Oberon.Also, Puck is not as fanciful as the other fairies. As Oberon’s jester, Puck has a unique taste of humor, which leads him to transform Bottom’s head into an asshead just for a laugh. Puck can be analyzed in three different ways. The first way to analyze Puck is through his own eyes. A second way to view Puck is a kind of cupid character. And the third way is as a narrator.
A fairy may be the simplest way to describe Puck, but he is more of a creature that causes chaos. Puck is prone to misadventure and cruel but good-hearted tricks. When Oberon sends Puck to Titania and Bottom, it easy to tell before Puck gets there that something bad is going to happen. Here Puck turned Bottom’s head into an asshead (3.1). Also, Puck changed into many harassing forms and chased the men around for his own pleasure (3.1). Puck knows that his mischievous nature is more than just his entertainment, but that it is also his greatest strength.
A second way to view Puck is a kind of cupid character. Although the idea of the love spell was Oberon’s, he delegates the task to Puck. After receiving the love potion, Puck sets off to apply it but his mischievous nature takes over. As he saw Lysander sleeping, Puck confuses him for Demetrius (3.2). Creating chaos rather than love, when the everyone wakes up Puck realizes what he has done and amused to see where this will go, he doesn’t rush to fix it. Even after turning the young lover’s world upside down, Puck who is sent to fix everything he’s messed up.
In many of Shakespeare’s play, there is a character whose main purpose is to act as a narrator to the play. This is the third way to view Puck’s character. Sometimes the events taking place are only discussed by the chorus, and other times the chorus seems to make predictions that lead the audience to expect the event. More often than not though, a twist ending is what the audience usually comes to accept. As the chorus, Puck not only directs the drama of A Midsummer Night’s Dream but brings the audience along with him. He keeps them updated on what has happened and what is happening throughout the play. Given that there are two plots, Puck pulls off the task of narrator and fairy guide effortlessly as he ensures that no one gets lost as the two plots continuously weave in and out of each other.
To decide between these three different personalities as to which Puck would more closely fit would be interesting and yet near impossible. It is only when the three personalities are combined that the real exploration and analysis of Puck’s true character can begin. Chaos is usually looked at as a derogatory term, but there can be good and bad chaos. Puck is exactly that, good and bad chaos. In fact, one could say Puck almost perfectly straddles the line between tranquility and chaos in that when it comes to his many unfortunate events, one gets fixed usually before more situations arise. Depending on the recipient of his work, Puck is not evil, just playful enough to cause problems and also smart enough to go back and help undo or fix the multitude of problems he causes throughout the play. Shakespeare’s inclusion of Puck as the form of knowledge shows that there is more to Puck’s character than just a mischievous hobgoblin you see at first glance. His character plays an important, if not major, role in the process of telling the story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck is not to be undermined as just a jokester fairy but understood in his own right.
Jordan Mullins Nail Acd