ummer Night’s DreamThe Role Of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream The role and character of Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, in A MidsummerNight’s Dream, is not only entertaining but quite useful. William Shakespeare seems to have created the character of Puck from hisown childhood.
In Shakespeare’s time it was believed that fairies and littlepeople did exist. Whenever something went wrong around the farmyard or house orvillage, incidents such as buckets of milk accidentally’ spilling over, ortools suddenly disappearing, or doors opening for no reason, it was blamed on those damn little people!’. The idea of Puck’s character is a lovely one.
One can’t help but beattracted to him and his innocent, little pranks. He is also known by the nameRobin Goodfellow. The audience can only see this Robin Goodfellow’ side ofPuck when he is trying to fix something he disrupted, hence the name Goodfellow.
When compared to Oberon, King of the Fairies and Titania, Queen of theFairies and the remaining fairies of the play, Puck does not seem to fit in aswell. While Oberon and Titania belong to the forest and the world of daintyfairies, a small village setting seems more appropriate for Puck. He is thetype of fairy that likes to be around mortals and cause them trouble, as opposedto other fairies.
This is why Puck’s little job with a love potion and a youngcouple is perfect for him and he perfect for the job. Puck is a likable character who tends to create mischief around himself.Everything is a game to crafty little Puck. Yet once he realizes that he hascaused a problem he will make sure to the best of his ability and power that itis rectified. As in the scene with Hermia and Lysander, and Helena andDemetrius. When Puck mistook Lysander for Demetrius (Shakespeare convenientlyhad the characters look alike or only slightly individualized’) and dropped thelove-juice into Lysander’s eyes and then (with help from Oberon) realized whathe had done he knew he had to fix it.
Shakespeare conveniently created Puck’ to add some probability to theplay. Since the typical audience believed in fairies and little people, Puckcould be convincing in his role. It is possibly, even today, more plausible tohave a little fairy running around causing problems than to have to try andbelieve that fate and destiny were the cause of all the joy, sadness and badluck. When William Shakespeare created Puck’ it seems as though the play gotmuch more out of the character than intended.
This is nice however, as theaudience we tend to like Puck and follow him in a light-hearted, amused manner.The character of Puck keeps the play rolling and everything turns out well inthe end, unlike many other plays of Shakespeare.