A Midsummer Night's Dream: genre

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: genre

General Classification

  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is classified as a comedy in the Shakespearean genre, but incorporates elements of romance, fantasy and even a bit of drama.
  • The play is typical of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, featuring multiple sub-plots that involve misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and complicated love triangles.

Fantasy Elements

  • With the use of a magical forest, fairies and a mischievous sprite, the play also includes elements of fantasy genre.
  • The play delves into elements of the supernatural, a common trope in Shakespeare’s works. The magic love potion, invisibility, and transformation are all parts of the plot.

Comedy Traits

  • As a comedy, funny situations, witty dialogues and humorous characters such as Bottom, the weaver, are integral parts of the play. This keeps the tone light and airy despite some serious themes.

Pastoral Literature

  • This play is also a classic example of pastoral literature, a genre that idealises the simplicity of rural life and contrasts it with the corrupt, complex world of the city.

Poetic Language

  • Another characteristic element of the play is the rich use of poetic language, common in Shakespearean literature. The fantasy elements of the play are particularly highlighted through this use of poetic verse.

Complex Themes

  • Although “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is primarily a comedy, it does explores several complex themes such as love, desire, and the nature of reality versus illusion, which gives it depth beyond its comedic surface.


  • The play-within-a-play structure towards the end of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” adds a layer of meta-theatricality, a common technique in many of Shakespeare’s plays. This not only serves as a comic device but also causes the audience to question the difference between reality and performance.

Remember, understanding the genre of the play can provide valuable insight into themes, character motives, and storyline progression. So while revising “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, keep these genre characteristics in mind.