Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Tessie Prakas

Reader 2

Aaron Matz

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


Shakespeare is engaging with many wider concepts within A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These concepts include classicism, British folklore, and different political and religious structures. With fairies as his focal point, Shakespeare reckons through these many different concepts and their relationship to English society. This is accomplished through the alterations made to the fairies and their effects on the play. Shakespeare takes his inspiration of folkloric fairies and transports them into classical Athens. In doing so he enacts key changes that separate them from their source material. These changes place the fairies in a place of legitimacy in relation to the other characters in the play. The fairies are given aristocratic status and benevolent personalities. They are also given the ability to traverse any space of the play on top of their inherent magical abilities. These alterations are what allow the fairies to take on such a key role in the resolution of the conflict of the play and has widespread implications for their political and religious power.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.