music and dance

Music and dance are important harmonising and unifying elements in A Midsummer Night's Dream. While Dream was seen as lacking in structural unity in previous centuries, John H. Long attributed structural unity and harmony to the play, writing:

[music is used] to symbolise the concord arising from the settlement of the fairy quarrel, and to foreshadow the resulting harmony between the mortals - thus emphasizing the turning point of the play. (Long 1955: 101)

Oberon and Titania do call for music (IV i 80-88) when they are reconciled. But there is no music at the final wedding celebrations. Other music in the play does not necessarily spell harmony - the lullaby that Titania's fairies sing for her is not harmonious. [also Bottom's song (sings so as not to be afraid) - is music reserved for non-humans? (since Bottom isn't wholly human when he sings) No, the actors also dance after their performance - but music seems to belong to those who are other, who are of low class or a different species (fairies)]

See also

the dance of the lovers

Titania's lullaby

structural approaches

in the play:

Oberon and Titania call for music IV i 80-88

Bottom's song III i 120-130