Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, is a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream that was based on the ancient figure in English mythology, also called Puck.
Puck is a clever, mischievous elf or sprite that personifies the trickster or the wise knave. In the play, Shakespeare introduces Puck as the "shrewd and knavish sprite" and "that merry wanderer of the night" in some scenes it would seem that he is longing for freedom and he is also a jester to Oberon, the fairy king. Puck and Bottom are the only two characters who interact and progress the three central stories in the whole play; Puck is the one who is first introduced in the fairies' story and creates the drama of the lovers' story by messing up who loves whom, as well as by placing the ass on Bottom's head in his story. Similarly, Bottom is performing in a play in his story intending it to be presented in the lovers' story as well as interacting with Titania in the fairies' story.
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Puck is one of Shakespeare’s most enjoyable characters. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream Puck is a mischievous sprite and Oberon’s servant and jester.
He is perhaps the play’s most adorable character and stands out from the other fairies that drift through the play. But Puck is not as ethereal as the play’s other fairies; rather, he is courser, prone to misadventure and goblin-like. Indeed, one of the fairies describes Puck as a “hobgoblin” in Act 2, Scene 1.
As his “hobgoblin” reputation suggests, Puck is fun-loving and quick-witted – and thanks to this mischievous nature, he triggers many of the play’s most memorable events.
Puck – Use (and Misuse) of Magic
Puck uses magic for comic effect – most notably when he transforms Bottom’s head into that of an ass! This is the most memorable image of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and demonstrates that whilst Puck is harmless, he is capable of cruel tricks for the sake of enjoyment.