The key elements of comedy and tragedy as described in Aristotle’s Poetics were mainly
followed by Shakespeare in his plays and are, in fact, still in use in most works of literature
today. Students will use this worksheet to briefly review the dramatic conventions of
comedy and tragedy as outlined in Poetics and to examine A Midsummer Night’s Dream for
examples of each convention. Students will then make their own assessment as to whether
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy or a tragedy. Pass out this worksheet after they
finish reading the text.