A Dream Within A Dream Essay

1029 words - 4 pages

A Dream Within A Dream

William Shakespeare presents his story of a midsummer night’s dream as a play. Within this play is another play named “Pyramus and Thisby“. The two similar stories share the same basic idea of how the course of true love never seems to run smoothly. Chaos seems to be normalcy in both of these stories, and although they seem vastly different, they share the same quality of blocked love and eventual serenity. These shared qualities of love show how the theme of “Pyramus and Thisby” relates to the main story of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The main plot of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is comprised of the confident, real love of Thesius and Hippolyta as the right-minded duke and the soon to be duchess of Athens. The middle plots concern the young lovers Helena and Lysander, and Hermia and Demetrius in their pursuit of love. It also includes the relationship between King Oberon and Queen Titania of fairyland. A subplot takes place involving the fairy queen and Nick Bottom, a craftsman who performs in our sub-play. All of these plots combine to make up our main story. Hiding inside them is another story -“Pyramus and Thisby”- that also depicts the obstacles that love introduces.

Several aspects of the two plays shape the image of their mutual, yet contrasting themes. Looking at it from a literal perspective, the two seem unrelated. Actually, “Pyramus and Thisby” seems more like “Romeo and Juliet” than anything else, but the presentation of love’s trial is the common thread. The boundaries that love introduces into a relationship are challenged. Due to the nature of love, irrational as it may be, there is a need for harmony and contentment. The couples in the sub-play and the main play both thrive to overcome their boundaries and do whatever it takes to be with the one they love.

The actors in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” strive for a flawless performance in the beautiful setting of Athens, and the enchanting fairy woods. They invite the audience into their world and admit everyone into their lives, whereas the crude recital of “Pyramus and Thisby” leaves the spectators as mere observers of the fumbling craftsmen. This contrast in performances may be given to make the main story seem flawless by comparison. The misuse of words gives “Pyramus and Thisby” a comical attitude to a tragic story, and the boisterous performance sheds light on the situation of the cast. The type of poetry used in the main play also bears meaning. Shakespeare uses several types of poetry from blank verse to iambic pentameter to give meaning to the separate parts of the play. “Pyramus and Thisby” uses only one type in order to identify it as its own story.

Language plays a big part of our perception and the intended understanding of the audience. We are supposed to see the flaws of word usage and understand why they are there. The world of theatre is...

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