Dreams In A Midsummer Night's Dream

2680 words - 11 pages

Oprah Winfrey once said, “The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.” But, what actually is a dream and what do dreams really have to do with one’s everyday life? In essence, a dream is a series of mental images and emotions occurring during slumber. Dreams can also deal with one’s personal aspirations, goals, ambitions, and even one’s emotions, such as love and hardship. However, dreams can also give rise to uneasy and terrible emotions; these dreams are essentially known as nightmares. In today’s society, the concept of dreaming and dreams, in general, has been featured in a variety of different mediums, such as literature, film and even music. While the mediums of film and music are both prime examples of this concept, the medium of literature, on the other hand, contains a much more diverse set of examples pertaining to dreams and dreaming. One key example is William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While the portrayal of dreams, in general, plays a prominent role in Shakespeare’s play, the exploration of many aspects of nature, allows readers to believe that dreams are merely connected to somewhat unconventional occurrences.
The reader’s first impression that this play revolves around a recurring theme of dreams is from the title. As the title suggests, dreams are going to and do, essentially play a very important role in this production because major events that occur within the play are all centered on and around the characters’ dreams. A second clue regarding the role of dreams is found in the opening lines of the play, spoken by Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. Hippolyta states, “Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; four nights will quickly dream away the time; and the moon, like the silver bow new bent in heaven, shall behold the night of our solemnities” (Shakespeare 1393). This quote really sets the tone and the atmosphere for the entire play because it allows readers to create a time line of events and essentially immerse within it. This quote is stating that four days will quickly come and go, the days will turn into nights, and the dreaming that occurs during one’s slumber will allow the time to pass even more quickly. Because of Hippolyta’s unique circumstances, it is easy for one to assume that this quote was merely said because of her unconventional and rapid marriage to Theseus. Theseus is the Duke of Athens, and it has been previously mentioned that Hippolyta is the Queen of the Amazons. Upon the beginning of the play, it is known that Theseus has just defeated and returned from a battle with the Amazons. As victor, his spoils include, among other things, marrying Hippolyta. While Theseus is expressing his undying love for his future wife, Hippolyta obviously does not return...

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