Hyperbole And Illusion In A Midsummer Night’s Dream

921 words - 4 pages

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare makes heavy use of hyperbole, the twisting of reality into something greater than what it actually is, in both the dialogue and the ridiculous, larger-than-life nature of the situations that occur to provide a basis for the conflict between reality and illusion, blurring the line that separates the two concepts.
Before the symbolism of the woods and the land of fairies, the main sources of the conflict between reality and unreality, is intact, there are small hints slowly leading to that direction in the opening scene of Act I, scene i. When Egeus approaches Theseus to aid him with his daughter’s infatuation with Lysander instead of Demetrius, he claims that Lysander has “bewitch'd the bosom of my child” (Shakespeare I.i.28) and “stolen the impression of her fantasy,” (Shakespeare I.i.33) and in essence complains that Lysander has stolen Hermia’s rationality and sense of reality.
As patently ridiculous and impossible as the claim is, it provides a steady basis for the blurring of the distinction between the real and surreal: a man convinced of his daughter’s lack of a grip on reality complains in a hyperbolic manner that another man has stolen her capabilities to think clearly, by making her fall in love with him and his “feigning voice.” (Shakespeare I.i.32) Most audiences, after reading or watching the play would know very well that Lysander is not capable of doing such things, and his actions afterward prove that he is just an innocent young man trying to pursue his true love. However, the rather grotesque and unrealistic picture painted of him during this hyperbolic scene becomes much less otherworldly when compared to some of the things later on in the play, which exploit the small flaw in perspective that this creates.
The fairy world and the interactions of the fairies within are the most striking example of the theme of illusion, and Titania’s dispute with Oberon in Act II, scene i comes out at the forefront. During a large argument with him in a chance encounter at midnight, Titania says, “with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport./Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,/As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea/Contagious fogs; which falling in the land/Have every pelting river made so proud/That they have overborne their continents.” (Shakespeare II.i.88) However, no evidence that any of the natural disasters are occurring is present in the play, aside from one fairy stating "Over hill, over dale,/Thorough bush, thorough brier,/Over park, over pale,/Thorough flood, thorough fire,/I do wander everywhere..." (Shakespeare II.i.2) No clear evidence exists for either side in the rest of the play. Either Titania could be speaking in an extended metaphor, which would be the so-called realistic interpretation, or they really are making these natural disasters occur, which looks like the hyperbolic...

Find Another Essay On Hyperbole and Illusion In A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Love In A Midsummer Night’s Dream

516 words - 2 pages True love’s path is paved with every step. Through the assistance of fanciful elements as well as characters Puck and Oberon, the true message of love in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is revealed. The four lovers know the direction in which their hearts are inclined to turn, but when the love potion is administered, the bounds of their rectangle are thrashed without knowledge or consent. The rapid shifts in affection between

The Forest in A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

1443 words - 6 pages Only in the forest do women exercise power. How far do you agree with this statement? The forest in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is used as a green space, a place where the social norms don’t apply. At the time of writing, Shakespearean England was ruled by a female monarch, Queen Elizabeth the 1st who was only the 2nd queen of England in their own right. This power held by a woman at the time was not the norm, women were subservient of men

Illusion and Fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

1590 words - 6 pages Illusion and Fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream The main theme of love in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is explored by four young lovers, who, for the sake of their passions, quit the civilized and rational city of Athens, and its laws, and venture into the forest, there to follow the desires of their hearts - or libidos as the case may be. In this wild and unknown wilderness, with the heat and emotion commonly

The Power of Magic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1893 words - 8 pages In William Shakespeare’s book, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, magic is a powerful and useful tool for the characters that have the capability to use it. Some of the characters abuse the power of magic, while others are more responsible in how they use it. Oberon is one the characters that abuses the power of magic. Oberon’s magic has an immense impact on the plot of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. More specifically, Oberon’s magic affects his own

Different Types of Love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1568 words - 6 pages Different Types of Love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy, written in 1595 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. This was when the society was dominated by men. During the period, England was ruled by a powerful and well respected queen. One of the many themes of the play is that of love. Many different types of love are depicted in the book. There is: Parental

The Villains of Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet

1138 words - 5 pages a number of Shakespeare plays the villain is a stereotyped character who does not fight against any feelings of remorse and, still more importantly, even enjoys his evil nature. (Osterried) The villains from Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet are similar because all have a conflict with a woman and have a goal in mind and will do anything to reach it, but different in the way their actions affect the outcome of the plot. To begin

The Villains of Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet

1492 words - 6 pages writer Larry A. Winters claims, “Readers love bad guys. Even bad guys who do the most heinous, horrible, evil deeds. Especially them.” Shakespeare new this, so he came up with some fantastic villains for his plays. In honor of antagonists everywhere, this essay is about the villains of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. The villains from Othello, Midsummer, and Hamlet, Iago, Love, and Claudius respectively, can be compared and contrasted in

Love, Chaos, and Disorder in Midsummer Night’s Dream

1445 words - 6 pages Love can be quite chaotic at times. As much as poets and songwriters promote the idea of idyllic romantic love, the experience in reality is often fraught with emotional turmoil. When people are in love, they tend to make poor decisions, from disobeying authority figures to making rash, poorly thought-out choices. In the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare uses various motifs to illustrate how love, irrationality, and disobedience are

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2833 words - 11 pages William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream The focus of this discussion will be upon the language and performance possibilities of this extract from the Dream[1], following brief consideration of the manner in which the extract relates to the rest of the play in terms of plot development and the reflection of certain of the play’s themes. Performance aspects are considered alongside the distinctive features of

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

1429 words - 6 pages William Shakespeare is considered one of the most influential playwrights of all time. Shakespeare has written 37 plays, one of which is considered people’s most favorite play, the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” takes place in Athens in an ancient Greece and is a lighthearted, magical toned play. The play starts with the Duke of

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

2374 words - 9 pages twisted a person can be, they are still a person. In Shakespeare’s plays Othello, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the villains share the characteristics of greed, clever and conniving ways, and recklessness; however, they all bring their own features to the table. The first of the villains is Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; he is clever, reckless, and very mischievous, these characteristics tend to get him into trouble. Sometimes referred

Similar Essays

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay

2963 words - 12 pages , then, we come but in despite. We do not come, as minding to content you, Our true intent is all for your delight, we are not here." (McIntosh 5) "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a play concerned with dreaming. Shakespeare reverses the categories of reality and illusion, sleeping and waking, art and nature, to touch upon the central theme of dreams. Dreams are truer than reality because it has a transforming power. Dreams are a part if the fertile

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay

1889 words - 8 pages illustrate the absence of time within these worlds. The process of dreaming plays an important function in both Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Carroll’s Alice adventures that they can easily be interpreted as representations of the possibility of an unstable reality by juxtaposing the characters, the settings and time. In both pieces of work, the characters must leave the court and venture into the unknown to gain what is at the end

True Love And Unrequited Love In A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1381 words - 6 pages In this play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, true love plays a huge role in the play. Several relationships begin true love such as Hermia and Lysander’s and Hypolyta and Thesus’ but some that did not begin in true love, end as true love such as Helena and Demetrius’. Helena and Demetrius in my perspective were meant to love each other so that everyone may be able to love each other in harmony. The love potion was only the push Demetrius needed

Robin's Epilogue In A Midsummer Night’s Dream

3712 words - 15 pages the power they hold on earth, are subject to far greater unseen powers whether they believe in them or not. Shakespeare’s epilogue at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has haunted many critics and resulted in numerous interpretations. Through Robin, he clearly gives the audience a message, but its meaning is ambiguous. It appears to be a disclaimer of some sort, but the exact nature of the offense and the reasoning behind it is unclear: If we