A Midsummer Night 's Dream By William Shakespeare

1456 Words6 Pages
Before the birth of William Shakespeare as a playwright, no craftsman could skillfully create a world composed of contradictions so shocking, yet profoundly insightful to the human condition. Shakespeare accomplishes the impossible by bringing many contradictory elements into his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy on the verge of tragedy. In this play, many of his characters allude to the moon through the use of repetitive metaphors. Shakespeare specifically compares the moon to time as a means to juxtapose various elements of his play: eagerness and reluctance, chastity and fertility, as well as tragedy and comedy. In the opening lines of the play, Theseus, the Duke of Athens, refers to the moon as he awaits his forthcoming wedding: Another moon; but O, methinks, how slow This old moon wanes! She lingers in my desires, Like to a stepdame or dowager Long withering out a young man’s revenue. (MND 1.1.3-6) This metaphorical personification of the moon demonstrates Theseus’ eagerness for his wedding night with Hippolyta, his wife to be. During Shakespeare’s time, the moon often symbolized time, and in this case, it is used as a metaphor for the passage of time. Theseus also compares the moon to an elderly stepmother or widow taking far too long to pass away, preventing him from receiving an inheritance sooner. This creates a very harsh image for the reader, and it demonstrates that Theseus is impatient, opportunistic and aggressive. On the other hand,
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