A Midsummer's Night Dream and As You Like It Essay

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William Shakespeare often compares imagination and reality in his plays. He explores this comparison through the role and purpose of the forests in Midsummer Night's Dream and As You Like It. Midsummer Night's Dream focuses on imagination and escape, while As You like It focuses on reality and self discovery. The forest in Midsummer Night's Dream represents imagination. Puck, a fairy servant and friend of Oberon, watches six Athenian men practice a play to be performed for Theseus' wedding in the forest. Puck turns Nick Bottom's head into that of an ass. The other players see Bottom and run away screaming. He follows them saying, "Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, a hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire, and neigh, and bark,…show more content…
A lunatic's mind is unhinged and his/her imagination is free to do what it wants. The person may think they have magical powers. A poet's mind is dominated by imagination. They use imagination and creativity to create poems. At the end of the play, the fairies arrive to bless the three couples. Puck tells us, "Now it is the time of night that the graves, all gaping wide, every one lets forth his sprite in the churchway paths to glide. And we fairies, that do not run by the triple Hecate's team from the presence of the sun, following darkness like a dream, now are frolic" (5.1.396-404). Oberon and Titania sing, "So shall all the couples three ever true in loving be and the blots of Natures' hand shall not in their issue stand. Never mole, harelip, nor scar, not mark prodigious, such as are despised in nativity, shall upon their children be" (5.1.424-431). A dream is another form of imagination. The conscious mind is not in control. In dreams anything can happen, a person can become someone else or get chased by dinosaurs. Fairies are a thing of the imagination, bringing magic to our lives. The forest functions as a place of escape. Hermia is threatened with marrying the man she does not love, Demetrius, becoming a nun, or execution. She and Lysander, the man she does love, discuss what they should do and decide to go to Lysander's aunt's house. Lysander tells Hermia, "There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee; and to that place the sharp
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