Fantasy vs. Reality in a Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

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Brittany Rose Dr. Pulling ENGL 2210-012 8 March 2012 Relationship Between Fantasy and Reality in A Midsummer Night’s Dream In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare easily blurs the lines of reality by inviting the audience into a dream. He seamlessly toys with the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Among the patterns within the play, one is controlled and ordered by a series of contrasts: the conflict of the sleeping and waking states, the interchange of reality and illusion, and the mirrored worlds of Fairy and Human. A Midsummer Night's Dream gives us insight into man's conflict with characteristics of human behavior. The play begins in the City of…show more content…
And as I am an honest Puck, If we have unearned luck Now to scape the serpent's tongue, We will make amends ere long; Else the Puck a liar call: So, good night unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.” (Shakespeare 5.1.425) The most interesting part of this excerpt is that Puck (Oberon’s henchman) says that he and the fairies are only a figment of the imagination and that he and his fairy world do not exist at all. The audience is asked to look beyond the performance at the intention of the actors. This passage allows the audience to break their character. The show is over and the reality of their own life is now. This monologue by Puck slowly unravels the reality and fantasy world from one another. The play lies in transformation and the forest is the setting of change. Puck invites the audience to think of the play as nothing more than a dream, a midsummer night’s dream. Here, it is clear that Shakespeare is commenting on the reality of plays. Like midsummer dreams, plays aren't real. All of the characters are hung in the audience’s suspension of disbelief. They are the product of imagination and fantasy and also involve the momentary suspension of reality.
One of the key passages in the play is Theseus's speech on "the lunatic, the lover, and the poet"(Shakespeare 5.1.7) Lunatic’s hallucinate, lovers may view ugly as beautiful, and poets craft words from nothingness into something. Throughout
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