The Significance of Dreams and Dreaming in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

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The Significance of Dreams and Dreaming in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

In Pucks final speech of the play he says: “And this weak and idle theme No more yielding than a dream”

It has been argued that Shakespeare structured the play around the notion of a 'dream.' Explore the significance of dreams and dreaming in the play, both as a theme and dramatic device.

There are several definitions of a dream, although no one can really define a dream, it is what we make it. The first theory is that it is a mixture of images, accumulated from your thoughts or experiences, that happen whilst you are asleep. It could also be a fantasy you experience whilst your semi-conscious
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Shakespeare used the play and Pucks final speech to dismiss the horrible image of fairies, and for them to be seen as helpful, beautiful creatures with wings which we now imagine today. They may have expected the themes of arranged marriages or power over women as this went on a lot in the 16th century and although these themes do shine through in the play, love reigns overall, “So shall all the couples three, Ever true in loving be” said by Oberon at the end, meaning the three couples shall love each other for ever even if things stand in their way.

The settings in the play are very appropriate for exploring dreams as there are contrasts between the real world and the dream world. The city of Athens being the real world shows order, rigid ness, control and man made things whereas the woods, being just outside the city of Athens is very different. It shows no authority, darkness, mystery because you never know what lurks in the woods, and is a completely natural habitat, just the place you would dream of fairies living. Its very ironic that these two completely different settings are side by side and yet the humans know nothing of what lives in woods but the fairies know of the humans. It relates to dreaming as when you dream, you escaped the control of the real world, just like the
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