…That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream
‘A Dream within a Dream’ – E.A. Poe 1849
'The conscious mind gives us one way of making sense of our environment. But the unconscious mind gives us other, more supple ways.', (2011) David Brooks article on the Social Animal tells us that the cognitive revolution of the last thirty years has broadened our perspective in relation to living. However, it can be argued that Shakespeare, in the 16thC, offered this outlook in his comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare’s play is one of radical ideas and emotion, it subtly points out the various societal issues of the time. By employing the dramatic device of dream it requires the audience to use their imagination to enjoy what appears to be a fairytale of love and comedy, while covertly portraying and challenging the struggles for power that existed. I aim to explore the concept that the notion of dream in A Midsummer Night’s Dream portrayed a dual society each with struggles of power and potential opportunity played out by mortals in law abiding Athens and the creatures of the imaginative fairytale forest.
Dreams are phenomena that are continuing to be studied by scientists and psychologists as a means to understanding their use. They have been linked with our hopes, desires, emotions and expression (Boyd Barrett, 1923). Some suggest that they are merely an imaginative collection of images that portray our day’s events however, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest their true nature, but there is little disagreement that they are an extension of our imagination and imagination has been fundamental in progressing human society.
All great thinkers and doers have been those who have had the ability to foresee a future built on equality and fairness, but not recognised for their...