A Dream Essay

913 WordsAug 10, 20154 Pages
A Midsummer Night's Dream By: A. Theseus More strange than true. I never may believe These antic fables nor these fairy toys. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet Are of imagination all compact. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold: That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt. The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name. Such tricks hath strong imagination That, if it would but apprehend some joy, It comprehends some bringer of that joy; Or in the night, imagining some fear, How easy is a bush supposed a bear! (V,i,2-22) Theseus, in Scene V of A Midsummer Night's Dream, expresses his doubt in the verisimilitude of the lover's recount of their night in the forest. He says that he has no faith in the ravings of lovers- or poets-, as they are as likely as madmen are to be divorced from reason. Coming, as it does, after the resolution of the lovers' dilemma, this monologue serves to dismiss most of the play a hallucinatory imaginings. Theseus is the voice of reason and authority but, he bows to the resulting change of affection brought about by the night's confused goings on, and allows Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius to marry where their hearts would have them. This place where the line between dream and reality blurs is an important theme of the play. Theseus is also a lover, but his affair with Hippolyta is based upon the cold reality of war, "Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword, And won thy love doing thee injuries..."(I,i,16-17). He is eager to wed

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