Days Reality to Nights Imagination

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Day’s Reality to Night’s Imagination In Midsummer Night’s Dream there is a lot of ‘role playing,’ a lot of juxtapositions that question the boundaries of ideas, of people, and of reality and truth. The play overall uses several groups of characters set in two time periods, night and day, to show the progression of love. As Shakespeare questions the validity of love within the play he broadens love to represent much of life’s greater truths and questions. The periods of night and day are also important as Shakespeare equates these periods into two realms of life; the day as reality and reason, and the night as imaginary and irrational. By setting this foundation, Shakespeare goes on to argue the value of genres that show imagination and irrationality and their ability to tell more truth than reality and rationality. Using the night, Shakespeare proves that in the worlds of dreams, there is more light, more truth, than day. By presenting a false and wavering love Shakespeare illuminates to the audience just to what extent the larger questions, truths, and ideas can be answered within the world of imagination in contrast to the world of reality. Shakespeare opens the play opens with a problem of love inequality. We see the lovers Lysander, Hermia, and Demetrius, who have a love triangle problem such that the two males are in love with the same woman. The problem is further complicated by the fact that Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius, or to be put to death. Although the problem seems a bit excessive with the father wanting his daughter’s death, it is still plausible. Shakespeare also notes that Demetrius was once in love with Helena creating more tension to the love triangle. This entire problem is brought in daylight before the duke, Theseus. Theseus quickly resolves one of the problems stating that Hermia does not have to die but could live a life as
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