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Fantasy In Midsummer Nights Dream Essay, Research Paper

The Elements of Fantasy vs. Reality

The elements of fantasy in a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” are apparent throughout the play and there are many examples of this that relate to the real world.

In the play the fantasy world and real world exist apart from each other, never meeting at any point. Theinabitants of the fairy world are unreal in the sense that they lack feelings and intelligence. The dream world, beyond mortal’s comprehension, strongly influences the entire realm of ordinary life. By nature of their humanity, Oberon’s power causes vulnerability in the human world. This fairy kingdom is essentially a dream, which appears whenever reason goes to sleep, and during this time Oberon controls all things. Such illusions and dreams, created by Oberon, can be dangerous if they block out human’s perception of reality. As the play proves, these dreams perform an important function in life.

The fairies never think and love, which explains all of the deceit and odd events that go on during the play. This is acceptable in their world, because all the laws that govern the world of reality have no existence in the dream world. The lover’s fall between these two worlds and are affected by both. The fairies make fools of the lovers, because humans are not accustomed to the fairy’s realm. In the real world, Hermia is sensible and Lysander is reasonable. They want to be together even against Egeus’ commands, which is reasonable thinking. As soon as the two are alone, imagination takes control of them and they are blinded as to the misfortunes that are bound to cross the course of true love. This causes them to run away.

Shakespeare’s imagination is vast enough to house fairy realms and the world of reality, including all the peculiar manifestations of either place. Also the ability to

describe the separate and often quite dissimilar regions of the play’s universe by drawing on the rich resources of poetry. The words moon and water dominate the poetry of the play. “Four happy days bring in another moon: but, O, me thinks, how slow. This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires”. As a result of their enormous allusive potential, these images engender am entire network of interlocking symbols that greatly enrich the text. The moon, water, and wet flowers conspire to extend the world of the play until it is as large as all imaginable life. The mood and water also explain the play’s mystery and naturality.

The pattern of the play is controlled and ordered by a series of vital contrasts: the conflict of the sleeping and waking states, the interchange of reality and illusion, reason and imagination, and the disparate spheres of the influence of Theseus and Oberon. All is related to the portrayal of the dream state. In this dramatic world where dreams are a reliable source of vision and insight, consistently truer than reality, they seek to interpret and transform. The imagery establishes the dream world in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The night creates a mysterious mood. At night, the fairy realm takes control. These fairies are brainless and deceitful, which leads to controversy between the mortals. The two worlds, united by moonlight, are active during their respectable times of the day. In the play, the fairy world is dominant, because there is only one scene containing daylight.

In Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” there is a lot of absurd dream logic at the end of the story both in Fahrquhar’s reflections and his situation: “the noose about his neck was already suffocating him and kept the water from his lungs,” and so is some kind of protection. This ignores the other effect of strangulation. The description


Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” The Norton Introduction to

Literature. 7th ed Eds. Jerome Beaty and J. Paul Hunter. New York: Norton, 1998.


Shakespeare, William. “A Midsummer Nights Dream.” The Norton Introduction to

Literature. 7th ed. Eds. Jerome Beaty and J. Paul Hunter. New York: Norton, 1998.


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