Can someone help me discuss the importance of dreaming in A Midsummer Night´s Dream? Are there any examples from the play?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title clearly places emphasis on dreams as being a key concept of the play. They are inextricably intertwined with the magical confusion of the forest and what happens within it. Dreams are mentioned throughout the text, but Hippolyta’s first words set the tone and establish the importance of dreams:

Four days will quickly steep themselves in night

Four nights will quickly dream away the time

Dreams are referred to repeatedly, especially when characters try to explain and reason with what has happened to them in the forest. For example, Bottom says:

I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what / dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about t’expound this dream.

Of course, perhaps the most famous reference to dreams is at the end of the play, when in his "apology", Puck says to the audience that if they are offended at all by the contents of the play, they should imagine it was all a dream ("no more yielding than a dream"). Emphasis is thus placed on the artificiality and magic of the drama, likewise pointing towards the fluidity of emotions such as love and how they change so rapidly, which is another key theme of this play.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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