A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

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Determine the figurative and connotative meanings of the language used in a speech by Egeus in this excerpt from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Egeus is a minor but key character in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. Egeus appears to have one goal and one goal only: to marry his daughter Hermia to the gentleman Demetrius at any cost. The man whom she loves, Lysander, is despised by Egeus.

At the beginning of the play, Egeus presents his case to the lord of Athens, Theseus. He demands that Hermia marry Demetrius. If not, he says, he will request the evocation of ancient Athenian law—he may send her to a nunnery or have her executed. Theseus gives Hermia until the next new moon to come around to her father's way of thinking.

Connotative and figurative language are connected. All words have literal meanings. The connotative meaning, however, of a word or expression is its secondary and associated meaning; it is often contextual to the speaker and the listener.

It is not surprising that we find Egeus employing the use of much connotative and figurative language. He feels passionate, he is frustrated by Hermia's denial...

(The entire section contains 724 words.)

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