What is the meaning of Shakespeare's title A Midsummer Night's Dream ?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The title of the play can be interpreted in several ways. Even though Shakespeare sets the play in May, it is obvious that Midsummer Night’s refers to the summer solstice, which shifts between June 20, 21, 22 and 23. During the Elizabethan Era, this day was celebrated as a holiday which involved dancing, singing, partying, socializing with people and collecting various herbs. The holiday was a celebration of love and marriage, but also of magic, secrecy, illusion and even madness, as many would make love potions and create various magical charms to dream about their soulmates and find their true love. Thus, 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' seems to be a fitting title, as it connects both the setting and the characters of the play.

The title also perfectly captures the themes of the play; it adds to the supernatural and humorous components of the plot and helps the audience understand the difference between reality and fantasy. According to some analysts, Shakespeare’s intention was to...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 687 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on