A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the significance of the play's title?

Expert Answers info

Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write1,161 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

The title of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is very meaningful in the context of the play. First of all, it is important to know that midsummer was a specific date that was looked to as a holiday, and many celebrations would revolve around it. This date was typically the summer solstice, but it could fluctuate a bit⁠—it was on or around June 22nd.

In pagan tradition, as well as historical British and European tradition, midsummer was a deeply magical night. It was exactly opposite the winter solstice, which was a night of rest, the longest night of the year. Winter solstice was revered as the passing of the year, when souls would travel to the Underworld. Midsummer was the opposite⁠—it was full of life and magic. For that reason, the sprites and mischievous spirits that are present in the play make a lot of sense.

Additionally, it was traditional to have weddings around the time of June. Therefore, this play has a great setting in which to intertwine a wedding with the activity of...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 652 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

sfwriter eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write294 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial