A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream book cover
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In what ways does Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream  question the relationship between reality and illusion?

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The key point at which Shakespeare openly calls into question the relationship between reality and illusion in A Midsummer's Night Dream is in Puck's speech in act 5, scene 1.Here, he gives the audience the choice between whether or not to accept the play as real or a dream. He says:

If we shadows have offended,
 Think but this, and all is mended—
 That you have but slumbered here
 While these visions did appear.
 And this weak and idle theme,
 No more yielding but a dream . . .
In other words, if you don't like the play, or it seems too unrealistic to you, simply think of it as a dream. In this utterance, Shakespeare seems to suggest that the decision over what is real and what is illusion lies not objectively "out there" but in the mind of the beholder.
This borderline between illusion and reality is thinnest when it comes to romantic love, the play suggests—and where those borderlines blur we are on the fringes of lunacy. For example, how much illusion (or madness) does it take...

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