A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream book cover
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Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
And therefore is love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd
(I, i)

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play where the characters often meditate on the nature of love; while nothing they say is startingly original, Shakespeare's lyricism can be profound. Here Helena touches on the impulsive and imaginitive nature of love, comparing it to the innocent, but not always reasoned, desires of a child.

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight
(II, i)

Shakespeare lyricism is evident throughout Midsummer Night's Dream; this quote is a good example of the exuberant and magical poetry found in the play. Here Oberon is speaking about his wife Titania's sleeping quarters.

I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play
(IV, i)

The fantasic nature of Midsummer Night's Dream is puncuated by dreams and dreaming. Here Bottom awakens from his romance with Titania, and, after explaining the ineffability of his dream, makes a pun about the title of the dream, and the depth of its magic.

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere
(II, i)

Spoken by one of the fairy's in the play, the quote is another example of the magical...

(The entire section is 480 words.)