By Kenneth Pickering (auth.)
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Additional info for A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
This leaves Bottom, who has not been noticed and as he wakes he imagines he is still rehearsing. Finding himself alone he also recalls the night's events like a dream and goes off to ask Quince to write a ballad about it. Commentary For Titania, Bottom and the lovers this scene marks a return from fantasy to reality, an awaking from a dream. Titania's dream, like Hermia's earlier in the play, has a nightmarish quality: her passion for Bottom reaches the height of absurdity as she praises his most ridiculous physical features and caresses him as if he were the most desirable of men.
Aurora's harbinger', the morning star is already in the sky and the ghostly, evil spirits who haunt the night are returning to their graves. 'But we', says Oberon, 'are spirits of another sort' (395); positive powers of good. Oberon's subsequent speech (396-400) is not simply a most beautiful word-painting of a sunrise that more than compensates for the absence of stage lighting, it is also a remarkable demonstration of the Fairies' unique relationship with the wonders of nature. His claim: 'I with the morning's love have oft made sport' (396) can be interpreted literally in either of two ways: he has actually made love to the goddess Aurora or he has hunted with Aurora's lover Cephalus but beyond this Oberon is saying that, in some mystical way, he and nature are part of the same scheme of things.
When Oberon's thoughts are interrupted by the entry of Demetrius and Helena he establishes the convention that he is invisible - in the Elizabethan theatre he may well have wrapped a cloak around him when speaking line 186. The exchange between the two young lovers (188-244) contrasts in language, pace and action with what has gone before. These desperate mortals fling mundane images at each other and chase each other around the stage. Not only does Helena physically follow Demetrius, she turns his insults and threats into expressions of love.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare by Kenneth Pickering (auth.)