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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

Contents

Act V, scenes i–epilogue

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Act V, scenes i–epilogue

Act V, scenes i–epilogue

Act V, scenes i–epilogue

Act V, scenes i–epilogue

Act V, scenes i–epilogue

Insofar as the fifth act of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has thematic significance (the main purpose of the play-within-a-play is to provide comic enjoyment), it is that the Pyramus and Thisbe story revisits the themes of romantic hardship and confusion that run through the main action of the play. Pyramus and Thisbe are kept apart by parental will, just as Lysander and Hermia were; their tragic end results from misinterpretation—Pyramus takes Thisbe’s bloody mantle as proof that she is dead, which recalls, to some extent, Puck’s mistaking of Lysander for Demetrius (as well as Titania’s misconception of Bottom as a beautiful lover). In this way, the play-within-a-play lightheartedly satirizes the anguish that earlier plagued the Athenian lovers.

Given the title A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is no surprise that one of the main themes of the play is dreams, particularly as they relate to darkness and love. When morning comes, ending the magical night in the forest, the lovers begin to suspect that their experience in the woods was merely a dream. Theseus suggests as much to Hippolyta, who finds it strange that all the young lovers would have had the same dream. In the famous final speech of the play, Puck turns this idea outward, recommending that if audience members did not enjoy the play, they should assume that they have simply been dreaming throughout. This suggestion captures perfectly the delicate, insubstantial nature of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: just as the fairies mended their mischief by sorting out the romantic confusion of the young lovers, Puck accounts for the whimsical nature of the play by explaining it as a manifestation of the subconscious.

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ACT V, SCENES I–EPILOGUE QUIZ

How does Theseus feel about the story told by the Athenian youths?
Believing, because his love for Hippolyta has made him generous
Disbelieving, because darkness and love have a way of exciting the imagination
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A Midsummer Night's Dream Blog

by DanMitchell23, January 02, 2013

I've just bought the complete works of Shakespeare for my University module. Visit my blog to see what I thought about this play ...

http://inbetweenthelines1.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/shakespeare-play-a-midsummer-nights-dream/

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24 out of 48 people found this helpful

A Midsummer Nights Dream

by Matt_1321, March 06, 2014

The idea that would help me and probably lots of others, is to have quizzes for each chapter. The way it is now you have had to read the whole book to take a test/quiz. please improve.

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9 out of 16 people found this helpful

School

by Grayson_Breland, May 24, 2014

This helped a ton I have a test on this and this really helped I am confident in myself that I will get a good grade

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4 out of 4 people found this helpful

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