Shakespeare's Use of Dreams

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Sometimes people dream of worlds where preposterous and implausible events occur, especially when they desire impossible wishes. Janos Arany supports the idea that “in dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities.” In many of Shakespeare’s plays, he presents limitless imagination and possibility for what might occur next. In particular, within A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he uses dreams as a chief factor and enables seemingly impossible events occur between pairs of lovers. Labeled as a dream in the title, the unusual and unrealistic events that happen to Helena and Demetrius in the development of their relationship reveal the endless possibilities of love.

Helena encounters impossible events while attempting to win over Demetrius, showing the fantasy in the plot. First, when she almost abandons her quest to show Demetrius that she belongs with him, fairies declare their intent to place magic juice in his eye, so when he wakes, “his love he doth espy,” and he “Beg[s] of her for remedy” (III. ii. 105-109). The fantastical events lead to a “spell” of love unlike normal attraction an...
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