Themes, Motifs and Symbols in A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

Themes, Motifs and Symbols in A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

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Throughout the play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written by William

Shakespeare, are several themes, motifs, and symbols. Dreams are a reoccurring theme.

Dreams are connected to the unexplainable and mysterious events, occurring in the

woods. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” can be compared to “The Tempest”, also

written by Shakespeare, because it contains the same theme of dreams- “That, if I then

had waked after long sleep, / Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming” (3.2. 139-

140, Caliban) Contrast of appearances verses reality is a common motif throughout the

play. It is leading the lovers into believing that the fantasies, which they are experiencing

are real, even though they are extremely unrealistic. The love juice is blinding the lovers

into visualizing what they want, and not the truth. Dance is a symbol in the play, used by

Oberon and Titania, symbolizing peace and harmony. Therefore, the theme of dreams,

motif of appearances verses reality, and symbol of dance, are significant

throughout the play.


First of all, dreams are a significant and constant theme, throughout the play. All

events, occurring throughout act four, are considered as dreams. Oberon is excited to be
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informing Puck, that with the help of the magical flower’s love juice, the lovers are

falling in love, once again. According to Oberon, the lovers’ experiences are nothing

more than dreams- “May all to Athens back again repair/And think no more of this

night's accidents/ But as the fierce vexation of a dream.” (4.1. 54-56). Titani...


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distinguish dreams from realities. The motif of contrast between appearances verses

reality, is making it impossible for lovers, under the spell, to control their intense feelings

of infatuation. Titania is unable to control her blind love for Bottom, even though his

head is transformed into a hideous donkey. The symbol, dance is indicating the ending

and beginning of various disputes between lovers. Oberon is refusing to dance with

Titania, when he is frustrated with her. When all is well again, the blithesome couple is

reunited through dance. Therefore, the theme of dreams, motif of contrast of appearances

verses reality, and symbol of dance, are present, and significant throughout the play.


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