Reality In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play which emphasises and explores love, free will and liminal dream-like spaces within both a fantasy realm and the real world. Within Act 2 Scene 2 lines 115-160, the Athenian lovers are experiencing a tense shift in dynamics. Lysander has been subjected to a love potion, and is leaving his relationship with Hermia in order to pursue a romance with their friend, Helena. During this passage, Shakespeare explores these key themes, and establishes a tense, uncertain reality, by providing an introduction to the conflict experienced by these characters within the entire text.

One of the major themes that Shakespeare chooses to explore within A Midsummer Night’s Dream is reality versus fantasy. In particular, Shakespeare focuses on presenting a distinctive
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When the lovers enter the forest they are no longer subject to the structure of the real world, and are instead part of a space that functions as if it were part of a dream. The passage in Act 2 Scene 2 displays this otherworldly uncertainty through Lysander's reaction to the love potion. Within the passage, Lysander believes he has awoken from his “tedious”(2.2.116) time with Hermia, and instead decides “to honour”(2.2.148) Helena. The rapid, stream of consciousness style dialogue that is present in both Lysander and Helena’s speech evokes a fluid, dream like quality within the passage. For example, as Helena says “is’t not enough...my insufficiency”(2.2.129-132), her repetition, emphasis and non-structured speech heightens the surreal quality within the passage. This section also highlights the uncertainty and unreliable experiences that the character's are subjected to within the play. Throughout the passage Lysander believes that his eyes have finally been opened to the truth, yet he is actually blinded by the love
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