The Role of the Moon in A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Role of the Moon in A Midsummer Night's Dream - Curran...

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Michael Curran Professor Williams English 280 4 th March 2008 “The Moon as two faced in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” It is possible, for the majority, to perceive events in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as existing on one of two realms: that of Oberon and Titania, and that of Theseus and Hippolyta. Whilst these two realms coexist and even collide on rare occasions, both exist completely unto themselves and are not dependant on the aid of one another. From this I draw that the relationship between these two worlds is akin to the relationship between the Moon we see, and the Moon we do not; the light side and the dark side. Looking into the night sky we see a spherical object that we know is only half of the bigger picture, and often times we ignore the other face. Could it be that this face has a different look upon it? Perhaps instead of lighting a forest for two young lovers to find their way, for example, the other face of the Moon would light the way to their death. Throughout Shakespeare’s play there is an abundance of vivid imagery from the viewpoint of characters from a range of social classes; with each baring witness to a different phase and face of the Moon. To Lysander and Hermia, lovers of the play, the Moon appears as Phoebe; the Queen of Moonlit Forests. Curran - i -
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“To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold Her silver visage in the wat’ry glass, Decking with liquid pearl, the bladed grass (A time that lover’s flight doth still conceal), Through Athens gates have we devised to steal” (1.1.209-13). Under this guise the Moon resembles the hope of flight; of a lighted path that will be an escape from persecution. As the two lovers flee Athens and make their way into the mysterious wood they keep a close eye on the motion of the Moon which stays with them despite their new, whimsical setting. While Lysander and Hermia sleep, their motions are starkly contrasted by another set of lovers stumbling through the Wood; Demetrius and Helena. It is needless to say that Phoebe is not the governess of their actions due to
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The Role of the Moon in A Midsummer Night's Dream - Curran...

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