Course Hero. "A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Guide." Course Hero. 11 May 2017. Web. 11 May 2021. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Midsummer-Nights-Dream/>.
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Course Hero. "A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Guide." May 11, 2017. Accessed May 11, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Midsummer-Nights-Dream/.
Course Hero, "A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Guide," May 11, 2017, accessed May 11, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Midsummer-Nights-Dream/.
Much of the action in A Midsummer Night's Dream happens in the woods—a place of fantasy and illusion. In Shakespeare's time Midsummer's Eve, or the summer solstice, was a time when spirits and humans interacted. The play repeatedly refers to May Day festivities, however, so the events appear to take place the night before May Day rather than on Midsummer's Eve. The play may have been performed first on a midsummer night.
The fairy king Oberon notes as four lovers return to Athens that the events of the night in the woods may "seem a dream and fruitless vision." In his final speech, Oberon's attendant, Puck, reiterates the idea of reality versus dreams: "If we shadows have offended, / Think but this and all is mended: / That you have but slumbered here / While these visions did appear. / And this weak and idle theme, / No more yielding but a dream." Additionally, the play includes spells, magic transformations, and quick reversals of affection that echo the disjointed nature of dreams.
This study guide and infographic for William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.