The motifs, the moon in 'A midsummer night's dream' - English and literature - A level

The motifs, the moon in 'A midsummer night's dream' - English and literature - A level

Publicated on Mar 30, 2016 - Give your opinion

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The moon plays an important role in the play for many different reasons. Firstly the moon is important for setting- much of the play’s happenings take place by moonlight for example Act 2 to Act 4.

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Content of this document of Humanities > English and literature

What is the role of the moon in the play?

This helps to expose the craftsmen as terrible actors who underestimate their audience’s imagination as they present Moonshine literally with a ‘lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn’.

Context

In a sense the whole play runs to lunar time. Lysander has charmed Hermia by moonlight and sets the time of their elopement by the moon. Theseus and Hippolyta reckons the time left until their marriage by the moon’s phases, Titania’s fairy and Oberon measure their speed against the moon.

What do critics say?

Hermia would soon as believe that Lysander has stolen away from her while she was sleeping as she would believe that the ‘whole earth may be bored, and that the moon/ May through the centre creep, and so displease/ her brother’s noon-tide with the Antipodes.’

Analysis

  1. Act 1 Scene 1
  2. The moon is cited again later in the act when Lysander and Hermia tell Helena of their plans to run into the woods after Theseus tells Hermia that she must marry Demetrius or face banishment to a convent where she would face life as a nun.
  3. Act 2 Scene 1
  4. Of course, since the play’s original staging, many directors have chosen to interpret the importance of the moon differently and direct their play accordingly.
  5. Act 5

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