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Perceptions of Illusions through Personalities in A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Shakespeare’s objective of illusions and reality play upon the context of his play and the management of liminal spaces throughout his work. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ composed by William Shakespeare was written in 1595/1596 and published in 1600 (this was during the Renaissance) explores the liminal distance between reality and illusions through literary materials such as characterisation and setting. In this Analytic study, I will review these components and how they will illustrate the process of liminal spaces and their effect on the audience and their world.

Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ reviews the perceptions of illusions through personalities and how they alter the audience’s perspectives on the world. Shakespeare’s character Lysander develops a sentimental relation to Helena when Puck accidentally mistakes him for Demetrius and places a minor quantity of the ‘Love-in-idleness’ on Lysander’s sleeping eyes instead. “Not Hermia, but Helena I love”–Lysander (page 51, Act 2 Scene 2 line 119) before Lysander went to sleep, he was in affection with Hermia and was running away with her so they could marry one another, as Lysander awakened, he became affectioned with Helena because of Puck’s small mistake. The liminal connection being between the two experiences was Lysander’s sleeping state, the ‘Love-in-idleness’ formed a deception in Lysander’s perceiving, situation A being his infatuation for Hermia and situation B being his newfound yearning for Helena after he wakes. The Audience can depict this scheme by considering that one day you can have a correlation or a sentiment but after being asleep you can have an opposing emotion or opinion to a position.

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Shakespeare showcases reality in the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, by establishing a distinctive point (the forest) to detach the suburb to separate between illusions and reality. When the audience is introduced to the Court, it is when Hermia tries to infer with Theseus and her father to let her marry Lysander, by the conclusion of the discussion Hermia has to appoint whether she would willingly “Either to die the death or to abjure”–Theseus (page 7, Act 1 Scene 1 line 65) or “To live a barren sister all your life”–Theseus (page 7, Act1 Scene 1 line 72) for if she determines to not wed Demetrius. This shows a significant part in the plotline as it serves as the outcome of Lysander and Hermia to run abroad to the peripheries of the forest to remain happy and to wed one another in tranquility. The scene then attends to Demetrius going into the forest to find Hermia and Helena follows him in a quest to commit his love to her, which Shakespeare introduces the audience to Oberon and Puck who cast the ‘Love-in -idleness’ spell on the Nobles. The liminal connection that Shakespeare captures the audience through between the Court and the Forest is the controversy between Lysander, Hermia and Helena as they are conferring the runaway plan. This short period follows on how these characters were simulated, therefore, in reality, knew every decision they were making but once every four characters stepped into the Forest, they soon became unknown to what was occurring around them as they had entered the illusion of magic and love. The audience can relate to there are still arranged marriages occurring across the world, and some decisions we make on our own love interests are against what our peers say. Shakespeare’s writing and plays are still relatable to audiences today because of this is a prime example of humans trying to find their soulmate.

The Bell Shakespeare team’s quote applies to the plot of Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ as the art of theatre is an enclosed space away from the reality of life, to showcase a mythical story for personal entertainment. An example of this shown in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is when the Mechanicals put on the play for Hippolyta and Theseus for their wedding. This scene is of huge importance as it becomes a play inside a play to the audience.

To conclude this, analyse the quote “Theatres are the ultimate ‘liminal spaces’, neither reality nor pure illusion” I agree as a play based on facts about cultural elements, human experiences/the human experience and imagination, to create an entertaining piece of work for the pleasure of audiences. Shakespeare represented Liminal spaces well throughout his play to showcase that time might feel like one night but, it could be four days.

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Perceptions of Illusions through Personalities in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/perceptions-of-illusions-through-personalities-in-a-midsummer-nights-dream/
“Perceptions of Illusions through Personalities in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/perceptions-of-illusions-through-personalities-in-a-midsummer-nights-dream/
Perceptions of Illusions through Personalities in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/perceptions-of-illusions-through-personalities-in-a-midsummer-nights-dream/> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2022].
Perceptions of Illusions through Personalities in A Midsummer Night’s Dream [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/perceptions-of-illusions-through-personalities-in-a-midsummer-nights-dream/
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