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Sight As A Major Sense Of Imagery In The Play A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Imagery is one of the literary devices that used all throughout literature, it consists of detailed descriptive languages that function as a way to guide and help the reader create the world the piece of literature creates. Imagery creates and add symbolism to the literature. Its known that Imagery deals with the five senses throughout literature, taste, smell, sound and sight, these all work together to help readers create, again, that mental image. The greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist, William Shakespeare used a lot of imagery throughout his plays. A comedy play written by Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, portrays imagery throughout the play revolving around the four main characters who are all involved in a love scandal. Shakespeare uses a lot of the sight sense from the imagery literary device, in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. The sight sense serves as a major theme throughout the play, representing the various awareness and understanding of things.

The sight sense is seen a lot through the play in various ways. the aspect of sight shapes and revolves around the play as a whole. A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes place in Athens, and it gyrates around the marriage and relationships between the characters. Specifically, Titania, Lysander, Helena, Hermia, Hippolyta, Demetrius, and Oberon relationships. The sight sense is what literally changes the point of view of all the characters towards each other. The characters all changed their perspective on each other throughout the play, where we are introduced to the fairies and the love potion that changes the fate of all of the characters. We are presented with Oberon, who is the Fairy king, who is telling Puck, his jester, about he saw cupid shoot an arrow and missed making this powerful love potion that is placed someone’s eyes and when they awake, they will fall in love with the first person they see. Similar to the cliché of having love at first sight. Oberon gives this powerful potion to Puck to place on Titania eyes, so that she can give up her infatuation with the orphan child and pay attention to Oberon. As Puck doses Titania eyes with the potion, Oberon says, “Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, on meddling monkey or on busy ape— She shall pursue it with the soul of love. And ere I take this charm from off her sight,” (2.0 108-184) Oberon was wishing bad upon his lover, and he wanted her to fall in love with something terrible and ugly. Hoping that in her phase of being in love, he can convince to give him the little boy and then after that he will undo the spell and redeem their love.

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This magic love potion is meant to not only have the effect of love at first sight but to also alter or impair vision. The potion altered Titania’s vision, so she is unable to see her lover, bottom who has the head of a donkey, for who he really is. The mind and the eyes both compliment each other throughout the play. As they are both meaningless and lack the judgement needed to fully understand what’s going on. The eyes and the mind both lead the characters in and out of love with a vast imagination. Helena in the beginning of the play states, ‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.’ (1.0.234-235). Love is stimulated not by the indication of the sense, but by the desire and urge of the mind. Shakespeare wants the audience to know that love is an emotional connection, one that deals with the heart. Love does not depend on the sight of physical attraction because it’s an emotional bond. The quote itself is meant to help readers understand that it doesn’t matter what the person looks like, because it’s who they are on the inside that counts. The quote is ironic regarding Titania and Bottom. Titania falls in love with Bottom, after Bottom’s head has been changed to that of a donkey’s, yet his character is not admirable or kind, referring to the wish Oberon has made, that Titania should fall in love with a beast or monster of any sort. There is no reason for Tatiana to love Bottom, emotional and physical.

Another example of the idea that love disregards the sight sense, is seen between Hermia, Helena and Demetrius. Demetrius starts off with being in love with Hermia, and Helena is in love with Demetrius. When Helena follows Demetrius into the forest and tells her very nasty things about how looking at her makes him sick, and that he will never love her because he loves Hermia, Helena simply tells him that he is her world and that she is demanding on becoming his doglike companion following him around everywhere. When Puck gave Demetrius a dose of the potion, its then that Demetrius stop relying on his eyes and on the inner personality of Helena, he found love in her. Demetrius was looking at both women through his eyes, looking at physical appearance rather than on emotional and heart connection. Demetrius wasn’t finding his true love because he was seeing all the superficial characteristics of a person with his eyes, but after being medicated with the potion, he stops depending on his eyes for the physical attraction and sees the connection him and Helena share. Once the physical attraction, and the sight is taken out of factor Demetrius realizes the love Helena has for him and reciprocates it.

Through these acts Shakespeare portrays the theoretical perception of love. The love potion blinds the characters to the point where they cant distinguish the truth form the false, and reality from the imaginative world.

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Sight As A Major Sense Of Imagery In The Play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (2021, August 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from
“Sight As A Major Sense Of Imagery In The Play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Edubirdie, 24 Aug. 2021,
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