The Moon as a Symbol in a Midsummer Night's Dream

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The Symbol of the Moon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s dream and also the movie A Midsummer’s Night Dream written and directed by Michael Hoffman, the moon is not only used to represent the difference between day and night but also as a symbol to represent love, lust and dreaming. Throughout the play and the movie, the moon takes on different meanings depending on the charactes’ situations. . Most of the play and the movie take place during night time when the moon sits in the background seemingly as a gentle observer but it is actually a very powerful force. It has an almost intoxicating effect on many of the characters that causes bizarre and erotic behavior. The nighttime and the moon aaldue to almost dreamy time where anything can happen, it is where the lines start to become blurred between reality and fantasy. Other things that can be traced through the symbol of the moon would be dreaming, chaos, lust and love. The title a Midsummer’s Night Dream immediately brings thoughts of the moon and stars, and the first lines of both the movie and the play speak to the moon and the slow passing of time. In Act 1 Scene 1 Thessus and Hipployta are taking about their marriage being 4 long days away. Thessus is pinning to be with Hippolyta and in respone Hippolyta says, “Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights; Four nights will quickly dream away the time; And then the moon, like to a silver bow New bent in heaven, shall behold the night of our solemnities.” Hippolyta feels that the four days will pass quickly while Thessus feels that it will take an eternity. The lover’s reference to the moon was as if the moon would bear as a witness to their marriage ceremony as well as the pleasure of their wedding night. It was almost as if the moon could then be connected to the union of the lovers in mind, body and soul. Another common symbol the moon represents is chastity and virginity. When Theseus warns...
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