Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, the realm of reality and dreams is explored as an emotional conflict between characters that develop the reality of the play as a dream. By starting with the end in mind that the entire play is a dream, one is able to make a distinction between reality and the dream as a series of events. Psychologist, Sigmund Freud studied dreams to be unconscious efforts of the mind to perceive what is happening in reality and then cope with recent or traumatic events in an inward reflecting experience that one calls dreams. These dreams are interpreted through psychoanalysis which translates representations of objects that have been censored in dreams to feel less attachment to them, while psychoanalysis tells what the objects truly mean. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has two realities in which the play is the focus of the first reality where the dreams within this reality are to be interpreted, and then the second being that the entire play is a dream. These lucid dreams are created to trick the reader and open up a new way to develop the story.
The emotional conflict of A midsummer Night’s Dream has twists in the story that change the emotional values of a character. A visual cue in the story of this emotional change is a character falling asleep. It appears that every time a character falls asleep, they wake up with a new view on their personal situations, through the fairy’s magic or through their own will of sleep. While in their own dream state, there are events happening around them that they have no control over. Titania and Lysander’s eyes are anointed with love potion as they sleep. The magic is placed upon their eyes against their will, though falling asleep was their own decision. Freud’s view is that “one becomes tired because one becomes tired of receiving and of responding to stimuli from the environment” (thinkquest 1). The importance of the characters falling asleep on their own is the recognition of all that has happened to them. The chance for them to sleep is an opportunity to internalize all the consequences of recent events and sort out any information they might have. The magic as a part of the play is a deviated aspect from reality that changes the natural flow of the characters’ thoughts. It causes them to think irrationally and to jump at love that they did not fully understand. A cause for this can be that Puck says that the entire play is a dream itself.
The entire play being seen as a dream causes the reader to question the reality of the play and the sense of time portrayed throughout the play becomes more identifiable with a dream then reality. The sense of time is lost throughout the play with the only indication of a specific time being May Day when the lovers find new love and confront the king to tell him what has happened. The title is not a factor in the Gradual loss of time because A midsummer Night’s Dream refers to the state of the dreamer and not to the play as a Dream itself. Until then, there is little indication of how long each event takes place. Like dreams, many times one is put into the middle of the action of a dream without a real sense of how one was put in the situation. There is a clear focus on the development of the plot of the story as opposed to the background of the characters. The character’s love interests and how they get to the points to where they are is loosely touched upon and not given a great deal of detail. The story continuously pushes forward, and using dialogue between characters to give details on the background. One is often put into the middle of a dream without detail and then the story moves forward from that point. The dream reflects the mind’s want to resolve a situation as opposed to creating a story.
The person who is dreaming this play must be taken into account in order to recognize why this play is here in the first place as a dream. Dreams are taken from recent