In the excerpt from The Terrors of the Night Or, a Discourse of Apparitions Nashe argues his beliefs on dreams. He poses the main questions of, “What is the nature of dreams and what results from them?” Nashe possesses an authoritative tone and offers many critical opinions on dreams. In his opinion “A Dream is nothing else but the Echo of our conceits in the day” (par. 8), which means that dreams are caused by our conscious thoughts. Nashe considers these thoughts to continue past the day time and into the night time where the thoughts are overly intensified and made into dreams. He believes that physical surroundings cause an intensified dream and that any disturbances during sleep, such as rumbling, would cause us, for example, to “dream of wars” (par. 10), which is an extremely amplified imagining compared to a small noise. He supports that dreams are an unexplainable, confused medley of imaginings that are jumbled together. Nashe believes that these disorganized thoughts are unreliable in uncovering true desires and that any negative results caused by dreams “hath no little predominance” (par. 12). This expresses his judgmental perspective: that even the worst of dreams have no means for interpretation since they are caused by the surrounding environment and are therefore untrue. He strongly reinforces his belief that dreams have no significant effect on reality.
While Nashe suggests that dreams do not have an effect on the lives of individuals, A Midsummer Night’s Dream introduces its own perspective that dreams are indeed very powerful. The play raises new questions such as, “What is the nature of love?” and “What are the powers of dreams?” that clash with Nashe’s beliefs. The play uses dreams to demonstrate the similarities between love and imagination. The play relays the message that love is like a dream in the sense that love is irrational, uncontrollable, and unaffected by reason. The human subconscious formulates raw ideas that seem to be random, but while asleep, the brain tries to make sense of all the thoughts, creating a situation or a dream. Many people believe that dreams express true wishes and desires through significant symbols since the actual thoughts may be repressed during the day. This causes people to interpret their own dreams and come to the conclusion that there is some deeper meaning. The play shows that dreams are powerful because the characters have a unique understanding of their dreams that they allow to create a newer attitude in their daily lives. Nashe describes dreams as an “idle childish invention” (par. 8) that has no effect on reality, but in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the characters go through changes due to the power of their imaginings that reveal some truths about their reality.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream reveals the childish nature of love by depicting the impulsiveness of Lysander and Hermia. In the beginning of the play, Lysander is madly in love with Hermia. The play represents this as the purest form of love because there is nothing forcing them to love each other, they just do. This relationship is not able to exist in Athens because law and reason outweigh emotions. Hermia’s father, Egeus, decides for Hermia to marry Demetrius and goes to the court to ask Theseus, the duke, to force Hermia to abide by his authority. Lysander says to Hermia that if she loves him, then she should run away into the forest, with him, to get married in secret. Here, the play shows that love is a childish and unreasonable emotion. Children have no sense of rationality; they do what they want when they want. For example, if a parent tries to prevent their child from having a cookie, the kid would do anything it takes to get what they desire. The child would cry nonstop or try to grab one when the parent is not looking. In the same sense, Lysander and Hermia act immature and devise an irrational plan to escape the laws of Athens so they can continue their love in