Essay about A Midsummer Night ' s Dream and Moon

Submitted By andyd2585
Words: 665
Pages: 3

Andrew Denney Eng.102-35 Dr. Fisher Shakespeare 4-1-15

The Moon Doth Shine The brilliance of Shakespeare’s “A Mid Summer Night’s Dream” continues to transcend through time. Multiple readings and viewing performances of the play have given further respect to the motifs and themes that ascend from the page to the readers and audiences imagination. The most striking of all is the diverse symbolism brought on by the moon. The moon is not purely part of the background of the play, it represents love, the passing of time, and is seen as an effective emblematic compulsion that determines and effects characters behavior. Its image shows up all over the play, which emphasizes its importance, but its meaning is never the same for each character. When we first hear about the moon in the play it is used to mark the passage of time. In Theseus’ opening speech he complains that time is passing by too slowly and he blames the moon for having to wait four whole days for he and Hyppolyta to get married. He complains to her saying, “Now, Fair Hyppolyta, our nuptial hour/ Draws on a pace. Four happy days bring in/ Another moon. But, O, me thinks how slow/ This old moon wanes. She lingers my desires/” (1.1.1). The moon here not only represents the passage of time but that all things, like the phases of the moon, change over time. In the same opening scene the moon represents love and relationship. Impatient Theseus really wants to sleep with his bride to be. Theseus then invoked the moon as a kind of witness to the pleasures that will happen on their wedding night. He implores, “Four nights will quickly dream away the time/ And then the moon, like a silver bow/ Now; bent in heaven, shall behold the night of our solemnities/” (1.1.8). This moment implies that the moon is connected to the union of lovers. Not just in marriage but in body. The moon is also often associated with fertility and chastity. It is fitting that Theseus blames the moon for his loveless nights, when he later in the scene warns Hermia about becoming a nun. Theseus declares that it is no fun, “To live a barren sister all your life/ Chanting faint hymns to the cold and fruitless moon/”(1.1.74). It is common in this setting of ancient Greece for the moon to represent Diana, the goddess of virginity. The contrast of virginity within the symbolism of the moon is