By Kenneth Pickering (auth.)
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Additional resources for A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
232-3) The fear of losing Lysander leads Hermia to imagine that Demetrius has killed him: the fierce jealousy of Oberon and Titania causes each to imagine that the other has been having an affair with Hippolyta or Theseus: the anxieties of each of these characters is such that imagination takes an idea or a small hint and turns it into evidence. It is imagination that brings humans nearest to god-like status for by its power they create something out of nothing. Things that are insubstantial are given form and shape; connections are made between apparently disparate elements.
In place of hyperbole (the device of exaggeration 30 for effect), there is a direct sincerity with a total absence of ornament. Demetrius, the only lover to remain permanently affected by the love juice, is the first to speak at length in this way. He realises that he truly loves Helena, not just as an infatuation through the eye but as a deep emotion of the heart. He presents his dotage on Hermia as a 'sickness' and the restoration of his love for Helena as a return to 'health'. In the same way that the renewed love of Oberon and Titania has brought harmony to the natural world so Demetrius says he has 'come to his natural taste' (172).
Amongst all the changing fortunes of the scene it is worth noting Shakespeare's superb artistry in creating theatrical atmosphere in "a single statement: 'Night and silence' (76). Act III, Scene i Summary Quince, with his group of amateur actors, has chosen the same spot in the wood for his rehearsal and there is no break in the action between this and the previous scene. Titania still sleeps at the rear of the stage as the Mechanicals enter, remarking on the suitability of the place with a natural acting area and a hawthorn bush from behind which they can make their entrances.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare by Kenneth Pickering (auth.)