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'Night' in a Midsummer Night's Dream

  • Date Submitted: 01/26/2012 07:13 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.8 
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‘Night’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

      In contemporary usage the word ‘night’ can be presented as a noun with two different meanings. One of them means “the part of every 24 hour period when it is dark and people usually sleep” and the other means “the period of time between the late afternoon and going to bed, the evening”. But how the word ‘night’ is used in Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of his most popular comedies, which is widely performed across the world?
      In the 80’s Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith composed a rock song in which a line goes “because the night belongs to lovers”, and in Shakespeare’s comedy the night really does belong to lovers. The play is about adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, their interactions with the duke and duchess of Athens, Theseus and Hippolyta, and with fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest.
      The word ‘night’ occurs quite a few times within the play. At first, on the very beginning, in the title of the play A Midsummer Night’s dream. Here Shakespeare leaves us to create our own image of what the play is about and the word ‘night’ attached with the word ‘dream’ gives a special harmony. We could assume the action will take place in the midsummer, late at evening or at night. By reading the comedy we see, the play takes action sometime around May Day and not in the midsummer. However, night is the time when the main story happens. And as one of many Slovenian proverbs says “noč ima svojo moč”, which means that the night has its power, Shakespeare leads us through a very magical night.
      The word ‘night’ itself occurs in the play more than 30 times, but its disposition is not equable within the acts. In some it occurs more often than in the others. This could be a result of places where the play takes place.
      In the first act the word appears four times and in its first two appearances the meaning of it is part of the day – evening: “Tomorrow...


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