The moon as a symbol in “ a midsummer night’s dream”
In chinese culture, moon mainly symbolize perfect ,fullness and homesickness. On the other hand, as one of classic dramas represented Western culture, a midsummer night’s dream reveals many meanings of the moon variable. According to statistics, the word ‘moon’ is used 28 times in this play without counting compounds as ‘moonlight’ or ‘moon shine’. The moon symbolizes romantic, chastity, lust, dreaming and the lover`s erratic behavior.
The whole background as the title are set at night, which refers to the moon undoubtedly. Only from the title, I can not help feeling the romantic and mysterious flavour. Related to moon with stories about fairies, kings, queens and lovers are happening in such atmosphere, it created a romantic environment as we enjoy the play. It`s also fascinating that many main scenes of the paly, like their dreaming, entangled chaos climax, lust and wonderful marriage can be tracd to the presence of the moon.
At the beginning of the play in Act 1, Theseus looks forward to marry his fair bride-to-be, hippolyta,and blames the moon moves as slow as “this old moon wanes!” which makes he has to wait for four days. In this case, the moon symbolizes chastity because the moon is often ralated to Diana,the ancient virgin goddess. As they got married, he can really sleep with hippolyta and enjoy relationship as a couple. Moreover, when theseus warns Hermia about becoming a nun “to live a barren sister all your life, chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon” which are also refer to the virgin huntress.
A Critical Analysis Of A Midsummer Night " sA Critical Analysis Of A Midsummer Night's Dream Mandy Conway Mrs. Guy nes English 12 16 March 2000 A Critical Analysis of? A Midsummer Night? s Dream? William Shakespeare, born in 1594, is one of the greatest writers in literature. He dies in 1616 after completing many sonnets and plays. One of which is? A Midsummer Night? s Dream. ? They say that this ...
In addition, the moon also a symbol of marriage and lust. In Act 1, Hippolyta takes the moon “like a silver bow/New-bent in heaven,shall behold the night/Of our solemnities.” The happy love-birds present the moon should appear in their wedding night as their witness of grand wedding ceremony. The moon show up not only as the unite of Hippolyta and Theseus but also Hermia and Lysander. Acoording to Egeus, Lysander serenaded to Hermia at the window by moonlight. Throughout the whole play, we can figure out scenes that when lovers chase each other around the woods often in the moonlight which imply their sexual desire.
Considering different act of the play and all kids situations, the moon plays distinguish role. Another symbol of the moon occur to the madness. Take one scene in Act 5 as an example, theseus equate the lover and the poet as lunatic “are of imagination all compact”. The word “lunatic” derive from “lunacy” , both related to the other verion of the moon, “lunar”. As all things become odd and vary enormously after four lovers and suitors as well as Titania woke up, it sent us a meassage that sleep in moonlight might induce madness. Lovers are crazy for love while lunatic acknowledge what makes he or she insane.
From my point of view , the last but not the least essential sense about the moon is the force and effect on the erratic behavior of the lovers. Different from chinese culture, which chase full moon as a symbol of success ,unite and perfect. The moon in midsummer night’s dream is waxing and waning,implys fickle and inconstant. The moon`s fickleness reflected the lovers` tendency to fall in and out of love like a bunch of madmen. Neverthless, neither love nor lunar are constant despite everlasting oath you’ve made.
There are tons reference to the moon in “a midsummer night`s dream”. The symbols varies from recurrent circle to love, marriage and the reason of the dreaming. It dwans on me that shakespeare was fond of writing the moon in his play. Yet, in this comdy, it associates the nature with the different steps of human life in such a marvellous dream, that deserves appreciate one more time.