Silvana Borutti

Threshold Experiences in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Keywords: Dream, Threshold, Transformation, Vision, Story of the Dream

In this article the theme of the threshold between visible and invisible, day and night, reality and dream is taken as the compositional rule of Shakespeare’s text. Considering the dream in its most general meaning – that is, as an operator of transitions, translations, transformations – the article develops two lines of analysis of the text: oneiric transformation as vision, and story as what remains of the dream. Dream is analysed first as a centrifugal force which disrupts reality by multiplying visions. The characters experience the transformation of their gaze via a threshold creature, Puck, and in a threshold situation, the dream. The story of the dream is then analysed as what remains on waking: as the atmosphere of the dream persists in the reticent quality of the lovers’ stories and in the sublime quality of the story of Bottom’s «most rare vision».

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