By Kenneth Pickering (auth.)
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THIS seventy eight web page ARTICLE was once EXTRACTED FROM THE booklet: Plutarch's Lives: V12 Harvard Classics, through Plutarch . to buy the total booklet, please order ISBN 0766181782.
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He conveys his . continuing sense of disorientation as he proclaims The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was. (207-10) and ap Elizabethan audience would have recognised this as a confused misquotation of the Bible The eye hath not seen, and the ear hath not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 9) But the profundity of Bottom's dream is captured in the ballad which he hopes Peter Quince will write - profound because it 'hath no bottom' and yet very much his.
Lysander's behaviour is aggressive but interspersed with attempts to remind Demetrius that he can now have Hermia and to convince Helena that he loves her. He cannot understand Demetrius's change of heart. Demetrius realises now that his infatuation with Hermia was a foolish, temporary thing and that he has really loved Helena all along. Indeed, he loves her constantly from now on. His situation is greatly complicated by the unreasonable behaviour of Lysander who, not content with taking Hermia to the brink of marriage, has now started an affair with Helena.
Audience sympathy is undoubtedly with the two women. We can genuinely admire the way in which Helena handles the situation following Lysander's declaration of love and Hermia awakes from one nightmare to find herself in another; the audience are aware of the painful discovery about the unfaithfulness of her lover which she has yet to make. It is as if dreams are already proving more reliable guides to the truth than 'reality' and reason. 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).