May 26 2017

The lunatic, the lover and the poet / Are of imagination all compact:

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

Paraphrase Theseus’ speech at the beginning  Act V, scene i.  

Then, analyze it.  Take your time.  This is a complicated speech.  Explain what you think Shakespeare is really trying to teach the audience member or reader in this speech.

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English, and don’t forget to respond to at least one other classmate’s response in this thread.

MND #5
 


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Posted May 26, 2017 by equinson in category Midsummer Night's Dream

28 thoughts on “The lunatic, the lover and the poet / Are of imagination all compact:

  1. tarika1

    Lovers and madmen have such similar brains,
    Such simple fantasies, they imagine
    More than cool reason ever comprehends.
    The madman, the lover and the poet
    Are all of imagination:
    They see more devils than hell can hold,
    That is, the madman: the lover, all as crazy,
    See Helen’s beauty in in the light:
    The poet’s eye,
    Glances from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies from
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s imagination
    Gives them life and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.
    Such tricks have a strong imagination,
    That if it would not have some joy,
    It comprehends someone who gives them joy
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush spooked a bear!

    I think in this speech, Shakespeare is trying to say love drives people mad. He compares a lover, a madman, and a poet. Comparing a lover and a madman could mean that love drives people crazy and people should go for more as he says, “Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend”. Also, comparing a lover and a poet can show how a lover becomes a poet when they are in love. But the one comparison I do not understand is the poet and the madman. It might be referencing Shakespeare himself and how he is a poet and a madman in writing plays, which would make the poet-lover comparison make more sense because of the love themed sonnets he wrote.

    Reply
  2. avae1

    Lovers and madmen have such exciting brains,
    Such creative imaginations that fear
    More than logic and reason could ever understand.
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    Are all made up solely of imagination.
    One sees more devils than all of hell could hold:
    That is the madman. The lover, who is equally as insane,
    Sees the beauty of Helen in the likes of Egypt.
    The poet’s eye, in a frenzy examines,
    As it looks from heaven to earth, from earth back to heaven,
    And as their imagination grows,
    They form into things unknown, the poet uses his pen,
    To turn the fantasies into shapes and even gives nothing
    A home and a name.
    These tricks have strong imagination
    That, if it would but grasp some joy,
    It includes the carrier of that joy.
    Or in the night, if it imagines some fear,
    How easy can a bush be mistaken for a bear!

    Shakespeare uses Theseus’ speech to convey the similarity between three types of people. The one thing the madman, the lover, and the poet all have in common is their ability to access their wild imaginations. The lunatic can view horrible scenes from the depths of hell, the lover can see beauty and infatuation everywhere, and the poet can travel between worlds. However, what the poet does differently is he takes his bizarre fantasies and with his pen as his outlet, writes them down. The poet creates stories from his own imagination, and turns them into something that may seem like reality. That is the trickery and the fault of the poet’s originality, that it can evoke apprehension of something that is not really there.

    This speech also reveals one of the possible themes in the play, which is illusion vs. reality. The madman, the lover, and the poet, all possess this quality of an intense imagination, but too much fantasizing can have a negative effect. Once beliefs are set and stories are made, some have trouble distinguishing between the two, illusion and reality. Shakespeare highlights the fact that although having the whimsy and creativity of a story character is pleasant, one should be certain the imagination is not consuming them to the point of confusion. An equal balance of logic and fantasy is encouraged to avoid deceit and trickery.

    Reply
  3. Toa Neil

    Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
    More than cool reason ever comprehends.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are of imagination all compact:
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
    That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
    The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
    Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.
    Such tricks hath strong imagination,
    That if it would but apprehend some joy,
    It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

    Basically Theseus is saying that there are many people in this world and that we all do different things. But we are all irrational and that is what bind us as human beings.

    Reply
    1. francescaa

      Yes. I suppose what Theseus is saying here is that humans are imperfect creatures and it is normal not go a bit insane from time to time.

      Reply
  4. ilyssal

    Lovers and madmen have such common minds
    Such unique creations that learn
    More than anyone can understand
    Everyone
    Everyone is a development of imagination
    One sees more evil and hatred
    That is the madman. The lover, mad as well
    Sees beauty, and hop
    The poet’s eye, though, sees
    And as their perspective changes,
    The poet uses his words
    To turn the fantasies into shapes and even gives nothing
    A meaning
    These tricks have strong imagination
    That one can learn to enjoy

    In these lines spoken by Theseus, he is emphasizing that nobody’s perfect. We are all equal and we are all unique and different in our own ways. Change is respected, individuality is key. Everyone has imperfections, but in the end we are all equal. Everybody’s somebody’s everything and we must support each other always. Theseus wants everyone to know that we thrive off of the people around us. We learn from our peers, our family, and our friends who we hold close to our hearts.

    Reply
  5. charlottes

    “Lovers and madmen have brains of the same
    All the fantasies, that understand
    More than calm reasoning ever comprehends
    The crazy one, the lover and the poet
    Are of imagination, all compact
    They see more devils than a wide hell can hold
    That is, the crazy one: the lover, all as frantic
    Sees Helena’s beauty in the brow of Egypt
    The poet’s eyes, in fine situation
    A look from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven
    And as imagination comes forth
    The not known shape of things, a poems pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives an airy nothing
    The local habitat and a name
    Such tricks have a big imagination
    That if it would but understand some happy
    It understands the carrier of that joy
    Or in the night, imagining some terror
    How simple is a shrub supposed to be a bear!”

    In this speech, Shakespeare could be trying to tell us many things. The one that is most obvious is that sometimes love causes people to go crazy.The words “madmen” and “lover” are usually used in the same sentence or phrase. The speech includes things about imagination and how “such tricks” have imaginations so big, like lovers or madmen, or even poets. Some may think that some poets are mad men when the write about how insane and crazy love is. The gist of the whole thing is that lovers and madmen and poets are not different at all. They all have the say way of thinking.

    Reply
  6. faithw

    Lovers and Madmen rarely use the logical aspect of their brain
    They see fantasies that
    Sane people can’t comprehend
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    Are all ruled by their strong imagination
    Lunatics see devils everywhere they look
    Lovers, just as crazy, see Helena as the most beautiful woman in the world
    Poets are always looking around as if in a fit
    Confusing reality with imagination
    And write stories about things that do not exist
    Such people have a vivid imagination
    When they feel the slightest amount of joy,
    They believe a higher power allowed them to be happy
    Or in the night, when they are fearful,
    They imagine a bush to be a bear!

    In Theseus’ speech, Shakespeare tried to convey ideas about reality versus imagination. Theseus said that lovers, madmen, and poets are similar in the sense that they view the world through the eyes of their strong emotions and imaginations. Theseus claimed that these types of individuals are incapable of recognizing reality. People, who are obsessed and live in imaginary worlds such as those where monsters roam, may see the world in bold and fascinating ways, but lack the skills to view their environment in a more reasonable and accurate manner. Shakespeare tried to communicate the theme that imagination changes people’s perspectives about reality and the world around them.

    Reply
  7. francescaa

    The brains of lovers and madmen do not think with logic
    All the crazy fantasies, they comprehend
    More than us, sane people, could ever understand
    The lunatic, love and the poet
    Are entirely made up of imagination
    One sees more devils than hell can hold
    That is the madman, but the lover is just as insane
    That he sees the beauty in Helen’s unattractive face
    The poet’s eye, he sees
    Earth and heaven
    And as his imagination expands
    It writes of things unknown
    These dreams are turned into shapes
    A house and a name
    These things allow imagination to fly
    That it would keep some joy
    It understands how to carry that joy
    Or at night, imagine the fear
    How easy it is to mistaken a bush for a bear!

    In Theseus’ speech, Shakespeare reveals that many emotions and behaviors are related. One of the first statements Theseus makes is that lovers are just as crazy as “madmen”. Based upon events we have read about in this play and the ones of Romeo and Juliet, I think that Theseus has a very valid point. Your heart becomes so attached to this person in which you “love”, that you end up doing things that you otherwise would have not done. For example, Romeo would have never gone into Capulet’s garden in the middle of the night if it weren’t for Juliet. Within minutes of meeting her, Romeo became so emotionally attached that he was willing to risk his life just to see her. The same story happens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To escape the Athenian law, Hermia and Lysander created a plan to flee the city and go into the woods. I doubt that Hermia and Lysander would do such a thing if the were given a different set of circumstances. All in all, in Theseus’ speech, Shakespeare told the reader that love will change you.

    Reply
  8. maddy

    Lovers and fools alike share such ardent minds,
    Such exceptional fantasies, that are regarded as incomprehensible
    In the regards of those who are guided by logic.
    The fool, the lover, the poet
    Are all led by their untamed imaginations:
    A fool relentlessly claims to envision devils and monsters,
    The lover is as nonsensical as the fool,
    For he will view a woman of Helena’s swarthy appearance to be the most beauteous:
    Poets look about in a persistent state of frenzy,
    He confuses the ordinary with the extraterrestrial;
    And writes of nonexistent figments.
    All of these figures have such fervent imaginations,
    That when they are in pleasant moods,
    It is assumed this joy is brought unto them by a god or some otherworldly being;
    Or when they are fearful during the nighttime,
    They glance at the shrubbery and mistake it for a bear!

    Within this speech, Shakespeare conveys the similarities between lovers, fools, and poets. He writes of how these figures have vivid imaginations. It is written that a fool will conjure visions of demons from the depths of hell. Shakespeare also writes that a romantic will love in a sense like worship, and become infatuated with someone who is not deemed as beautiful by beauty standards. I regard the description of poets and fools to be the most similar. Likewise fools, poets envision supernatural beings. However, a distinction between fools and poets is that poets write of their figments, while fools speak of theirs. Additionally, fools believe in their hallucinations, and poets utilize their imaginations merely as a creative inspiration for their poems. It is depicted that these figures are all related to one another due to the broad extents of their imaginations, and how disparate their viewpoints are from most viewpoints.

    Reply
  9. caias1

    Lovers and madmen have such strange minds.
    They see things that sane people do not
    Lunatics, lovers, and poets are all guided by their imaginations.
    The lunatics believe they see monsters everywhere
    The lover is just as bad, they think that Helen is the most beautiful women in the world.
    Poets always confuse Earth and Heaven.
    They write about what does not exist
    They assume that a god brings them they’re happiness
    Or, they will look at a bush and imagine that is a bear.

    In this speech, Shakespeare is trying to convey how everyone can be equally insane. He says that lovers are just as bad as madmen, because they see an Egyptian woman as the most beautiful, and madmen see demons everywhere. Both are “ruled by their imaginations.” So is everyone else, like the poets who write about things that “sane” people do not see as real.

    Reply
  10. alexo

    Lovers and madmen have similar brains,
    They see things that normal people do not.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are all the same in thought:
    The madman sees devils more than hell has,
    The lover sees Helen’s beauty,
    The poet sees, in his frenzy,
    From the heaven to the earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as he imagines bodies
    From things unknown, his pen
    Turns them into shapes and gives to airy nothing
    existence and a name.
    These tricks require a strong imagination,
    That if it would understand joy,
    It would understand the bringer of that joy;
    Or in the night, Imagining fear,
    How easily a bush can look like a bear!

    In this speech, Theseus compares the madman to a lover, a comparison that can very well be made. Although most people may see people in love as perfectly sensible and sane, they do act like madmen at times. The amount of conflict and fighting going on between the four lovers is useless, considering how they could”ve solved the problem, kindly and civilly. Following their lovers’ feelings, they yell at each other and fight over who gets who. Insane people get just as mad and serious over things they can fix calmy as well.

    Reply
  11. christophert3

    Lovers and madmen are both crazy,
    they think in such ways,
    that a normal person could never understand.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    all think in a narrow and unchangeable way:
    The lunatic sees everyone as a devil;
    The lover sees his love as the most beautiful in the world;
    The poet’s eye,
    sees all, from heaven to earth;
    And as imagination works
    The unknown, is given shape
    by the poet’s pen
    And gives nothing into something.
    Such things have strong imagination,
    That if it would try being used for joy,
    It would bring much more joy,
    Or if in the night, one is fearful,
    Easily changes a bush into what looks like a bear!

    In this speech, Theseus is comparing lovers with madmen and poets. I believe Shakespeare is trying to show us how when one falls in love, they often don’t think before they do things and act crazy. This is supported by both “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet”. In MND, Helena doesn’t listen to reason when she continues to follow Demetrius around cause she loves him, despite his many threats and the fact that he doesn’t love her. Also, Hermia was going ditch her home where she grew up, forget everything she’d ever known, to run away and be with Lysander. Then, there was Romeo and Juliet who were turning the tables when they decided to love each other despite being from enemy houses. They both didn’t even think twice about killing themselves as well when they thought the other was dead. These are all examples of love leading people to do things they normally wouldn’t.

    Reply
  12. arihantp1

    Lovers and madmen have very similar minds
    Making fantasies that others could not understand
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    Are all influenced greatly by their imagination
    They see more devils than hell could hold
    That is the madman, the lover, the fanatic
    Who saw Helen’s Beauty, in the brow of Egypt
    The poet’s eye, in a frenzy
    Glances from Earth to Heaven, and from Heaven to Earth
    And as the imagination grows
    The poet’s pen creates things that are unknown
    Makes them out of nothing
    Adds context and gives it a name
    Such tricks require a strong imagination
    If the poet wants to spread some joy
    It comprehends some bringer of that joy
    Or in the night, creating some fear
    Creating a bear out of a simple bush!

    Shakespeare is comparing lovers with poets and madmen. Love can cause a perfectly sane man, to go mad, which is demonstrated multiple times in “Midsummer’s Night Dream.” The amount of conflict that occurs between the four levels, which in turn causes the fairy king to intervene is astonishing. These three types of people all have wild imaginations, whether it be seeing demons or fantasizing stories and poems. Love is similar to both poets and madmen, their frantic imaginations defining all their actions, which is the main point of Theseus’s speech.

    Reply
  13. Kat

    Lovers and madmen have such excitable brains,
    The crazy things they think of are incomprehensible for us.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    All have vast imaginations:
    One sees devil like monsters,
    The madman sees how frantic the lover is,
    Helen is not as beautiful as they think:
    A poet always looks crazy,
    The poet always looks from world to world;
    The poet writes about the other worldly things he sees
    This gives the poet such a great imagination,
    When something good happens to them they see it as god helping them;
    But they will not know the difference between good and bad!

    In this speech we see Theseus attempting to figure out what happened with the four lovers, and how they went through a sudden change. Theseus says that the four lovers are madmen, lunatics, and poets. He says they are crazy and see strange things that others don’t. Theseues says that Demetrius sees Helena as a false goddess. He thinks this is the only possible way that Demetrius would stop pursuing Hermia. He thinks that Demetrius has gone mad and sees Helena as more than she actually is.

    Reply
  14. sofiad1

    Lovers and madmen have such overactive brains,
    Making fantasies, that takes
    More than sound reason to understand.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are imagination all in one:
    One sees more evil than vast hell can hold,
    That is, the madman: the lover, frantic,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a rock:
    The poet’s eye, in hectic looking,
    Does look from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination moves forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
    Turns them into shapes and moves to nothing
    A local habitation and a name.
    Such things have strong imagination,
    That if it would but bring some joy,
    It understands some bringer of that joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

    This is saying that lovers, lunitics, annd poets all dream the extremes, and their imaginations make anything possible. It also is pointing out the craziness in their imaginations. “One sees more evil than vast hell can hold.” TThis is the lunitic. These are the people with extemly irrational phobias. They see the evil in everything. But yet, that is most people. Even in todays world, people can only see the bad, aand never the good. And the lover is also everyone. We will all love at some point in our lives, even if that love is blind. And we can all make something out of nothing. This is really aabout how everyone is the same.

    Reply
  15. ivanl

    Lovers and madmen have very similar minds
    Creating fantasies that are unthinkable to us
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    All think in the same way
    The madman see more evil than all of hell can hold
    The poet looks about
    To see what can be transformed into words by his pen
    That can be comprehended into joy
    Or sometimes even fear
    How often a bush is mistaken as a bear!

    Shakespeare is trying to show to us that lovers, madmen, and poets all think in the same way. He explains their wild imaginations, whether it be for writing, for love, or just plain crazy. With these wild imaginations, bad things can occur out of nothing, even it they are not crazy, but just in love. He explains this by saying how easily a bush can be mistaken to be bear.

    Reply
  16. briannag3

    Lovers and madmen are alike,
    Making things up that we don’t understand.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are all the same:
    One sees all the bad things,
    The madman: the lover, in a hurry,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
    The poet takes in the world around him,
    Looking for experiences to be turned into a story.
    It could bring fear, or joy.
    Making something out of nothing!

    Shakespeare is comparing three types of people; lovers, poets, and madmen. He is comparing them, stating that them three all think alike. They all have wild imaginations all for their separate reasons, and explains how they can all make something out of nothing.

    Reply
  17. alekhya

    Lovers and madmen have such similar, strange brains,
    making up things that we, with logic and reasoning, will never be able to understand.
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    all think with their imagination.
    The madman sees the bad things in this world,
    where as the lover, always in a hurry,
    Sees true beauty in a stone:
    The poet transforms ordinary things in our world into words that that tell a story.
    A poet’s words can be understood in different ways,
    whether they bring fear or joy.
    The lover, madman, and poet can turn a harmless bush into a bear!

    Hear Shakespeare compares lovers, poets, and madmen to exemplify how their brains think so differently than the average man who thinks with logic. Here we see again Shakespeare’s theme of lovers making hasty decisions and that love is not at all supported by reason. He says here “the lover, all as frantic, sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:” What he is trying to say is that lovers do not love someone because they are the best option but because they like who they are; which is portrayed when he says that a lover can fall in love with a rock. This theme was also discussed when Lysander says to Helena that his decisions are now guided by logic and he now loves her because she is better than Hermia in all ways.

    Reply
  18. cameronl3

    Lovers and madmen have such overactive brains,
    Creating fantasies, that takes
    More than sound reason to understand.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are imagination all in one:
    One sees more evil than hell can hold,
    That is, the madman: the lover, frantic,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a rock:
    The poet’s eye, in hectic looking,
    Does look from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination moves forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
    Turns them into shapes and moves to nothing
    A local habitation and a name.
    Such things have strong imagination,
    That if it would but bring some joy,
    It understands some bringer of that joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

    Shakespeare tries to say that love sometimes causes people to go mad. He states tht people such as “loves, madmen, and poets@ all see the world through their very creative emotions and imaginations. They are unable to understand the true sense of reality. Although they see the world in such a special way, they still lack the skills of seeing a true and realistic world. The theme of imagination is shown and that it changes the perspective of the way people look at the world.

    Reply
  19. margauxc

    Lovers and madmen have such livid minds,
    Fantasizing sights which logic cannot fathom.
    A poet, a lover, and a maniac
    Share similar states of mind:
    One sees more monsters than there possibly could be,
    And that would be the lunatic: The lover, in fervor alike,
    Sees more beauty than there actually is:
    The poet sees more heaven on Earth than conceivability allows,
    And with his pen marks wonders which do not exist.
    Their imagination deceives them so,
    That if they were to stumble across joy,
    They would assume a force brought upon that joy;
    Or if they were to find themselves fearful of the night,
    Their eyes would discern no difference between a bush and a bear!

    Through Theseus’ monologue, Shakespeare conveys wisdom in regards towards love. Essentially, Theseus is expressing his disbelief in the claims made by the four Athenian lovers. Love and lunacy are emotions which are all too alike and due to this, it’s quite easy to mistaken affection from lunacy. Love is known for driving dreamers to a state of desperation which can be difficult to discern from the ravings of a madman. Primarily though, the audience can conclude from Theseus’ speech that Shakespeare is establishing how trivial the rantings of a person in love can seem to those who live by logic and reason.

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  20. marinas1

    Lovers and madmen both have insane minds,
    Such creative imaginations, that conceive
    More than reason ever understands.
    The madman, the lover, and the poet
    Are all made up of pure imagination.
    One may see more devils than the amount that reside in Hell:
    That is the lunatic. The lover, just as mad,
    Sees Helen of Troy’s beauty as that of a gypsy.
    The poet’s eye, constantly changing its viewpoint,
    Shifts its view from heaven to earth, and then from earth to heaven,
    And as imagination shows itself in different bodies,
    The forms of things alien to us, the poet’s pen
    Contorts them into unrecognizable shapes and gives them zero consistency
    Possibly their names and their habitats.
    Someone that is capable of that must have a powerful imagination
    That, if it would bring some joy,
    It also includes some bringer of that joy.
    Or, in the night, imagining some sort of fear,
    Can easily change a bush into the form of a bear!

    Something quite interesting about this excerpt is the mention of the poet. In the monologue, Theseus says that the poet is constantly making things up, contorting already-foreign ideas into something even stranger. In a way, I feel as if Shakespeare is making fun of himself. After all, he did indeed take the idea of fairies and make his own story about them. This would be changing a main idea into something else, matching exactly what Theseus said. In the end, however, Shakespeare means to say that everyone is the same, even including himself in the mix. This idea would go greatly with another overarching theme in this play: social classes and how they are seen from other standpoints. An motif such as this one is certaintly exemplified in Theseus’s speech, in which he says “‘The lunatic, the lover and the poet are all imagination compact.'”, showing how they are all the same, for they all have imaginations that carry them to other worlds.

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  21. willowm

    Lovers and madmen have such overactive brains,
    Making things up that others don’t understand.
    Lunatics, lovers, and poets
    All have the same overactive imagination:
    A madman sees more devils than in hell: A lover
    Can find beauty in anything:
    A poet’s eye,
    Glances from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And with their imagination poets create stories.
    Such people have such a strong imagination,
    That they believe every moment of joy is thanks to the gods,
    And, imagining some fear,
    Bushes appear to be bears!

    In this speech Theseus compares madmen and lovers. He concludes that they are often the same. Lovers are not always very sensible, as seen in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Romeo and Juliet.” In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, none of the young lovers acted with reason because they were all under a spell. In “Romeo and Juliet” they fought for forbidden love.

    Reply
  22. eshap

    Lovers and madmen have livid minds,
    Such ingenious imaginations, that perceive
    More than reason can ever understand.
    The madman, the lover, and the poet
    Are similar in their state of mind.
    One sees more evils in the world than there actually are:
    That is the case of the madman. The lover, also being mad,
    Sees the beauty of Helen of Troy in the form of a gypsy.
    The poet’s eye, changing its focus often,
    Changes its view from heaven to earth, and from earth to heaven.
    As imagination takes form in different bodies
    The forms of things unreal, the poet’s pen
    Gives imagination form and gives an illusion
    Of their place and name.
    Bringing these imaginations to life takes a strong mind
    That, if it also brought with it joy,
    There is also the one who brings the joy.
    Or during the night, seeing an imagination of fear,
    Can easily change the image a bush into a bear!

    In this except, Shakespeare explores the depths of imagination. He claims that to have such strong illusions, one must have a strong mind behind it, or a reason driving it. Without one’s mind, there would be no possibility of imagination. I found how Shakespeare wrote of the madman, lover, and poet to have similar minds to be interesting. I can see how the lover and the madman have similar minds, as a lover is often driven mad when they are unable to be with the one they love. However, a poet is different in comparison to a lover and a madman. A poet often writes of love, such as Petrarch, and in the case of being a lover, can also be driven to insanity. As a result, the madman, lover, and poet are connected to be the same, driven by something that makes them insane. The insanity then leads to imaginations taking form into things unreal. It can twist a person’s mind into seeing something that isn’t there.

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  23. laurena2

    Lovers and madmen have such similar brains,
    They see the most distant fantasies
    More than reality can ever comprehend.
    The madman, the lover and the poet
    All share an imagination:
    One sees more demons than there are in hell
    That is, the madman:the lover, just as crazy,
    Sees Helen as the fairest of them all:
    In the poet’s eye, in all the chaos,
    Glances from Heaven to Earth, from Earth to Heaven;
    And as imagination grows
    Things unknown, the poet’s pen
    Turns into nothing
    A device and a name.
    That if it would write some joy;
    Or in the night, imagine some fear,
    How easy you can mistake a bush for a bear.

    In this speech, Theseus is explaining how a madman, lover and poet are all similar in the sense that they have crazy imaginations. Being in love can totally change somebody to think and act crazy. It is obvious that madmen are “mad” because they are crazy, however a lover is crazy because their love will overrule and restrictions on reality. If a poet lets his imagination run wild, they may forget about reality and become crazy. Although they seem very different, a madman, lover and poet are actually very similar.

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  24. adam

    Lovers and Madmen think alike
    They see things
    That others do not
    The lunatic, lover and poet
    Created all by imagination
    There are more devils than lovers
    They are all frantic
    And see Helen’s beauty
    The poet can see
    Earth and Heaven
    And as he expands his mind
    He creates the unthinkable
    With such unusual traits
    And when they are pleased
    Joy is brought to them by an important spirit
    And when at night time in fear,
    A bush can imitate a bear.
    This speech is complex yet slightly logical. It shows how different people are and how different ideas sprout from different types of people and personalities. Change is usual and everyone can do what they desire. Everybody’s ideas sprout and live off one another and individuality is key to keep imagination and supernatural characters. Everybody thinks in a different way and that is important to human nature.

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  25. George

    I think that thhe lunatic, the lover, and the poet all have something in common. Their imagination. You see with a lunatic that type of person imagines shapes and images that make that make them do unnatural things ( or things that society would froun apon). However the lover ( in the petrarcan sense) uses their imagination to dream of their love. They love as a passion. Now the poet uses his imagination to tell stories about lovers and lunatics. Sometimes all three could be one person.

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  26. Rebecca F

    Lovers and crazy people both have fizzing brains,
    and shaping fantasies, that understand
    More than level reason can ever understand
    The crazy man, the lover and the poet
    Are all the same in imagination
    One sees more devils than Hell can hold
    He is a madman:The lover, also panicked,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in the brow of Egypt
    The poet’s eye looks around crazily
    Looking from heaven to earth and earth to heaven

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  27. Tyler Newby

    Lovers and men have such similar brains,
    Such strange fantasies, they imagine
    More than reason can comprehend.
    The minds of the lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    Are all made up of imagination.
    The madman sees more devils than hell can hold,
    The lover is just as crazy,
    And sees Helen’s beauty in the light.
    The poet’s eye,
    Glances from heaven to Earth and back;
    And as ideas form
    From nothing, the poet’s pen
    Turns those ideas to shape.
    Some tricks have such strong imagination,
    That it would bring some joy,
    Or in the night, imagining in fear,
    That a bush might be a bear!

    In this speech, Shakespeare is saying that crazy people, lovers and poets have equal amounts of imagination. Madmen have their crazy hallucinations, lovers have their impossible fantasies, and poets get their ideas from nothing. Shakespeare says that all three groups are equally mad, and have equal amounts of imagination.

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