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.