The lunatic, the lover and the poet / Are of imagination all compact (MND#8)

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 #8
 

32 thoughts on “The lunatic, the lover and the poet / Are of imagination all compact (MND#8)

  1. People in love and crazy people have very strange brains, such weird fantasies, even a sane person can’t understand. The crazy person, the lover and the poet all have the same imagination: the crazy man sees more devils than hell can hold, the lover who is just as frantic only sees beauty, the poet’s eye also in a frenzy, looks from heaven to earth and back again. As an imagination makes unknown things, the poet turns them into shapes and gives them a name. The imagination can trick us at times, and sometimes it brings joy, it also understands the bringer of its joy; or how in the night it brings fear when a bush becomes a bear!

    In this speech, Theseus is talking about imagination. He says how a crazy man, a lover and a poet all have an imagination. He also says the imagination can trick us, bring us joy, and scare us. Shakespeare included this speech because he is adding on the theme of dreaming and imagination. Shakespeare may also relate to the crazy man, the lover, and the poet. He is all of them. The speech says how imagination comprehends the bringer of the joy or fear. This is true because when people daydream in class, they know they aren’t actually in a castle or wherever their mind took them.

    • Great job! I agree that sometimes our imagination can trick us. Expanding on the idea of dreams and imagination, when people dream, it is based on their imaginations which is why kids are more likely to have a dream than adults. Keep up the great work!

  2. 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!
    In other words:
    Lovers and madmen hallucinate about things that sane people just can’t understand. Lunatics, lovers, and poets all are ruled by their overactive imaginations. Some people think they see devils and monsters everywhere and they’re lunatics. Lovers are just as. Poets are always confusing the dull with the spiritual world, and describing things in their writing that simply don’t exist. All these people have such strong imaginations that, when they feel happy, they assume a god or some other supernatural being is bringing that happiness to them. Or if they’re afraid of something at night, they look at the shrubbery and imagine it’s a wild bear!

    In this speech Theseus is talking about creativity and imagination. Poets, lunatics, and lovers are all the same because they have an imagination. When poets write they create these magical and sometimes mystical poems that are brilliant. The poets are perceived as wise because they are creative and are using their imagination to write beautiful poems on paper, piecing each individual word to create a masterpiece. Lunatics are also imaginative and creative because they picture crazy and unexplainable things. Although, I think we are the real lunatics for not being as creative and believing unexplainable things like they do. We perceive them as crazy but really, they just being creative. Lovers are creative when it comes to their love story and their crazy plans which is used to be with their partner. An example of this would be Romeo and Juliet. The line that Theseus is saying is Shakespeare’s way of teaching us to be creative and imaginative just like poets, lunatics, and lovers. People are always so boring in the sense that they don’t get excited over things that can’t be explained. This tags along to the discussion from yesterday, were people call everything unexplainable just a dream when it could be reality. Just think about your ancestors and how they had almost nothing but they found a way to do things. If it wasn’t for their imagination, they would’ve never created things that helped them survive, and inventions that are still used today. We should take note from them and learn how to be creative and not care about the unexplainable part.

    • Great blog! I really like how you addressed the reader and told them to think of their ancestors. It really helps understand your writing more if you can relate to your topic personally. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  3. 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!

    So many dreams await
    More dreams than the mind could comprehend or make sense of
    The crazy, the lover and the writer
    Are all creative with what they do
    They see more evil in the world than there should be
    They are all crazy and frantic
    See her now in a beautiful light
    The artists see things differently
    And think of the power of heaven and earth
    Creativity teaches them
    A poet does things that are unknown and new
    Turns something into nothing
    A local home and name to call
    These ticks have a lot of creativity too
    The would cause some happiness
    But it creates more than that
    But in the night it causes some fear
    How easy something beautiful could become something scary.

    Theseus here is talking a lot about creativity and imagination. What poets create and write is new and innovative for the people who read it and learn about it can learn new things and enhance their knowledge. Theseus, like Shakespeare understands that people enjoy reading creative writing and works of art. He sees the beauty of art and how it matters, Shakespeare wants to bring light to the fact that art is important and that different art is made due to other people’s imaginations and creativity. Theseus is inspired by imagination and is a lot like Shakespeare. I like to think of Shakespeare having had a lot of creativity when writing A Midsummer Night’s Dream because he created a world with fairies, leaders, creatures and normal people. There is magic and grace in his imagination and he brings that through in his own writing as well.

    • Wow. I never thought of Theseus’ speech as talking about creativity, or that he was talking about the arts. Nor did I think of that line as them seeing things differently. I think you realized a lot of what Shakespeare was trying to teach us.

  4. Lovers and madmen cook up such strange things in their brains,

    Such disfigured fantasies, that are more complicated
    Than cool reason can ever comprehend.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are all together in imagination:
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
    That is, the madman: the all-crazed lover,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in an Egyptian’s face:
    The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
    Glances from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination brings forth
    Things with unknown forms, the poet’s plen
    Turns them into shapes and gives to empty nothingness
    A name and setting.
    People have such strong imagination,
    That if they would obtain some joy,
    They would believe that a god is the one giving them joy,
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy it is to mistake a bush for a bear!

    In Theseus’ speech above in the beginning of Act V, scene i, Shakespeare furthers his points about dreams and imagination. Theseus states, just like Bottom had earlier, that dreams are too confusing for anyone to comprehend using reason. Continuing on, he compares lunatics, lovers and poets in that they all have great imaginations and see unbelievable things. The lunatic sees devils everywhere, more than hell can ever have. The lover sees beauty in the brow of an Egyptian, and back then most people probably didn’t think Egyptians were attractive. And finally, he says the poet is the one who turns these vivid dreams into physical things. They give ‘airy nothing’ a name and setting. We saw this earlier in the play, when Bottom had just woken up. He expressed that his dream was so confusing that he would have to find Quince to turn it into a ballad for him. Shakespeare also may be making a connection to himself. In writing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he is turning these strange dreams into an actual tangible story. After all, dream is in the title. Overall, he is saying that our imaginations let us see more unusual things in the world.

    • I liked reading your blog. Your interpretation of the text was interesting to read and gave me new insight into the text. You also successfully answered the prompt. I look forward to seeing what you may write about next.

  5. Lovers and madmen have very crazy minds,
    They live in a different world, that
    Makes them forget all reason
    The crazy man, the lover, and the poet
    Are all more similar than you think
    One of them sees horrific sights all the time
    That one is the madman:, the lover, with similar craze
    See’s Helen’s beauty like the brow of Egypt
    The poet’s sights, which are in a craze
    Looks from earth to heaven, from heaven to earth
    And as his imagination overtakes him
    He writes down magnificent things, as his pen
    Creates these beings and brings them to life
    A close living and a name
    Makes these tricks become imagination
    Helps some people understand happiness
    Then helps understand the person who makes that happiness
    Or when it’s night, it is easy to fear
    As imagination makes a bush become a bear

    Shakespeare is talking about imagination in this speech. There is a madman, a lover, and a poet, and they all have something in common – imagination. The madman’s imagination is devilish and horiffic, as it is filled with dark and dangerous thoughts. The lover’s imagination is happy and joyous, as it is filled with dreams and fake moments of them being with their desired partner. The poet’s imagination takes on many different forms, and it is the most expansive and complicated of all. The poet creates new beings and creatures and ideas whenever he puts pen to paper and writes. He brings impossible things to life, and his imagination does not have a limit. He is also saying that imagination can trick us or fool people into doing foolish things. A madman could harm others, and a lover could damage himself chasing whoever they want.

  6. In Act 5 scene 1 of a Midsummer Night Dream, Theseus describes people in love as: “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!” When paraphrased: “Lovers and madmen imagine things that most people cannot understand. Lunatics, lovers, and poets all have this strange imagination. The lunatic sees only devils and monsters that can only exist in hell. The lover is just as crazy and can spot his love from the top of Egypt. The poet is very confusing and can see mystical spirits from heaven. The poet’s imagination makes these spirits into something and gives it a name. You can only do this if you have a strong imagination. This might create some joy and someone would spread this joy. Or if they’re afraid of something at night, they look at the plants and imagine it’s a wild bear!” Theseus’s speech describes the imagination of lunatics, lovers, and poets. He is saying that poets are wise when they use their imaginations, lovers are overdramatic and lunatics hallucinate and think of the scariest things. Who is Theseus referring to as lunatics and poets? When Shakespeare writes this, is he really complimenting himself by describing the poet in Theseus’s speech?

  7. Lover’s and madmen have crazy minds
    Such fantasies that are complicated
    that reason and logic cannot figure out.
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
    are all made up of imaginations and fantasies.
    One sees more evils than hell can gold
    That is the madman. The lover, is also frantic
    and sees Helen’s beauty in the brow of Egypt.
    The poet also sees crazy things,
    he glances from heaven to earth, from earth to
    heaven,
    and as imagination comes through
    things that do not exist, the poet’s pen
    turns them to shapes, and gives non-existent things
    a local habitation and a name.
    Strong imagination has lots of tricks
    That, if it would help understand joy
    then it helps to understand the carrier of that joy.
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    a bush becomes a bear!

    Shakespeare is clearly talking about imagination in this phrase. Lovers, madmen and poets all have a strong sense of imagination. First, madmen can see all the evils in life. The lovers can see beauty in anything. However, the poet is what Shakespeare mostly focuses on. When Shakespeare writes “Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to / heaven”, he is saying that poets have the power to see reality, and imagination. They have the ability to go back and forth, and glance back and forth. Poets can give non-existent things life, and can create something from thin air. Shakespeare is describing the power of imagination. In a way, he is complimenting himself, as he is also a poet. He is saying a lot of good things about poets, including himself. However, while imagination can bring happiness, it can also bring fear. It can make a bush become a bear, in other words, it can make things seem ugly when it is not. It can manipulate people’s minds.

  8. “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!” (V.i.4-23)

    Paraphrased:
    Lovers and madmen have such strange minds,
    Such creative imaginations, that they aren’t understood
    By any reasonable people.
    Lunatics, lovers, and poets
    Are made up entirely of their own imagination.
    Some people think they see devils everywhere—
    They’re madmen. Lovers are just as crazy,
    Finding the beautiful in the ugly.
    The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
    Looks from heaven to Earth, and Earth to heaven.
    And as his imagination creates
    New creatures, the poet
    Gives them a body and gives, to what was once nothing but his imagination,
    A place to live and a name.
    People have such strong imaginations,
    That if someone would experience joy,
    He would imagine someone/something gave him that joy.
    Or, in the night, when someone is fearful,
    He might confuse a bush with a bear!

    In this quote, Theseus is talking about how imagination can be crazy and irrational, and how the theme of imagination relates to love. He is talking about how a lover, a poet, and a lunatic all have imaginations that run wild. I find this analogy to be slightly insulting to the four lovers as well as to himself. I mean, comparing someone who loves another person to a lunatic is a bit much. Maybe that comparison is just to put emphasis on the idea that love can make people irrational. We saw this earlier in the [play when Helena was plotting against Hermia because Helena was in love with Demetrius (and still is), but Demetrius was in love with Hermia. Poets use their imagination to create stories and epics, full of magical and mythical creatures. However, although lovers, poets, and lunatics may have crazy imaginations, they have different types of imaginations. A lunatic is insane, and his imagination conjures images of devils and monsters. Poets find legendary creatures, whether they be good or evil. Lovers see only the good in everything. Like seeing “Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt.” But, at the end of the day, we all have our own imaginations. There is no such thing as a perfectly logical person. Our own imaginations can get the best of us. They can make us believe things that aren’t real, or things that just don’t make any sense at all.

  9. In the start of Act V, scene i of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus says the following:

    “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!” (V. i. 4-23).

    When paraphrased:

    “Lovers and madmen have such crazy brains,
    Such hallucinations, that
    sane people will never understand.
    The lunatic, lover and the poet
    Are all ruled by their imagination:
    They see devils and monsters everywhere,
    Lovers are also madmen: just as frantic,
    Only seeing beauty:
    The poet, too, always looking everywhere,
    Caught between illusion and reality, reality and illusion;
    And as imagination creates things
    That are not real, a poet writes
    Of things that do not exist
    They put a name and a face to the imagination.
    The imagination is often a trickster.
    It also brings joy,
    And comprehends some bringer of that joy;
    Imagination can also cause fear in people’s hearts, especially at night,
    When they imagine a bear out of what is really a bush!”

    What Shakespeare says here is intriguing. In his own play, he effectively makes fun of himself. He takes a jab at being a poet, even though he is one. He likens them to insane people who can’t get their heads out of the clouds. I also find it interesting that Theseus chooses to focus on the idea of imagination, when in the same scene Puck talks of dreaming. Both are closely linked, and this adds to the theme we discussed about in class. Another thing Theseus does is make imagination an animate being. He says that its clever and is a trickster, bringing life to an idea. Theseus can even be compared to Bottom. Just as before, both don’t believe or can’t interpret their dreams/imagination. However, Theseus tries to look deeper into the meaning of imagination, while Bottom does not, and instead is ready to put his dream on display. To sum up, this speech by Theseus once again linked to the theme of dreams and imagination, and in writing the speech, Shakespeare makes fun of himself.

    • Great Job, Matt! Your blog was excellent and your points were interesting. I agree that Shakespeare is making fun of himself. Keep up the great work!

  10. Lovers and madmen have angry minds,
    Such silly fantasies, that put a stop too
    Everything common sense understands.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    All have vivid imaginations:
    One thinks the situation is worse than it really is,
    Which is the madman: the lover, just as chaotic,
    Sees Helena’s beauty among the people:
    The poet, also frantic,
    Looks between heaven and earth;
    And as imagination takes the lead
    It forms indescribable things, the poet
    Gives them a reality that is a fake
    Place to stay and a name.
    Such ways have a big imagination,
    That if it were to stop some joy,
    It would include the origin of that joy;
    Or in the night, makes people fear,
    And think a bush is a bear.

    Here, Theseus is telling us about imagination and the things it does. Imagination can lead a poet to write amazing things, a lover to love something that is not beautiful on the outside, and a lunatic to be chaotic. He is saying that imagination can cause us to think we see strange things. Our imagination separates the real world and the dream one. When someone dreams, strange and unrealistic things happen. This is similar to imagination. Theseus is saying that imagination and dreams are very similar. Therefore, facts and reality are also paired. This ties in with the concept of duality. There is a lot of magic, and the lovers think that what they went through was a dream, which goes into the imagination part. The reality that they were made to believe was not true. Shakespeare is trying to tell us that sometimes, dreams are truer than real life. The lovers were told that nothing happened and that it was a dream. That is not true. What the lovers “dreamed” was the thing that was the truth. Shakespeare brought up a very good point. Anything can be possible. The lovers did not believe what they saw because it was explainable. But sometimes even explainable things happen.

  11. In Act 5, scene i, in A Mid Summer Night, Theseus says a speech about poets saying,

    “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!”

    When paraphrased:
    Lovers and crazy people have such crazy minds that no one sane can understand them.
    Lunatics, lovers and poets, have a wild imagination that they see monsters everywhere.
    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are crazy,
    They see Helens beauty in Egypt (they find beauty in a disregarded thing)
    The poet’s eye are looking around everywhere trying to form things out of nothing.
    They have such wild imaginations that if something good was happening in their lives, they would say that someone or something bigger had brought it to them.
    Or if something bad had happened to them, they could easily say that a bush is a bear!

    Imagination plays a huge part in Thesues’ speech and in this entire play. First, it must have took Shakespeare a lot of imagination to create this play and the characters and the entire plot line. Also, Theseus talked about how imagination and love sometimes coincide, maybe they sometimes collide, making a huge mess of things. As he describes the lovers, he describes them as “crazy, and lunatics.” In a way he is correct, when Demetrius and Lysander were both under the power of the nectar, Helena and Hermia were at each other’s throats. They were bickering and it was all because of Lysander’s and Demetrius’ “love” for Helena. Also, after I read the blog prompt, I read Matt’s blog, and he mentioned how Shakespeare was poking fun at his profession as poets are crazy. I agree however; Shakespeare is still complimenting himself in that sense. He says, “ The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen/ Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing” Poets come form something out of nothing and that is something to admire. Shakespeare has a lot of skill and imagination to create plays like A Mid Summer Night’s Dream.

      • I agree, poets are very admirable. However you said, they form something out of nothing. I would just like to add that although I agree that they are admirable, I think that poets don’t form things out of nothing. They form it out of experiences and feelings. Great job!

  12. Lovers and madmen have boiling brains,
    Such creative imaginations, that imagine
    More than what reason can ever understand.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are all made up by imagination:
    One can see more demons than hell could ever hold.
    That is, the madman can: the lover, just as insane,
    Sees the beauty of Helen in an unattractive face:
    The poet’s eye, looking around wildly,
    Looks from the earth to heaven and back;
    And as fictional characters move,
    The item that forms the unknown, the poet’s pen,
    Turns the unknown into different shapes and gives it
    A name, environment, and personality/
    These tricks has a strong imagination,
    That if it can understand joy,
    It can understand the giver of joy;
    Or during the night, they imagine fear,
    It is easy to make a bush seem like a bear!

    In this part of the scene, Theseus does not believe the story of the lovers, and thinks of it as a part of their imagination, or a dream. To prove his point, he compares a lover to a poet and lunatic. He also says that a lover sees the beauty of Helen as unattractive, proving that the imagination makes someone who is attractive to one person may be unattractive to another. He says that the human mind is imagining their emotions, which caused them to act a specific way. In this speech, Shakespeare I think is basically questioning the universe. We could all be in a dream for all we know. We all make our decisions by what we believe, which is connected to our imagination. Even in a play, Shakespeare can manage to question life.

  13. In Act V, Scene i of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Theseus says:

    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!

    Paraphrased:
    Lovers and madmen hallucinate and think strangely
    Such hallucinations that
    sane people just can’t understand.
    Lunatics, lovers, and poets
    all are ruled by their overactive imaginations.
    they see devils and monsters everywhere—and they’re lunatics.
    Lovers are just as crazy,
    Only seeing and focusing on beauty
    Poets are always looking around,
    confusing the worldly/earthly with the otherworldly,
    And as imagination creates events
    That arent real, a poet writes
    Of things that don’t exist
    They put a place to live and name to the imagination
    Which oftentimes fools you
    They also bring joy,
    And comprehends some bringer of that joy,
    Or cause fear at night
    When they imagine that a bush is a bear!

    In the story, Hippolyta is disgusted by the pathetic acting, but Theseus argues that even the best actors create only a brief illusion. He explains to her that the worst actors must be assisted by an imaginative audience. He was desperate to impress Hippolyta at this point and wanted her to find the play as enjoyable as possible. Our imaginations are endless and can be filled with just about anything. Our imaginations are like different universes that are similar to dreams. Theseus wants Hippolyta to get the most out of the play by using her imagination to cover up the horrible acting. Shakespeare is trying to say that sometimes your imagination can bring out the best in the world or in other people.

  14. At the beginning of Act V, scene i, Theseus says,

    “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!”

    Paraphrased, this is,

    Lovers and crazy people have strange minds,
    Such weird fantasies
    that regular minds can’t comprehend.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are all of crazy minds:
    One sees more devils than hell can hold,
    That is the madman: the lover, just as insane,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
    The poet’s eye, while we are on the topic,
    Talks of things from heaven and earth, back and forth;
    And as imagination makes this happen
    It makes unreal ideas, the poet’s pen
    Makes them seem true and gives fake things
    A purpose.
    Such things show strong imagination,
    That if it would experience joy,
    It comprehends a reason for the joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    They imagine a bush being a bear!

    Here, Shakespeare is talking a lot about insanity, but is relating it to common people of the time. A lover, a poet, and a lunatic. What I noticed is that Shakespeare himself was all three of these things. He was a lover to his wife, Anne Hathaway. He was a poet in his plays. He seems to be a lunatic since so many people die in his plays. It makes me wonder, when writing this was Shakespeare having some self-realization? It would be hard for Shakespeare to keep his life out of plays, so it would make sense for him to be referring to himself. We only really see Shakespeare’s political views coming through in his plays, like strong females. We only see his personal life come out in poems. I think it would be interesting to explore where Shakespeare may be putting in aspects of his own personal life into his plays.

  15. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,/
    Lovers and madmen have such wild brains,
    Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend/
    That creating fantasies, that are conceived
    More than cool reason ever comprehends./
    More than logic could ever understand.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet/
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are of imagination all compact:/
    Are made up of imagination:
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,/
    One of them sees more demons than hell can have,
    That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,/
    That is the madman: the lover, just as insane,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:/
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a gypsy like face:
    The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,/
    The poet’s eye, in chaos moves,
    Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;/
    Does glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies forth/
    And as imagination forms
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen/
    The unknown things form, and the poet’s pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing/
    Makes them into shapes and gives them life
    A local habitation and a name./
    A shelter, and a name.
    Such tricks hath strong imagination,/
    This trick needs imagination,
    That if it would but apprehend some joy,/
    It would conceive some joy,
    It comprehends some bringer of that joy;/
    It includes the bringer of that joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,/
    Or at night, we imagine our fears,
    How easy is a bush supposed a bear!/
    So easily a bush could be mistaken for a bear!

    This speech said by Theseus is all about a human’s imagination. He says that poets, lovers, and madmen create these dreams. The poets write the stories for these fantasies, lovers create heir beauty, and madmen test the limits of how far these visions can go. These imaginations seem so real that we get joy out of them, and they seem so real that we fear them. The creation of fantasies haven’t been understood yet, so Theseus is trying to explain how they are created. Shakespeare wants to explain fantasies, and where they could come from. Although they aren’t real, because we create these visions, they seem real to us like a memory.

  16. 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!

    Such wild imaginations, that take
    More more than logic could ever understand.
    The lunatic, lover and poet
    All have similar imaginations
    One would see more devils there are in hell:
    That one is the madman: the lover is just as insane
    Sees Helen’s beauty in one from Egypt:
    The poet’s eye, when looking all around
    Does look from heaven to earth and from earth to heaven
    And as his imagination grows and comes forward
    The shapes of things that no one has seen
    Turns them into recognizable shapes and gives nothing
    A name and place.
    Such abilities have to have a strong imagination.
    So that they may capture some joy
    It understands the carrier of joy;
    Or at night, imagining something in fear
    One could easily see a bush as a bear?
    The theme of this speech, to me, is that there’s little to no difference between a Lover, Madman, and Poet. He states that all three have wild and free running imaginations, but while the imagination of the Madman manifests into demons who haunt him, the Poet’s imagination manifests itself into shapes and words on paper that give shape to things formally useless. The Lover does not manifest his imagination but channels it into his love. As well as this, at the end of the speech, he says that all three can find more joy in the world, and all three could easily imagine a fear that is not there.

  17. Lovers and madmen have such strange minds,
    Such creative imaginations, that conceive
    More than sheer logic could ever understand.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    All have very similar imaginations:
    One sees more devils than hell could ever hold,
    That is, the madman: the lover, just as insane,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a Gypsy-like face:
    The poet’s eye, in a frenzy rolling,
    Glances from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination brings him
    The idea of unknown things, the poet’s pen
    Turns them into real forms and gives those non-existing things
    A home and a name.
    A strong imagination has such tricks,
    That if it would imagine some joy,
    It grasps the source of that joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush mistaken for a bear!

    I think that Shakespeare is trying to teach the reader about all of the different forms of imagination, and how it can achieve such different things. In the hands of a madman, imagination comes up with frightening things, while in the mind of a lover, it creates beauty in a place you wouldn’t expect it. As for poets, imagination allows him to create things that didn’t exist before, and to give life to them. I think this speech is saying that imagination can be used for anything you want, whether it’s good or bad. It can lead to the creation of beautiful things, while it can also make you see things that aren’t really there, or make you afraid of nonexistent ideas.

  18. People in love and crazy people know and see things regular people just can’t, like fantasies. Lunatics, lovers, and poets all are ruled by their overactive imaginations. some people think they see devils and monsters everywhere—and that makes them lunatics. Lovers are just as crazy, and think a gypsy with dark skin is the most gorgeous woman in the world. Poets are always looking around like they’re confused, confusing the mundane with the otherworldly, and describing things in their writing that simply don’t exist or make sense. All these people have such strong imaginations that, when they feel happy, they assume a god or some other supernatural being is bringing that happiness to them. Or if they’re afraid of something at night, they look at the shrubbery and imagine it’s a wild bear!
    This is a really, really interesting speech made by Theseus. He is explaining the thoughts of the type of people with big imaginations, crazy people, poets, and people in love from an outside perspective. He will never really know the mind of artists or imaginers, but he assumes. He does this before the show, and it shows that he understands the other side of the mind. This is also interesting because we are reaching the end of the play, and we have experienced all of the chaos are wonder of life that seems like a dream. Shakespeare himself was an artist, and he was the one who created a magnificent story with fairies, donkeys, and magic. He himself knows what goes on in an imaginers brain, and that is what makes this monologue even better. I think that we can really analyze this play even more if we talk about the creative side of the brain, and that can influence dreams in a way. This is also the last real monologue until Puck’s end epilogue, which is truly magical. I enjoyed this play a lot, and I really think this monologue is one to think about in the future.

  19. 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!

    People who love and madmen both have strange minds
    Such out of the ordinary fantasies, that a regular person cannot understand. A madman a lover and a poet all have the same imagination. One see more evil then what is in hell. Another only loves for beauty. In the poets frenzy eye he sees both heaven and earth. When your mind makes unknown objects the poet takes these objects and gives them a shape and a name. These tricks require a strong imagination. It holds back some joy so it can understand the joy he brings. Or in night when you think of scary things. How scary is a bush compared to a bear.

    This speech emphasizes the aspects of dreams and imagination. He emphasizes that imagination is a powerful weapon that can be used for or against you. He explains that a maniac a lover and a poet, although very different are in fact similar through their imagination. He also shows how if worked at it can bring both joy and fear to a person. Shakespeare most likely included this to explain his thinking of all these strange characters.

  20. Theseus utters this speech in the final scene of the final act: “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!”
    This is the speech paraphrased:
    “Lovers and crazies have such intense brains,
    Such wild dreams, that take control
    More than logic could ever understand
    The insane person, the lover and a writer all have out of control imaginations:
    One sees more evil things than even the devil himself, he is a lunatic
    The other sees the dark Helen as beautiful
    The poet has a mind that is always in a frenzy, and can see from heaven down to Earth.
    As the imagination pulls through,
    It creates unknown and mystical things, and the poet makes them into a reality from nothing
    This skill requires a very strong and creative imagination
    If they can control the happiness from dreams, they understand what brought the happiness.
    Or in the night, where everything appears more scary than it truly is.”

    What Theseus is saying here is that our dreams are very powerful. Everyone dreams and everyone possess an imagination of some sort. That what we dream enhances our quality of life and how we see the world. Not only that but all dreams are quite wild and unimaginable in a way, and those are the best kinds. He only says that our imagination can contort the way we see things for better or for worse.

  21. Lovers and the insane have such hateful brains,
    Such forming fantasies, that confront
    more than normal reason ever understands.
    The insane, the lover, and the poet
    Are in imagination all compact:
    One sees more devils than what all of hecc can carry
    That being the madman: the lover, all as hurried,
    Sees Helen’s beauty on a summit in Egypt:
    The poet’s eye, in a state of mad excitement rolling,
    Does look from heaven to earth, and from earth to heaven;
    As imagination provides forward
    The forms of unknown things, the poet’s pen
    Turns them into shapes and gives nothing to nonchalance
    A local home and name.
    Such actions have strong imagination,
    That if it would only show some joy;
    It understands some bringer of joy;
    Or at night, imagine some fear,
    How easily a bush is indistinguishable from a bear!

    The Duke’s speech here is Shakespeare directly addressing the art of poetry and literature, and love, comparing them to a madman. He states that love is but a blind glorification of everything they see, comparing it to seeing a woman only as if on the sunset mountains of egypt. He also states how the poet has so much power to turn things far beyond rational reasoning into something that generates real feelings, also including that if there is no such emotions included, a bush becomes indistinguishable from a bear. The poet has the power to view earth as if from heaven, and view heaven from earth. In other words, poets and writers have the power to judge and describe earth and heaven.

  22. “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!”

    When Paraphrased:

    Lovers and madmen have such complicated thoughts, such weird thoughts that are too complicated for a normal person to understand. The madman, the lover, and the poet all have have the same thoughts: the one that sees the most devils is the madman, the one who sees the most beauty is the lover, and the poet looks at heaven and earth back and forth frantically. And using his imagination, the poet uses his pen to give unknown deities names and shapes. Imagination can trick us sometimes, and bring joy. It understands the bringing of the joy, and also the fear at night. How a simple bush can be as scary as a bear!

    This speech consists of many ideas and concepts about human nature. The underlying concept that is presented in this speech is that it is human nature to try and make sense of complex topics that are not well understood. Constantly, people are always studying topics to learn more about them. This is so that we can understand more about the world around us, which indefinitely benefits us in the future. The poet uses his pen to create misunderstood topics into simplified ideas. From this, we similarly have the ways that the Greek and Romans make gods to explain natural phenomenons. I believe Shakespeare is telling showing us that it is human nature to find ways to understand complicated ideas.

  23. 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!

    Paraphrasing:
    Lovers and madmen have such intense minds
    thus shaping fantasies that perceive
    more than cold reasoning ever grasps
    the lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
    Are in imagining all made the same
    one sees more demons than hell can hold
    This is the madman: the lover, all are frantic
    see Helen’s beauty in the horizon of Egypt
    The poet’s eye in frenzy rolling,
    they see from heaven to earth, from earth to the sky
    and as imagination person’s forth
    this forms things unknown, through the poet’s pen
    turns them into shapes and gives into airy nothing
    a local understanding and a known name
    such magic has intense imagination
    that if it would gain some understanding of joy
    it perceives some giver of that happiness
    or during night, thinking of some fear
    how easy is a bush seen a bear!

    This poem shows the mastery of all writers. Comparing the madness and chaos in the minds of young lovers and geniuses, all connecting to the madmen, because essentially, the way a poet can make shapes from airy nothing, is an example of the madman’s mind, the frenzy of chaos, ordered into existence by the poet, essentially being the same person. This poem, in essence is the explanation that the minds of these young geniuses shape our moral plane and moral universe because if it wasn’t for these “madmen” we wouldn’t know right from wrong.

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