May 6

If we shadows have offended…

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

First, paraphrase Puck’s final speech. Second, analyze: So!  Now! Who is really dreaming? What is Shakespeare saying about theater, reality, magic, dreaming….  Make sure you include many text-based details and that you respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

MND #7


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Posted May 6, 2019 by equinson in category A Midsummer Night's Dream

22 thoughts on “If we shadows have offended…

  1. jane

    If us actors have offended,
    Think about this, and everything will be resolved,
    You have just been sleeping here
    When you watched everything happen,
    This weak, lazy theme,
    Only gave a dream,
    Gentlemen and ladies, do not reprimand,
    If you forgive, we will fix everything:
    And, as I, Puck, am an honest being,
    If we have any undeserved luck
    To avoid hissing and booing,
    We wil correct mistakes;
    Or else call me, Puck, a liar;
    So, good night everyone.
    Applaud, and we can all be friends,
    And Robin will correct errors.

    The above passage is the final speech in the play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, by William Shakespeare. In this speech, Puck tells the audience that what they had just witnessed was a dream. I believe that in the play, there are several points suggesting that many dreams had occurred. The first dream was Titania and Bottom being in love while Oberon tried to steal the Indian boy. I believe that this element may have just been a dream because after the night, Titania never even mentions the boy that she swore she would protect forever. The second dream was the entire night when Puck accidentally made Lysander in love with Helena and such. I think that this may have been a dream because I thought that the next morning, everything was resolved a lot sooner than I expected. Considering that this play was written during the same time as Romeo and Juliet, I thought that Hermia’s father would have enforced his rules more, like how the Montagues and Capulets did. The last dream that I believe occurred was the entire play, and despite Puck’s mischievous ways, I trust him when he says “That you have but slumber’d here/While these visions did appear./And this weak and idle theme,/No more yielding but a dream,” I think that the entire play was just a series of dreams inside of dreams and that Shakesepeare’s message connects back to the speech he wrote about poets being frauds. Shakespeare previously noted that poets are fake and imaginary, and just try to make irrelevant things have a purpose. If true, then this means that the play was imaginary, and actually just a composition of random ideas that are trying to teach a meaningful lesson.

    Reply
  2. Mylesn

    If we shadows have offended you
    Think about this, and all is fixed
    That you have just been sleeping
    While these sights did appear.
    And this small and slow theme,
    Seeming like nothing more than a dream
    Kind people do not complain
    if you forgive, we will fix this:
    And since I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearned luck
    Now to escape some trouble,
    We will fix everything;
    If not call me a liar;
    So, good night to you all.
    Give me your hands, if we are friends,
    And I shall fix everything.

    Shakespeare is telling the audience that they are now in Bottom’s shoes, they have seen the fairies and it is them that believes it was a dream.
    “That you have but slumber’d here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream,”
    He is saying that plays are nothing but a dream for their audiences. Everything that they have seen did happen, but inside their minds. Shakespeare uses dreams to represent things that cannot be explained. The play is titled a dream, and this play is now apparently a figment of the audience’s imaginations. The encounter with the fairies by Bottom seemed to him as nothing but a dream. He is even going to name a play after it, “Bottom’s Dream” The aristocratic lovers had their love all messed up and by time the fairies were through everything had worked out. There was no reason for this and yet it still happened. I believe that Shakespeare’s use of dreams is to represent something without reason or logic. No one can understand why the lovers changed, only because it was the work of fairies.

    Reply
  3. angelicac1

    If we actors have offended you,
    Think of it in this way and everything will be fixed
    You have been sleeping here
    When you saw these visions,
    And this silly and meaningless story
    Was nothing but a dream.
    Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be upset.
    If you forgive us, we can make everything right.
    And I, as an honest Puck,
    Promise that if we can get lucky enough
    To not to be booed and hissed at,
    We will fix everything up for you soon.
    If not, then I am a liar.
    So good night to you all.
    Give me some applause, if we can be friends,
    And Robin will make everything up.

    In this final speech, Puck speaks to the audience that watched the play of Pyramus and Thisbe. He apologizes to the audience for the unprofessional and overall terrible play, but Puck assures the audience that he will fix everything. In an attempt to help the audience forget about the play, he addresses to them that they can make the choice to believe that it the whole play was a dream. I believe that Shakespeare is telling the reader through Puck’s final speech that theatre is almost magical because it is like an escape from real life. Shakespeare also expresses that plays depend on how it is interpreted by the audience. You can either choose to accept the production, or you can think of it in some other way.

    Reply
    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I agree, plays are an escape from real life, and so are books, tv shows and movies. I really like your analysis of what Shakespeare is saying! It really is all up to your interpretation and perspective.

      Reply
  4. Mikayla Friedman

    If we actors have offended you,
    Think of it this way and everything will be mended:
    You have only slept here
    While these dreams occurred.
    And this weak and unimportant theme,
    Which is nothing but a dream,
    Gentle people, do not reprimand.
    If you excuse us, we will improve ourselves.
    And, since I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearned luck
    To escape the hissing of the audience like a serpent’s tongue,
    We will make amends.
    Or else call me a liar.
    So good night to you all.
    Applaud, if we are friends,
    And I shall restore amends.

    In this speech, Puck is telling the audience to think of everything they just witnessed as a dream. He is talking straight to the viewers of the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare is highlighting how the lines between a dream and reality can often be blurred. For example, several characters in the play thought they dreamt what occurred. Bottom thought his whole experience with Titania as an ass was a dream, but within the play it really happened. The same goes for Demetrius and Lysander when they thought that they were in love with Helena, Hermia when she thought that Lysander was in love with Helena, and Helena when she thought that both Lysander and Demetrius were in love with her. I think Shakespeare is telling us that it is okay for the lines to be murky. If we don’t envision our dreams as a reality, they will never become a reality. We have to think of our dreams as possible if we want them to come true.

    Reply
  5. kate M

    If us actors have offended you,
    Think about this, and all is right,
    That you have but slept here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and pointless message,
    Nothing more than a dream,
    Gentles, do not get mad:
    if you excuse us, we will fix ourselves:
    And, as I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearned luck
    Now to scrape the serpent’s tongue,
    We will make long apologies;
    Or else you may call Puck a liar;
    So, good night to you all.
    applause, if we can be friends,
    And Robin shall correct mistakes.

    In this speech of Puck’s Shakespeare wraps up his play with a little bit of an explanation and apology. First, Puck asks for forgiveness if the play has offended anyone in anyway. Puck says they should think of it as nothing but a dream. Puck says, “And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream,”. He refers to this play as an “idle theme”, saying it’s basically pointless. It was all just imaginary and pointless. Shakespeare tells us that basically theater, magic and dreaming are all basically the same. Just like madmen, lovers and poets. Theater, magic and dreaming are all made out of nothing just like how madmen, lovers and poets make everything out of nothing. shakespeare reveals to us that this whole play was a dream.

    Reply
  6. Emily

    ]If the actors offended you,
    think about this, and all is forgiven,
    you have been asleep,
    while these visions appeared.
    This weak and not crucial idea,
    is no more than a dream,
    If you excuse it, we will fix it:
    And, because I am honest,
    If we have luck that we did not earn,
    we will make appends;
    else call me a liar;
    Give me your hand, and we can be friends.
    and Robin shall restore promises.

    In the final speech Puck reflects on the most predominant theme through out the play of what is a dream, what is reality, and also if reality is actually real. Overall, in his soliloquy he states that if the play has upset you, then you should just pretend is if it was not real, and just a mere dream. This plays to the other countless ideas about dreams because it once again forces the reader to question what is reality and what is not. With this in question, it raises so many other thoughts about the play itself. To begin, at many different times the audience listens to characters questioning whether something that happened to them was a dream. This is seen with Bottom saying that his encounter with the fairies was a dream, and with the audience being told that the encounter with the lovers in the forest was just a dream. This is significant because it shows a voice that is actually Shakespeare’s own. He is telling the audience that they should question the difference between reality and dreams. Moreover, he is also stating that dreams in many ways, are actually very similar to being awake and thus it is very difficult to distinguish a difference between the two.

    Reply
  7. trinityt

    If we actors have offended you,
    Just think of it this way and everything will be alright:
    You had been sleeping here
    While these visions appeared.
    And this weak and silly theme,
    Is nothing but a dream,
    Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be upset.
    If you excuse us, we will make it up to you.
    As I am an honest Puck,
    If we get lucky enough
    To not have the audience hisses at us,
    We will fix everything.
    If not then Puck is a liar.
    So goodnight to you all.
    Applaud for me, if we are friends,
    And Robin shall make everything better.

    In this speech, Puck is speaking to the audience of the play, telling them to see what they witnessed from the play as a dream. Through Puck, Shakespeare is speaking directly to the audience and the readers of the play, A Midsummer’s Night Dream. He is saying that believing in something is all up to you and your point of view. For example, Bottom didn’t want to believe that the time that he spends with Titania with a donkey head was just a dream. Bottom believe it was just a dream because, in his opinion, it was too strange to be real. It was all up to him to believe it or not. In conclusion, Shakespeare is trying to tell the audience/readers that it is up to you to believe what you want.

    Reply
  8. Laila

    If us performers have offended you,
    think just this and it will be fixed
    That you have just been dreaming,
    while you saw this play
    And this weak and boring story,
    was nothing more than a dream
    Gentle people, do not be mad
    If you allow us, we can fix this
    As an honest Puck, I promise,
    If we are lucky enough
    to escape your disapproval,
    we can make this all better
    Otherwise, you can call me a liar
    So, goodnight to you all
    Please applaud, if we are friends
    and I shall mend whats been broken

    In Puck’s speech, he is apologizing to the audience for the very unorganized play. He fears their disapproval and as a way to escape any harsh criticism or punishment, he suggest that they should remember the play as only a dream. But, he breaks the fourth wall of theatre. He can either be talking about the play of Pyramus and Thisbe or the entire play of A Midsummers Night Dream. Also, we are brought to the theme of dreams versus reality. It is interesting for this speech to be the way that the play concluded because it brings up that blurry line between imagination and reality. Ones imagination is so strong that it can choose what it believes to be made up and what it wants to believe is real. This play is called “A Midsummers Night Dream”. This final speech can raise the question that this entire play was just a dream of the audiences, just like Puck wants to convince everyone that their play of Pyramus and Thisbe was a dream too.

    Reply
  9. Hannah P.

    If we have offended you,
    Think of it this way and everything will be fixed:
    You have just been sleeping here when you saw these visions,
    And this silly and meaningless story
    Was nothing but a dream.
    Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be upset.
    If you forgive us, the characters in this dream, we can make everything right.
    And I, as an honest Puck, promise that if we can get lucky enough
    Not to be booed and hissed at,
    We will fix everything up for you.
    If not, then I am a liar.
    Give me some applause
    We can be friends,
    And Robin will make everything up.

    In the final speech of the play, Robin reflects on the events of the play and insists that the audience thinks of the play as a dream and that none of the events of the play were reality. This continues to establish a theme in the play of what is imagination and what is reality. Throughout the play, characters have constantly questioned what is imagination vs. reality. Bottom believed that the night in the forest was just a dream and Hermia believes that it is a dream when she first noticed Lysander was missing. In my opinion, it is only fitting that the final speech of the play also challenged the beliefs of the audience of what is their imagination vs. what is actually reality.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree that it was difficult to tell which aspects of this play actually happened and which aspects were a part of puck’s wild, ridiculous dream!

      Reply
  10. stephaniec

    If we actors have offended you,
    Think only about this, and all we be settled,
    That you have only slept here
    While what you saw did appear.
    And this week and pointless theme,
    Was nothing more than a dream,
    Good people, do not criticize:
    And, as I am an honest Puck,
    If we receive some undeserved luck
    To escape your dispraise,
    We will make amends;
    Else, You can call me, Puck, a liar;
    So, good night to you all.
    Clap your hands in applause, if you enjoyed this,
    And Robin shall make it all better.

    In Puck’s speech, the final speech of the play, Shakespeare calls attention to the fact that theater and dreaming are similar in that, they are not reality. Watching a play about fairies, potions, and happy endings are not always reality, so much to the point where that it could be considered a dream. In Puck’s speech, he is essentially telling the audience that in addition to the “dreams” in the play, the play as a whole should be considered a dream to the audience, because it is not real. When Puck exclaimed, “While these visions did appear. / And this weak and idle theme, / No more yielding but a dream”, he meant that the audience should think of this as a dream.

    Reply
  11. caseyz

    If we actors have offended you,
    Think about this and all of our problems will be solved,
    You have slept here
    While you did really see this,
    And this unorganized theme,
    It was only a dream,
    Don’t be upset:
    If you forgive us, we can fix this:
    And because I am honest,
    If we have any luck,
    Now to avoid the audience’s insults,
    We will apologize soon;
    Or else I would be a liar;
    So goodnight everyone.
    Please applaud if you accept my apology,
    And I will fix everything.

    Puck is addressing the audience to tell them to imagine the play they had just watched as a dream. The play put on by the mechanicals was beyond awful, including many times where Bottom gets into arguments with the audience. The play was so terrible that Puck felt the need to apologize for it. He tells the audience that they should just interpret the play as a dream, since in most cases, dreams make no sense whatsoever. When Puck says, “While these visions did appear. / And this weak and idle theme, / No more yielding but a dream” he is telling the audience that even though they did really see this play, because it was such a mess and had a horrible plot, the best it should be considered as was a dream.

    Reply
  12. Zoe

    If us actors have offended you
    Think this, and all will be forgiven,
    That you have slept here
    And this as a dream appeared
    and this weak theme
    was only a dream
    Gentleman, do not reprehend
    If you forgive, we will fix our relationship
    Because I am an honest Puck
    If we are unlucky
    To have to escape some trouble
    We will still fix everything
    Or else I am really a liar
    So goodnight to you all
    Applaud if we are friends
    And I shall fix everything

    Shakespeare is completely reaching out to the audience as Puck stands center stage reciting his monologue. He tells the audience that they should really forgive all the actors in this play for the sorrow created from the fights between Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena and just taking the audience out of reality into a whole other world. Just like before when Shakespeare reached out to the audience telling them no one will believe this story they just saw, this monologue reaches out to give them an apology how they gave them this beautiful dream, but it was only a dream, and nothing more. Next, they’ll move onto their usual jobs and reality will restore. Sadly, the comedy Shakespeare created seems better than their reality.

    Reply
  13. Sunna Saeed

    If we have offended you,
    Think about this, and everything will be fixed,
    That you have stayed here
    While this play went on
    And this weak them
    Is nothing but a dream
    Please excuse us
    And we will fix this
    And, because I am honest
    If we have unearned luck
    To escape your hatred and jeering
    We will make amends
    Or call me a liar
    So, good night to all of you
    Clap for me, if you support me
    And I will restore amends

    I believe that Shakespeare is talking to the audience of the play, instead of Puck speaking to the characters in the play. This is showing that reality isn’t always as it seems, that there is a thin line between dreams and reality. It makes the audience wonder whether the entire story has been a dream, or if the characters have been dreaming, or if it has all really been happening. This makes us question everything about the play, which adds more depth to the play. I think that this was a wonderful touch, which is something that only someone as brilliant as Shakespeare could have thought of.

    Reply
  14. Maddie

    If we have offended you,
    Don’t think about this, and it will all be fixed,
    You were just sleeping here
    While you had these visions.
    And this entire play,
    Turns out to be just a dream,
    Everyone, do not jump to conclusions:
    if you’ll excuse us, we will fix this:
    And, because I am honest,
    If we can’t fix it
    Now to stop you from hissing,
    We will make up forever;
    Or else call me a liar;
    So, good night to you all.
    Give me , a round of applause if we are friends,
    And I, Robin will fix everything.

    In this speech, we finally find out who is really dreaming. It is the people watching the play! By surprising us with this, Shakespeare is trying to teach us about reality and dreams. He is saying that it is hard to tell whether you are dreaming or if a situation is real. He may be trying to convey that it dreams and reality are very similar. This is proven because we did not know that the whole play was just a dream until the very end. Shakespeare presented a powerful message and theme through this book that, with further analysis, I was able to understand and relate to.

    Reply
  15. Emma Garbowitz

    If we performers have offended,
    Don’t think of this and all is accepted
    That you did sleep here
    while these dreams did appear.
    And this weak and pointless theme,
    is no more complying but a dream,
    Gentlemen, do not criticize or reprimand
    If you forgive, we will have our problem solved:
    And, because I am an honest puck,
    If we have undeserved luck
    Now to escape hisses (from the audience),
    We will make peace before long;
    Or else Puck is called a liar;
    So good night to you all.
    Clap your hands, if you agree we are friends,
    and Robin will fix it.

    Puck is addressing both the reader and the audience in the play and is telling them all that what they have witnessed was all one large dream. Throughout the play it was very difficult to separate dreams from reality. When Puck says that these people were dreaming, which part of a Midsummer Night’s Dream was real and which was a dream. For example, Bottom believes that the whole idea of him turning into an ass and having the queen of the fairies, Titania, fall in love with him was all a dream. But, was this really a part of Puck’s dream or did this actually happen in the play. What confused me the most was contemplating whether or not Titania and Oberon dreamt this dream or not. This confused me because when Puck says his speech is actually talking to the audience who watched the play by Bottom and the rest of the Mechanicals. Therefore, Puck was only taking to mortals and I am unsure if Titania, Oberon and other fairies were there. Furthermore, I think Shakespeare is trying to tell the reader through this speech that it is difficult to separate reality from your imagination (which in this case is very confusing). I agree with this statement because sometimes the mind plays tricks on you and you may not know for sure if you dreamed something or if it was your reality.

    Reply
  16. josepha4

    If we have offended you
    think about this and things will be forgiven.
    You have slept around here
    these sight did appear
    but this weak theme
    was nothing but a dream
    Do not reprehend
    if you forgive us everything will be fixed
    I am honest Puck if there is any luck
    now to escape any trouble
    everything will be fixed
    or else call me a liar.
    So good night to all and applaud if we are friends
    and I will fix everything.

    In Puck’s final speech he pokes at the audience and tells them to imagine it all as a dream. Also, Puck wants us to forgive him for all the mischief he has caused and would fix everything in return for being friends and forgiving. Puck then again says that we should forgive everything done because all the characters; Demetrius, Lysander, Thesues are nothing but fictional characters. They are all a fictional world created by Shakespeare. Nobody would believe that the play was real. Everyone has their own realities inside the novel. The Aristocrats live in their own world the Faries have an entire different kingdom and the working class have their own groups. Lastly, the readers have their own world and thoughts. All these separate realities Shakespear has created play off of each other could not function without the other to make the play “A Midsummer Nights Dream” and it should be thought of as nothing but a dream.

    Reply
  17. maxwellw

    If we actors have offended you,
    just think of it this way and everything will be all right—you were asleep when you saw these visions,
    and this silly and pathetic story was no more real than a dream.
    Ladies and gentlemen, don’t get upset with me. If you forgive us, we’ll make everything all right.
    I’m an honest Puck, and I swear that if we’re lucky enough not to get hissed at, we’ll make it up to you soon.
    If not, then I’m a liar. So good night to everyone. Give me some applause, if we’re friends, and Robin will make everything up to you.

    In Puck’s soliloquy, he asks for forgiveness from the audience if any of them felt offended or hurt by the play by referring to the fictional events and characters in The Midsummer Night’s Dream as shadows, also comparing the play itself to nothing more than a dream; it was all imaginary and harmless. As Puck is the mischievous sprite who created the mess at the beginning, he first brings up the fact that the audience has played a hand in the chaos as well by showing up and “slumber’d here”. In delivering this epilogue, Puck adds an unexpected element to the play and he invites the audience to consider that they have participated in this dream-like scenario.

    Reply
  18. Brishti

    If we actors have offended you,
    Think of it like this, and everything is fixed,
    Think that you have slept here
    And saw these visions appear in a dream.
    This foolish and silly play,
    Was nothing more than a dream,
    Gentlemen, do not reprehend:
    if you forgive us, we will fix it:
    And, because I, Puck, am honest,
    If we are lucky enough
    To escape the snake’s tounge,
    We will correct our mistakes;
    Or else, I am a liar;
    So, Good night everyone.
    Give me applause if we are friends,
    And I will make amends.

    The final speech in the play is a speech that Puck gives explaining that he messed up and begs for forgiveness. However, it is not traditional in regards to who he is saying it to and how he is saying it. He gives it in a speech to the audience. This is an example of breaking the fourth wall. He is talking directly to the people sitting in the audience who came to watch the play. This would mean, in Shakespeare’s time, the audience at the Globe. So, we are essentially the ones who are dreaming. He asks us to remember the actors and the antics of the play like it was one collective dream. This is interesting because Shakespeare is talking about the essence of plays and how they take on a dream-like form. Live theater is many things, and one adjective to describe it would be amazing. When the lights close and the curtains open, that feeling of sitting there and looking at a story unfold in front of you is almost like a dream. There are many connections and motifs to plays and dreams in the play. One juxtaposition is followed through Bottom’s whole arch. After he wakes up from his “dream”, he immediately starts to question reality and ultimately ends his train of thought by talking about having Peter Quince write him a ballet for the play. Shakespeare did not put that detail there by accident. He is trying to send a message about playwrites themselves. They take an obscure, unique idea and use their “magic” to create something more than a script on a paper- that playwrites make an experience. He is showing how sometimes playwrites are dreamers. Playwrites, or poets in general, “Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.” Additionally, though the play is called “A Midsummer Night’s DREAM,” we aren’t sure who exactly is dreaming in the whole play. No one in the play actually falls asleep and we don’t see their dreams. It isn’t like the Wizard of Oz where the whole story takes place in a dream; rather, the play itself is the dream. By making the play be its own dream, Shakespeare further creates this idea of theater being dream-like.

    Reply
  19. Hannah McK

    If we shadows have offended anyone,
    Think of it like this-
    You were dreaming this whole time.
    Please do not get upset with me.
    If you forgive me, then we will fix everything.
    Since I am an honest Puck,
    We will make it up to you,
    If you do not hiss at us.
    So, goodnight.
    Applaud me, if we are friends,
    And Robin will make everything up to you.

    In pucks final speech he is telling you to think of this whole thing as a dream. He also says that if he had done anyone any harm he will make it up to you because he is honest. Also, puck says to the audience to forget all of his wrong doings and think of it as just a Dream and not a reality. Then he goes onto say applaud me if we are friends saying applaud me if you forgive be and if you do I will make everything up to you.

    Reply

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