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Nighttime in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream One of the recurring themes during Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is that the good time of day during which the play important action takes place: nighttime. This being the situation, there are particular words which are directly linked to the subject that appear numerous times through this script. Four these words are "moon," "moonlight," "moonshine," and "lunatic." Every comes from a female root which serves to recognize the women in the play as prizes to be obtained and controlled. It becomes apparent when looking up the term "moon" in the Oxford English Dictionary that the term is associated with the feminine. "In poetry," for example, "the moon is most often personified, consistently as female" (1050). It is very important to say that the play upsets traditional cultural traditions in this respect, for "May had been the period of fertility over which the moon presided, but the drama starts with an image of lunar era and sterility, a 'dowager,' a 'cold fruitless moon''' (Paster along with Howard, "Popular Festivals" 93). It's likely that Shakespeare applied such pictures blatantly to make it clear to his audience that the women in this play are not as complimentary as the May Day festivities might create them out to be. The female fertility that's expressed freely in Shakespeare's blend of May Day and Midsummer's Eve is outside of this controlled kingdom of marriage. Rather than the unrestrained girls that both vacations celebrate, however, Shakespeare bookends the drama with a woman tamed by a man. In the very first scene, the moon is spoken of by Theseus and Hippolyta as a measurement of time when Theseus announces, "four happy days bring about / Another moon: but, O, methinks, how slow / That old moon wanes! She linger...