Two themes present in many of Shakespeare's plays, the transition of reality into only a dream and the absurd nature of love form a large part of the dramatic content of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Act Four Oberon tells Titania that Bottom will "think no more of the night's accidents / But as the fierce vexation of a dream" (IV.i.65-66). Indeed this is what happens, as Bottom himself puts it: "The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was." (IV.i.204-207) It is interesting to note that many commentators now recognize the mangled version in Bottom's speech as one of the passages in Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, the Bishops" Bible (2:9):.
"The eye hath not seen, and the ear hath not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.".
We can see clearly that the risk of blasphemy is removed by the comic dislocations of sense and of senses in Bottom's version. Dislocations of the senses occur several times in A Midsummer Night's Dream, their chief effect being to dislodge the eye from its primacy, but this is the most extended instance. .
It is also the way that Bottom deals with his nightmare of an imaginary dream that is important and interesting. Not only is he not afraid of it, but he wants to turn it into a ballad. Turning a fearful nightmare into a fun song is crucial to understanding what Shakespeare has done with the play. The play itself delineates with Romeo and Juliet, taking the sad tragedy and converting it into comedy. Thus Shakespeare is making a further comment about the nature of plays and acting, showing them to be a medium by which our worst fears can be dissipated into hilarity. .
The absurd nature of love is also reflected in Act Four. Earlier in the play, we have already been introduced to the interchangeability of the characters.