Brandon Schultz

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This article investigates the relationship between dreams and lies in William Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Building on the contradictory definitions of the word "dream" as it was understood in Shakespeare's time, the article highlights several instances in the play where Shakespeare draws attention to the artifice of his theatrical dreams, making the argument that these meta-theater tricks ultimately serve to celebrate audiences' imaginative processes. Consequently, this argument hinges on the historical reality of Jacobean theatrical productions, such as Gwilym Jones's description of the Blackfriars Theater's special effects in "Shakespeare's Storms" and Plato's critique of false poets in Book X of "The Republic." Throughout, the article asserts that—due to the combination of the play's inherent artificiality and its celebratory nature—Shakespeare champions and applauds his own audience's imagination.