“A Dream Within a Dream,” was published in
1849. The poem explores themes like the imaginary and the reality and the
diference between them. Throughout the poem Poe shows how human life is sliping
away just like “sand” impling that our existence is a contemplation of mind, an
abstract concept, and also presents the passing of time. He shows how our lives
appear like short dreams and futile, our life comes to an end because as time
passes our lives end.
Allan Poe’s life was full of tragedies that were transcripted into his work.
Also, the poem can be related to the death of his wife, who was also his
poem questions human existance on Earth and reality. Life is a series of events
that our mind creates, so they are unreal, in an unreal univers all well
created by a so-called God. As the time passes there is nothing we cand do to stop
it. Our thoughts, emotions and impressions can not affect this concept of “life”
that our mind creates and is just a series of events that lead to our end.
the beginning the narrator kisses the readers in parting. He accepts that life
is just a dream, but also claims that “is but a dream within a
dream.” We find him on the shore of the ocean with sand in his hands
crying. Looking at the sand he realizes he can not stop it from running out of
his hands, the same thing happening to life, we can avoid the inevitable, the
poem is divided in two stanzas and two distinct scenes. The first one shows the
narrator parting from his lover, while in the second one, the narrator is on
the beach trying to hold a handful of sand in his hand. The scenes are in
complete opposite and we can observe the constrat between them. If in the first
stanza is shrouded in a calm, solemn and farewell tone, the second one turns
out to be more passionate. The first stanza contains exclamations such as “O
God!” and rhetorical questions that show the agony Poe’s soul.
different, the two stanzas are linked through the ironic and similar essence.
In the first part he is leaving his lover, presenting the end of their love and
in the last one the grains of sand are running out of his hand, the two events
leadind to the same inevitable conclusion, the end. The end of their love and
the end of life, they both fade away like they were just an illusion, a dream
and nothing is permanent.
like in other poems of Poe’s the setting is the sea where is discussed the
theme of death.
that we see or seem/Is but a dream within a dream” become the refrain lines
and unites the two stanzas bringing them to the same conclusion of the passing
of time, regret and the futility of life. “All that we see or seen” can be interpretated
in two ways. “All that we see” presents the external reality and “all that we
seem” presents the interal elements, our emotions and thoughts. The following line,
“a dream within a dream”, suggests that neigter is more real than the
other or than a dream.
this poem the reality reflects through the idea of a dream, but in the end you
can not distinguish them. The dream in the poem can also be interpreted as a
realization of Poe’s mind. The whole idea of the poem is that what we
experience is a dream and this idea is presented with a trace of skepticism.
The fact that in the first stanza the narrator says good bye to his lover and
in the second stanza he is alone on the beach denotes the loneliness he goes