The Interpretation of "A Dream within A Dream" – A poem written by Edgar Allan Poe

The Background
Edgar Allan Poe wrote this poem titled "A Dream within a Dream" in the early 19th century. It got published for the first time in 1849 edition of "Flag of Our Union", a Boston based periodical. Here we have tried to Analyse and provide an Interpretation of this poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

The Structure
The poem is written in 2 stanzas with 2 couplets. The poet made use of various literal techniques in writing the poem.

The Interpretation
Actually, the poem has a Gothic undertone. Normally, Gothic poems are said to be highly emotional and disturbing. They can be very mysterious sometimes. Beginning with the title; "A Dream within A Dream", the poet tries to question the way a person can differentiate between dream and reality. He goes ahead to dramatize how people get confused as they allow opportunities slip away from them in life. He tells the reader that his life has always been a dream and that everything in life is but a dream within dream. That means, we continue to dream inside the dream we already dreamt as life goes on.

The poet goes ahead to use the sea as a setting for discussing the issue of death and decay. He tries to twist the idea of daydream to help the reader understand the true nature of reality.
In all, the poem tries to distinguish between dream and reality in life. Oftentimes, people end up daydreaming without actually realizing what they dreamt. In the process of daydreaming, an individual may end up losing several real opportunities that may come his or her way. It’s therefore important for everyone to focus on reality other than dreaming all day long. Dream and reality are two different things. One should not only depend on dream but rather focus on getting things done in the real life.

You can also find the Video of Recitation of Dream within a Dream