Put on your thinking caps, Shmoopers. We're taking a nosedive into the dreams of the bride.
There are a few dream sequences in Song of Songs, and we're going to recommend hopping over to our "Symbols" section to hear more about them. Here, we'll just describe the plot of the bride's dream.
At night, the bride cries out for her love from her bed. So far, so sad.
She wanders the streets of the city looking for him, but she only finds the sentinels watching over the city. She cries and cries some more, until finally her guy appears.
The bride confesses her desire to bring her groom back into the safety of her mother's house, where they can be alone and protected. Remember that the bride is a young girl—she doesn't exactly have a swanky studio apartment to bring this guy back to.
After the bulk of the bride's dream, her fantasy continues by creating an elaborate image of the groom as King Solomon attended by his many servants. She spies Solomon's litter from afar, surrounded by warriors and decorated with lavish jewels and velvets. Things are getting fancy.
Interpretation alert! Lots of people say that this passage actually brings King Solomon right on into the story. Commentators argue that there is actually royal involvement in the bride's wedding, or that maybe, just maybe, her groom is Solomon himself.
But we have to consider the position of this passage in the context of the rest of the story. Let's take a look.
We get this stuff about Solomon right after the bride's dream. Actually, it's in the same chapter as the dream. So it's not winning any points for a literal interpretation there. Also, Solomon is also only mentioned a few times in the Song of Songs. If you were writing about the king's wedding, wouldn't you want to make a huge deal of it?
Solomon, on the other hand, was well-known for having many (ahem, hundreds) of wives and even more concubines.
It looks like all signs point to fantasy, but poetry is a slimy little sucker, so you never really know.