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A Midsummer Nights Dream Essay Love English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1389 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Love is portrayed as the central idea in much of William Shakespeare’s writing. It plays a major role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Shakespeare. The characters successfully display how highly sophisticated, confusing yet powerful love can truly be. Love has its challenges, but it always ends up being prevalent.

The complex and sophisticated elements of love are proven through the characters’ love for one another. Firstly, Egeus, Hermia’s father wants his daughter to marry Demetrius, although she truly loves Lysander. The problem reaches court of where Egeus states to Theseus, the Duke of Athens that Hermia

Turned her obedience, which is due to me,

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens:

As she is mine, I may dispose of her,

Which shall be either to this gentleman

Or to her death, according to our law (Shakespeare I.i.37, 41-44)…

The love between Hermia and Lysander is sophisticated because Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius as he has the power to pick who Hermia shall marry according to an Athenian law. Secondly, the love that Helena has for Demetrius is very strong although he hates her. Helena tells Hermia and Lysander that “the more I love, the more he (Demetrius) haeth me” (I.i.199). As Helena loves Demetrius more and more, he hates her even more, but Helena’s mind is set on winning his love although it is complex. In addition, Helena tries to gain Demetrius’ love by informing him of Lysander and Hermia’s plan to run away to the woods outside of Athens as she states in her soliloquy, “I will go tell him (Demetrius) of Hermia’s flight” (I.i.246). It results in Demetrius giving a small thank you and more insults along with hatred to Helena afterward, something she experiences often. Furthermore, the love between Titania and Oberon is also very complex due to Oberon’s selfishness. Oberon and Titania are in a dispute for the changeling child, but Titania is not ready to give him up to Oberon as Oberon tells Titania “Give me that boy, and I will go with thee,” but Titania refuses and leaves (II.i.143). Oberon’s selfishness causes the love between him and Titania to be problematic and towards the ending of the play, he finally gains possession of what he wants from Titania. He portrays that he loves Titania as he says to Puck “And now I have the boy, I will undo/ This hateful imperfection of her eyes: (IV.i.65-66) The fact that he loves Titania now only because he has possession of the changeling child is not a sign of anything but selfishness. Love is highly sophisticated as shown through the three sets of lovers.

Love causes deep confusion, as evident in the twisting plot line of the play. Undoubtedly, Puck is the main cause to the problem of love being confusing as he accidentally puts the love potion on Lysander instead of Demetrius. When Lysander awakens, the first person he sees is Helena and he tells her with great affection,

And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.

Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,

That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart (II.ii.103-105)…

Puck’s foolish mistake causes Lysander to start loving Helena rather than Hermia, which is clearly artificial love because he truly loves Hermia. This forces Lysander to say insulting things about Hermia to Helena even though she thinks of Lysander mocking and teasing her and this situation ultimately causes a whole lot of confusion and the start of a love triangle. Shortly after Oberon realizes the misinterpretation, he orders Puck to fix his mistake of creating fake love by placing the love potion on Demetrius. As Lysander and Helena have their conversation, Demetrius awakens and the first person he sees is Helena as he says,

O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?

Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show

Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow! (III.ii.137-140)…

Not only does Lysander love Helena, but Demetrius loves her as well now as this creates a big dispute between the two lovers over Helena causing a lot of confusion which Puck is forced to stop by leading them away from each other and eventually making them fall asleep. Ultimately, the confusion between Lysander and Demetrius loving Helena leads to Hermia and Helena getting into a big dispute as well. As Hermia and Helena argue, Hermia out of frustration says pointing toward Helena,

O me! You juggler! You canker blossom!

You thief of love! What, have you come by night

and stol’n my love’s heart from him? (III.ii.282-284)

Hermia and Helena get into an argument as Hermia accuses Helena of stealing her love, Lysander from her although Helena only loves Demetrius all along and did not do anything as it is Puck’s little mistake that results in this confusion. The confusion of love is clearly seen in the turning plot line of the play.

Love has power and invincibility against all forces, unless accidents happen. In the beginning of the play, Hermia refuses to marry Demetrius even though her choices are extremely narrow. Theseus states to Hermia to

Either to die the death, or to abjure

Forever the society of men.


Whether, if you yield not to your father’s choice,

You can endure the livery of a nun (I.i.65-66, 69-70)…

Theseus gives Hermia two choices of whether to die or become a nun, but she does not lose hope. Even though her choices are narrow, she will never marry Demetrius but Theseus decides to give her time to think things out until his wedding. Meanwhile, the love that Helena has for Demetrius is very strong, as she just never stops trying to win his love. Even though Demetrius goes to the woods to follow Lysander and Hermia, Helena decides not to leave him alone and follow him to the woods as Demetrius tells Helena in the woods that

I love thee not, therefore pursue me not (……………………………………………………….)

Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more (II.i.188, 194).

Although Demetrius hates Helena and clearly says it to her face, Helena still has enough strength in herself to keep on following Demetrius and trying to win his love and because of the power of love she has in herself for Demetrius, she will certainly not stop bothering Demetrius until she wins his love. With this in mind, towards the ending of the play not even the Duke of Athens can destroy the love between the two sets of lovers. After hearing Demetrius’ and Lysander’s words as they awaken from the confusing situation from the day before, Theseus gives his final statement which is

Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:

Of this discourse we more will hear anon.

Egeus, I will overbear your will;

For in the temple by and by with us

These couples shall eternally be knit; (IV.i.180-184)…

The Duke of Athens decides that the two couples will marry each other on the same day of his own wedding, as he realizes that the lovers are destined for each other and their love is so powerful that he cannot do anything about it but to give them consent to marry. Love is truly one thing that no such force can break.

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Love is always prevalent but only after going through sophisticated and confusing situations that make it strong. As love becomes powerful, complex situations and confusing moments occur; but it is important to persevere to make love powerful rather than weaken it, as each day passes. It is very important for people to understand the concept of love as it occurs in everyday life and it should not be taken for granted because it is very important to realize whether or not relationships are going somewhere day by day or not moving at all.

By: Sunny Chawla

ENG1DO: Mrs. Mansoor

December 16th, 2010


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