Essay Midsummer Night's Love

Submitted By milky1447
Words: 1103
Pages: 5

English 101

17 February, 2012
L.O.L. Laughing On Love A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play by William Shakespeare that mixes an array of different characters and plots together. In this comical play, Shakespeare highlights the flaw that is found in love. Through the pairings he makes in natural love, drugged love, and forced love one can see the setbacks that Shakespeare finds in all stages of love. The first instance of love one sees is forced. Thesus, the Athenian Duke, is imposing his right to marry upon Hippolyta. Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazon, is betrothed to Thesus due to battle. Social standard of the day made this law. Thesus forces this marriage after he overtook her in battle, and then continued to “ Woo thee with thy sword, Act 1, Scene 1, Line 15.” This line implies that there are two evident flaws found in this relationship. First it is believed that there was no attraction between the two originally. If anything they were adversaries. It is also evident that the only attraction between the two is merely physical. As the play continues the audience sees that the fuel behind this marriage for Thesus is based on power. Hippolyta controls an infamously powerful army, and Theseus craves control of it. He already reigns high in the Athenian Court, but his thirst is endless. However, Thesus treats her well. Several times through the play Hippolyta says “My Theseus”, this implies that she is pleased with her current situation despite the original unwillingness to marry him. If one looks deep into the text it can be agreed that this pairing is peaceful, yet why would Theseus anger a woman from whom he seeks authority? In this pairing Shakespeare shows the harsh social standard that some marriages fell to. He also uses them for mockery. Later in the first scene another pairing is introduced. Enter Egeus, Hermia, and Lysander. Egeus, the father of Hermia, is outraged with his daughter’s decision to elope with the young Athenian man Lysander. During the period when this play is set, the law allowed a father much power and control over his daughter. Hermia, in this way, is seen as her father's property, so he may choice her fate, or lover, as he see fit. However, Lysander and Hermia refuse to be stopped by the Athenian law. The two flee into the woods demonstrating the potency of their feelings for their mate. Lysander demonstrates much when he says "The course of true love never did run smooth, Act 1 Scene 1 Line 134.” Through this line Lysander not only professes his everlasting love for Hermia, but he as well shows the foolish sense of invulnerability that accompanies a deep love. Their choice to leave the Athenian court breaks several laws. Defiance of these would most certainly lead to death of this couple. It is demonstrated again when giddiness overcomes the two, and they reveal their plan to Helena. Helena was originally Lysander’s lover, and is a longtime comrade of Hermia. Obviously there is a sense of trust between these characters, but it is extremely unreasonable to reveal such pertinent information. Once again Shakespeare finds a blemish in love. In a deep love, foolish ideals or actions will be found. In Scene two the action is moved from the Athenian Court to the woods. These woods are filled with whimsical power and magic. Here yet another instance of love is found. Love due to influence of others, or drugs, runs ravage in these woods. Helena, close friend of Lysander and Hermia, pursues the young Athenian that Egeus wished Hermia to marry, Demetrius. Demetrius has proclaimed his dislike for Helena many, many times. Helena even goes as far as to say that "The more I love, the more he hateth me Act 1 Scene 2 Line 199.” It is obvious that this distaste is strong from Demetrius. He tells Helena in the wood that if she will not leave him be then he will rape her. This draws attention early in the play. The audience laughs to themselves for this is a comedy, and they know ultimately the