14 January 2015
The Conflict Between Passion and Responsibility
Have you ever had to choose between a lover and your morals? According to Shakespeare, the foundations of young love can be easily broken. He aims to share with people how passion can conflict with a person’s ability to think and be responsible. He adopts a satirical tone to point out the occasional idiocy of his society when they come face-to-face with such a decision. The universally famous author, William Shakespeare, in his work, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, recounts these points using several witty writing strategies.
Shakespeare opens his story by pronouncing the difference between how two generations feel about the concept of love. He creates an ushered and incredulous tone when Theseus and Egeus insist that Hermia will marry Demetrius - not Lysander. “With cunning hast thou filched my daughter’s heart, Turned her obedience (which is due to me) To stubborn harshness. - And, my gracious duke, Be it so she will not here before your grace Consent to marry with Demetrius, 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 Immediately provided in that case” (Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 36-45). It creates a harsh tone and suggests, to Shakespeare’s audience, an air of rebellion that the young characters are feeling. Additionally, similes are used more often than not in the first act. They compare women to objects to which a man owns. “To whom you are but as a form in wax, By him imprinted and within his power To leave the figure or disfigure it” (Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 49-51). This exemplifies the relationship between father and offspring in this era of writing.
Shakespeare continues with his story, bringing to light many instances under a full moon. The moon is a refrain in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It repeatedly appears in the text. He uses this refrain to emphasize critical points in his story and create a more passionate diction. “But there is two hard things: that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber. For, you know, Pyramus and Thisbe meet by moonlight” (Act 3, Scene 1). The literary device he cleverly used best portrays the foolishness of young love because it recapitulates the drama and the passion that takes over the minds of young lovers. “Take time to pause, and by the next new moon - The sealing day betwixt my love and me…” (Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 83-84). This accommodates the idea that moonlight is a significant obstacle in both of the two very