Discuss the Role That Love Plays in a Midsummer Nights Dream

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‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Written Response: Discuss the role that love plays

William Shakespeare’s play, ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ is entirely based upon the characteristic of love. First there are the complex relationships between Demetrius, Lysander, Hermia and Helena. Demetrius and Lysander are rivals fighting for Hermia’s hand in marriage, except Hermia loves only Lysander. Hermia’s best friend Helena, however, loves Demetrius but he does not share the same feeling. The types of love between characters are not always between a man and a woman but the love between friends, for example, Hermia and Helena share a sister-like love. In the play the role of love is not solely in the human world but also in the fairy world. However the two worlds collide when a love juice from the fairies charms Demetrius and Lysander. Turning everything upside down.

One major example of love shown in the play is the romance between Lysander and Hermia. It is clear that Lysander loves Hermia when he says, “I am belov’d of beauteous Hermia.” Hermia must love him back since she is willing to leave her whole life behind to wed Lysander in another city. Unfortunately this sweet love between them turns sour once Lysander is charmed to love Helena by mistake. Upon being charmed Lysander immediately says statements such as, “Not Hermia, but Helena I love.” to Helena. This error only occurs because of the unrequited love between Demetrius and Hermia that King Oberon tried to fix.

The second example of the role love plays is between Demetrius and Helena, which unlike Lysander and Hermia’s love, is not mutual. Hermia only feels this way towards him because before pursuing Hermia Demetrius originally had loved for Helena. Hence resulting in Hermia’s love and affection towards Demetrius. Helena’s love is shown in this quote, “And even for that do I love you more.” she says this after Demetrius has told her, “I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.” followed by a string of...
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