Do Hermia and Lysander Represent True Love?

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Hermia is told by her father that by the law of Athens she must ‘wed Demetrius’. The law stated that if a father chose his daughter a husband, then she must marry him regardless of love. Daughters were expected to dote on their fathers because they legally belong to men and everything they owned belonged to the man they were owed by. Hermia is prepared to disobey the law to marry Lysander, who is seen by Egeus (Hermia’s father) as having stolen her heart by ‘feigning love’. Disobeying your father resulted in a punishment of death, which Egeus has no problem coming of terms with. It is evident that Hermia loves Lysander as she is willing to risk her life and her relationship with her father to be with him instead of marrying another man. She would rather be with the man she loves and die than to be with Demetrius and be accepted by her father and law. It is adamant that Lysander loves Hermia as he is willing to overcome any obstacles put in the way of their love, ‘The course of true love never did run smooth’. Hermia and Lysander speak about the pain of their love and how they wish they had obstacles such as social standings or an age barrier, showing that they see them being together as almost impossible, yet they are still fixed on being with each other. Lysander also suggests that Hermia and himself run away to his Aunt’s house where they can be together and married – the fact that he is prepared to marry Hermia even though it is forbidden makes it clear that he loves her more than he fears death, which also relates to ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Hermia also uses love symbols and imagery to show that she loves Lysander. She swears by ‘Cupid’s strongest bow’ and ‘by his best arrow with the golden head’ that she will meet and marry with him. In Greek mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus and Mars (that represent love and war). She is suggesting that even though this love god is spawned from war, their love may face war she still chooses him. The golden headed...
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