Examine How Shakespeare Presents Love in Act 1 Scene 1 of ‘a Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 357
  • Published : December 13, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Examine how Shakespeare presents love in Act 1 Scene 1 of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Love is a theme which reoccurs through many of Shakespeare’s Plays. In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, the theme ‘Love’ is presented from the very beginning in Act 1 Scene 1, through Shakespeare’s use of poetic language, structure and vivid imagery. At the beginning of the play we see an example of parental love, between the characters Egeus and his daughter Hermia. Egeus is ‘Full of vexation’ when he enters the scene, and Shakespeare presents his love for Hermia through this anger. When reading his speech, lines 22 to 45, it first appears that Egeus is a cruel and unreasonable father. This is because he is denying Hermia the right to marry her true love Lysander, and gives her the ultimatum of marrying Demetrius, who ‘Hath my consent to marry her’ or ‘to her death’. However his love is apparent in line 27, in which he states ‘This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child.’ The use of the word ‘bewitched’ indicates that Egeus believes Hermia has been cast under a spell, and is not truly in love with Lysander. His concern comes across in the next line, through the repetition of the word ‘though’. This repetition suggests that Egeus if very frustrated as he says ‘Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes’ which creates the impression that his anger is hindering his speech. The length of his speech also creates the impression that he is very aggravated with her decision and feels passionate about her marrying Demetrius, as it is very long. However his love is also presented as very possessive as he states ‘she is mine, and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius’. The use of the possessive pronouns ‘mine’ and ‘my’ show that he regards Hermia as his ‘property’ and he can do what he pleases with her. ‘Estate unto’ creates the impression that he sees her more as an object in his possession rather than a person. In Act 1 Scene 1 however, Hermia and Lysander’s love is seen...
tracking img