Types of Love Represented in “A Midsummer Nights Dream”
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as in many of Shakespeare's plays the main theme is love. Shakespeare presents many different aspects of love in the play. He shows how love can affect your vision of reality and make you behave in irrational ways. He presents many ways in which your behavior is affected by the different types and aspects of love. The main types of love he presents are; true love, unrequited love, sisterly love, jealous love, forced love, and parental love. Shakespeare tries to show what kinds of trouble, problems and confusion, love can get you into. "The course of true love never did run smooth" is one of the play's most famous quotes. However, when you look at the action of the play itself, it's clear that "true love" is a problematic common idea (Act I, Scene I, Ln 134). Thanks to Puck and Oberon's interference, the "true love" between Hermia and Lysander is split apart, and Lysander falls in love with Helena, although they are, of course, reunited at the end. "True love" eventually follows the path and finds its way to marriage. This line delivered by Lysander captures clearly the nature of true love. True love is seen as strong, and can endure despite hardships. It is difficult to keep once found but well worth the troubles. The course of their true love does not run smooth for many reasons. One of the reasons is Egeus, Hermia's father. By law he has power over her. Hermia is expected to respect and obey him but with her thought of destiny which is represented in Act I Scene I Line 150 when Hermia says, “If then true lovers have been ever cross’d, It stands as an edict in destiny”, she is determined to follow her destiny even against her fathers will. Egeus’ over-protective parental love demands Hermia a different man, but Hermia and Lysander's determination brings the two through, again supporting true love as being strong. Egeus and the Athenian Law are both obstacles that result in their relationship not running smoothly. True love is mutual, and their decision to elope is also a mutual decision, this seems rash and could imply their love to be passionate. However, their decision to reveal their plan to Helena was foolish and this shows Hermia and Lysander's love to be young, fun and secretive, though they are excited and both cannot wait to share their secret with their closest friend. However, this action just proves to result in another obstacle, also their youth, perhaps their immaturity and their lack of thinking things through. Despite the obstacles they face, the couple’s love succeeds in the end to show true love is strong and cannot be ignored and with determination it survives. In a Midsummer Night's Dream, there is the presence of unrequited love, which is shown by Helena and Demetrius' relationship: "The more I love, the more he hateth me" (Act I, Scene I, Ln 199). This evidently shows Helena's love for Demetrius, and yet her love for him is not returned for he is blinded by his love for Hermia. This unrequited love shows the cruel nature of love which is represented when Demetrius say, “Tell you I do not nor I cannot love you” (Act II, Scene I, Ln 201), “Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I do look on thee (Act II, Scene I, Ln 211). Demetrius ignores Helena in an attempt to push her away, when she is madly in love with him. However, his plan backfires and only causes her love and desperate desire for him to grow, which results in him hating her even more which is plainly stated when Hermia speaks to him in Act II, Scene I, Ln 203-210,
I am your spaniel; spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love
(And yet a place of high respect with me)
Than to be used as you use your dog.
A destructive cycle develops that worsens, without the two noticing. It is a vicious relationship and if allowed to endure, it...
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