Midsummer Night's Dream: Fate vs. Free Will Essay

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Midsummer Night's Dream essay

Throughout the play A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare uses both fate and free will to present his philosophy towards the nature of love. The characters struggle through confusion and conflicts to be with the one they love. Although the course of their love did not go well, love ultimately triumphs over all at the end of the play. The chaos reaches a climax causing great disruption among the lovers. However, the turmoil is eventually resolved by Puck, who fixes his mistake. The confusion then ends and the lovers are with their true love. Throughout the play Shakespeare's philosophy was displayed in various scenes, and his concept still holds true in modern society.

Fate plays an exceptional part in the play. An example of fate throughout the play would be the love potion that the fairies use on the characters. Puck, otherwise known as Robin Goodfellow, was commanded by Oberon to put the love potion in the Athenian lovers' eyes. First, Oberon tells Puck to put the potion in Demetrius's eyes. He tells Puck that he will know who Demetrius is by the "Athenian garments" he wore. Puck obeys Oberon and goes off in search of Demetrius. Puck then stumbles upon Lysander. Mistaking that Lysander was Demetrius, Puck puts the love juice in Lysander's eyes instead. This is when all the chaos starts to occur. When Lysander awakes, the first person that he sees is Helena, causing him to fall deeply in love with her. Lysander then says to Helena, "Content with Hermia? No! I do repent/ The tedious minutes I with her have spent." (2.2.117-18) Fate cannot be foretold and the effect it has cannot actually be controlled. Although Lysander did not truly love Helena, the love potion had an effect on him, thus making him fall passionately in love with Helena. Because of Puck, true love that Hermia and Lysander shared was turned, and not a false turned true. Puck replies that those are the rules of fate. In a way, it was fate that the...
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