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Midsummer Night's Dream Theme of Love

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Midsummer Night's Dream Theme of Love

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  • March 12, 2007
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In A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare explores the theme of love through character and plot development, usage of literary devices as well as usage of socio-historical context. He follows literary traditions, but also develops his own style. Shakespeare introduces his theme of unstable love relationships in the first Act and uses the elements of literature to further develop his theme. The play opens up with the planning of the wedding of Thesus (Duke of Athens) and Hippolyta (Queen of the Amazons). While this is taking place Egeus, a nobleman of Athens and Hermia's father enters Thesus court accompanied by Hermia and Demetrius and Lysander. These two men are Hermias suitors with Demetrius being her fathers choice and Lysander being the man she has fallen in love with. In the midst of this conflict Hermia is given a choice till her wedding between either obeying her father, or being sent to a convent or even being executed under Athenian law. The plot develops and Hermia and Lysander plan to escape to Lysander's aunts house outside Athens, where they would get married. Unfortunately, they reveal their secret to Helena who tells it to Demetrius in an attempt to win back Demetrius heart. However, this only sends Demetrius behind his rival and love with Helena following him. In these very woods another conflict arises between the fairy Queen Titania and the fairy King Oberon over the use of an Indian prince. The result of this dispute takes the plot into a new direction as Oberon seeks revenge. In a blind rage Oberon sends his follower Puck to acquire a love potion to cause the Queen to fall in love with a donkey looking Bottom, and to cause Demetrius to fall in love with Helena. Lacking knowledge of who the targeted Athenian is to be, Puck uses the potion on Lysander, leaving him with a shift in emotions directed towards Helena. From her a battle arises between the four confused lovers arises who now seek violence as their solution....