Shakespeare vs. Tom Stoppard

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Vikas Sharma
Honors English
Final Exam Essay
5-24-10

Stoppard vs. Shakespeare

There are many ways love is presented thematically in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and Shakespeare in Love by Tom Stoppard. In a Midsummer Night’s Dream, love is off and on going between most of the characters which shows that love was difficult and not too strong between the characters, while in the play Shakespeare in Love, the love between Shakespeare and Viola seems to be pure and full of passion.

The idea for love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream starts out with Theseus and Hippolyta. Hippolyta, having been the Queen of the Amazons, has been conquered by Theseus and is therefore under obligation to marry him. Shakespeare presents this kind of love as forced love because Theseus has conquered Hippolyta which means that she is dutiful to Theseus. Throughout the story Hippolyta starts to accept Theseus which shows that the nature of their love is mature. The four main characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream all have difficulty in their love which shows that it is true but also very young. As Lysander states in the novel “The course of true love never did run smooth.” He articulates on of A Midsummer Night’s Dreams most important themes. The theme of love’s difficulty is often explored through the motif of love out of balance—that is, romantic situations in which a disparity or inequality interferes with the harmony of a relationship. One of the reasons that love didn’t go smooth with Lysander is because of Egeus, Hermia's father. By law he has power over her and what he wants for is daughter is what must happen. And by law, Hermia is expected to be dutiful to her father, by respecting and obeying him. His over-protective parenting style demands Hermia a new man, but Hermia’s and Lysander’s true love and determination brings them together. Despite the obstructions that face the couple, their love succeeds in the end to show true love is strong and with...
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