Love VS Infatuation
Love is one of the most immense feelings a human can experience. Love is a deep tender feeling of affection and attachment and devotion to another person. Countless people experience love, both, as non-romantic with their families and romantic love with a special person who comes into their life. When people are on the expedition for love, people may become blindsided by infatuation or what is commonly referred to as lust. Infatuation is being completely carried away by a foolish or shallow affection. Individuals can accept infatuation instead of love, or they cannot tell the difference between the two. One of the many themes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is love vs. infatuation. Love is stronger, no matter what the circumstance may be. The play A Midsummer Night’s Dream investigates and portrays the intricate relationships among three couples. The relationships become jumbled up and turn into a love triangle.
The first couple introduced in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is Lysander and Hermia. Lysander and Hermia truly symbolize the wholesome meaning of romantic love. Their love is exceedingly strong, which makes the lovers inseparable. The play does a wonderful job of showing the concrete stages of their relationship. One example is why Hermia’s love is strong, is that she listens to her father, Egeus, but then makes her own decision, based on her own feelings and not those of her family or society, to commit to Lysander. In the play, Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius and not Lysander. Hermia also went against Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and defied the ancient law of Athens, by choosing to continue her bond with Lysander even though it might mean her death or lifelong chastity. Love is stronger than infatuation, because it means two people making a long term commitment to each other, which does not happen in infatuation. An example of this is when Hermia and Lysander run away together to the forest where they do not know what awaits them. They are putting their trust and faith into each other:
…If thou lovest me then
Steal forth thy father’s house tomorrow night.
And in the woods a league without the town-
Where I did meet thee once with Helena
To do observance to a morn of May-
There will I stay for thee.
Love is also stronger than infatuation, because it means respecting a person, whereas infatuation is only pleasing yourself. Lysander showed his love and respect of Hermia by not sleeping near her at the river bank, at the edge of the forest even though he wanted to. While love can also have some elements of infatuation such as physical attraction, love is a deeper emotion where a person cares about the reputation of their loved one, and would not harm it. However, with infatuation, a person only wants instant pleasure and does not care about the long term harm it may cause.
While love is a very strong bond, there can be cracks in love’s foundation, which may temporarily cause a breach. We see this when Lysander receives the magic potion from Puck, and becomes temporarily infatuated with Helena, and carried away by an unreasonable desire for another woman other than the one he truly loves, if he were not under the spell of infatuation. When the infatuation is lifted, Lysander understands his foolishness, and immediately goes back to Hermia. At the end of the play, Egeus and Theseus realize that Lysander and Hermia are truly in love, strongly committed to each other, and not just infatuated, and give their blessings for the marriage.
The second couple is Helena and Demetrius. Demetrius had Egeus’ blessing for Hermia’s hand in marriage, but Hermia rejected Demetrius because of her love for Lysander. As can be seen in Demetrius actions, infatuation can often be just one sided, where the stronger bond of love must be two sided. While Demetrius...