How does Shakespeare present love in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'?

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Interpersonal relationship, Titania Pages: 4 (1425 words) Published: October 16, 2013
Shakespeare uses many different themes to present love; relationships, conflict, magic, dreams and fate. Overall, he presents it as something with the ability to make us act irrationally and foolishly. Within A Midsummer Night's Dream we see many examples of how being 'in love' can cause someone to change their perspective entirely. 'The path of true love never did run smooth' is a comment made from one of the main characters, Lysander, which sums up the play's idea that lovers always face difficult hurdles on the path to happiness and will usually turn them into madmen. Shakespeare presents love through the relationship shared by Hermia and Lysander. This relationship, at the start of the play, is portrayed as the traditional true love; Hermia chooses to become a nun instead of marrying the man her father has chosen for her such as her bond with Lysander and intentions for him, 'I will tield my virgin patent up Unto his lordship', and they decide to elope, 'Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal.' However, as the play develops our perception of their love differs, after Lysander is mistakenly put under a spell meant for Demetrius he attempts to pursue his new love, Helena, without any regard for Hermia, 'Not Hermia but Helena I love', he now treats Hermia as if she had always meant nothing to him, ‘Should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead? Although I hate her, I’ll harm her not so’, the magic potion removes any positive emotions. He also presents love through the dominating relationship through the father-daughter figures shared by Egeus and Hermia within the play. In the time the play was set the father made the decision who his daughter would marry because of the patriarchal society they lived in, 'As she is mine, I may dispose of her', however Egeus did not chose Lysander to marry Hermia, he chose Demetrius, 'all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius'. Despite how they expected Hermia to obey them, she defied her father's will and fought for...
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