A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Jealousy, Desperation, and Intervention

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People can become jealous by wanting something that someone else has. Overzealous jealousy leads to desperation in which people act irrationally to obtain the object of their desire. With irrational actions, people can ruin their relationships to ensure that they will never get what they want; however, other factors could intervene to help them get it. William Shakespeare explores these ideas in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Two characters that he uses to show these qualities are Oberon and Helena. According to Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, jealousy turns people to take desperate measures to get what they want, and they may need intervention to obtain what they desire. Shakespeare suggests that jealousy comes from not being able to have something that another person has. Oberon wants a boy that Titania has. Titania is looking after an Indian boy because of a promise to his mother to protect him, but Oberon wants the child to be a knight with him in the woods (MND 2.1.21-25). Oberon is selfish and wants the boy for himself. This jealousy causes a conflict in their relationship. Oberon asks Titania for him again, and she fiercely declines. She says that she will not give the boy up, not even “for thy fairy kingdom” (MND 2.1.144). She stands up to Oberon and does not give in. Her stubbornness to not give in to Oberon’s jealous request pushes them further apart. Titania chooses to distance herself from Oberon. She has “forsworn his bed and company”, and if she stays near him they “shall chide downright” (MND 2.1.62, 145). Oberon’s jealousy has turned Titania away from him. She is disgusted with him so much that she does not want to be near him. Oberon’s jealousy for Titania’s boy has caused a conflict in their rel... ... middle of paper ... ...on and Robin’s intervention, Demetrius has love for Helena again. Without the outside influences, Oberon and Helena would not have gotten what they wanted. William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, explores the actions of jealousy, desperation, and intervention to obtain something desired by a person. With the intervention of the love spell flower, both Oberon and Helena were able to get what they wanted. How they went about this was different though; Oberon was selfish and deceiving, and Helena was envious and self-degrading. Even still, jealousy led to desperation and irrationality, and neither character would have gotten what they wanted if there were not the interference of the flower. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Norton Shakespeare. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2008. 849-896. Print.

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