The Theme of True Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare The overriding theme of the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare deals with the nature of love. Though true love seems to be held up as an ideal, false love is mostly what we are shown. Underneath his frantic comedy, Shakespeare seems to be asking the questions all lovers ask in the midst of their confusion: How do we know when love is real? How can we trust ourselves that love is real when we are so easily swayed by passion and romantic conventions? Some readers may sense bitterness behind the comedy, but will probably also recognize the truth behind Shakespeare's satire.
The unarguable theme in Shakespeare’s “A midsummer night’s dream” is love. Here the playwright explores how people fall in love and that the pursuit of love can make people irrational and foolish. By using the cliché that “the course of true love never did run smooth” Shakespeare suggests that love is “really an obstacle course with the capacity to turn us all into madmen.” (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008). Furthermore the love represented in this play is far from true and by placing his characters in the fairy realm Shakespeare suggests that love is simply an illusion. The idea of difficult love is very often explored through the motif of” love out of balance”.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the most unforgettable plays about love written by William Shakespeare. The play includes the four main characters: Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius, and Helena. Lysander and Demetrius, who fight for Hermia’s love, have anointed by Oberon, fairy king, and his servant, Puck, with a love-juice. This juice causes the four lovers to fall in or out of love with each other. Without knowing that their actions are controlled by the potion, the lovers are ironically convinced that they fall in love because of essential "reasons".
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream could have easily been a light-hearted, whimsical comedy. Complete with a magic forest and a kingdom of fairies, it is an iconic setting for amorous escapades and scenes of lovers. But Shakespeare’s writing is never so shallow; through this romantic comedy, Shakespeare postulates an extremely cynical view of love. A Midsummer Night’s Dream becomes a commentary on the mystery of love, and lovers in general emerge shamed. Especially in the episodes among the four young Athenians, the lover is painted as a fickle creature, always changing his or her mind, and love as a passing phenomenon.
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night has central love triangle between Cesario/Viola, Orsino, and Olivia; the excesses and complications within the triangle causes disorder for the characters and audience, and increases hilarity. Shakespeare further confounds the plot by toying with gender-switching, plague imagery, and even homosexuality. The progression of all of these plot devices which are contrary to society’s rules makes Twelfth Night an ideal comedic work because it plays into society’s discomfort at not being in control of its own destiny. Pain is hilarious. We love to find joy in the misfortune of others.
Shakespeare uses the magic potion as a device to express love’s fickleness with the repeated allusion to the unpredictable influence of Cupid’s arrows. Moreover, it is Fairy King’s anger, jealousy and resentment over Titania’s tenderness towards the Indian boy, in conjunction with her refusal to give turn him over to Oberon, which is the seed for the cunning and illusory love-in-idleness potion. Oberon, like an impudent child, deprived of what he desires, acts with guile and duplicity affecting not only
Richard Henze refers to the play as a “vindication of romance, a depreciation of romance…a ‘subtle portrayal of the psychology of love,’ a play about ‘unrequital in love’…a moral comedy about the surfeiting of the appetite…” (Henze 4) On the other hand, L. G. Salingar questions all of the remarks about Twelfth Night, asking if the remarks about the play are actually true. Shakespeare touches on the theme of love, but emphases the pain and suffering it causes a person, showing a dark and dismal side to a usually happy thought. In the play, the characters play a critical role in showing the theme as the ones inflicted with the pain and suffering of love that Shakespeare highlighted. Attacked with pain from the rejection of the one they love, each of the characters suffers from the rejection, linking the characters to the theme that Shakespeare presented in the play. These links to the theme also link the characters to one another at the same time.
Love is a powerful emotion, capable of turning reasonable people into fools. Out of love, ridiculous emotions arise, like jealousy and desperation. Love can shield us from the truth, narrowing a perspective to solely what the lover wants to see. Though beautiful and inspiring when requited, a love unreturned can be devastating and maddening. In his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare comically explores the flaws and suffering of lovers.
While the characters struggle through their quest to find love, the audience becomes aware of the foolishness and comedic nature of human struggles. This is why Shakespeare's “joyous plays” are “compounded with sadnesses of its characters”(Foster). In Twelfth Night, the theme of latent legitimacy accumulates into a complex quest to discover self-morality, resulting in a colossal confusion of identity and love formed by all characters who eventually benefit from their comical quest. Through the use of symbolism, metaphors, and irony, William Shakespeare attempts to emphasize the idea that love constructs identity as identity subsequently constructs morality, ultimately proving that love is blind therefore humanity is blind. The quests to find morality through love occurs for all the characters, however it stands out for Viola, Olivia, Malvolio and Orsino.
Shakespeare and the author of Tristan and Iseult display a vastly different role of love potions in relation to the concept of love in their works. When a love potion is added to the plot of the two writings one can see how it inherently displays the irrational state of love that can come as a side effect of sudden infatuation. In a Midnight Summers Dream, Shakespeare writes the love potion into his plot in a relatively humorous way, while the author of Tristan and Iseult, reflects the conception of love through pain and tragedy. The two authors highlight the irrationality of love, though with different intentions. The ways in which the love potions are utilized in the plots of the two stories indicates several differences about the authors