Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Power of Love

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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. Four young Athenians: Demetrius, Lysander, Hermia, and Helena, are confronted by love’s challenge, one that becomes increasingly difficult with the interference of the fairy world. Through specific word choice and word order, a struggle between lovers is revealed throughout the play. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare uses descriptive diction to emphasize the impact love has on reality and one’s own rationality, and how society’s desperate pursuit to find love can turn even strong individuals into fools.

In response to Hermia’s defiance toward marrying Demetrius, Theseus offers Hermia three choices in the first scene: to obey her father’s will; to become a nun and forever stay an unwed virgin; to die. The extremity of these punishments presented by Theseus, and Hemia’s decision to accept these punishments rather than marry Demetrius, exaggerates how love can lead to irrational sacrifices. Shakespeare then compares a married woman to a plucked and distilled rose, and an unwed woman to a withering unplucked rose on a “virgin thorn.” This potent imagery contrasts the sweet smell of perfume to the harmful touch of a thorn. If Hermia continues to defy the desires of her father, she is sacrificing a happily married life in hopes of following he...

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...erfections. Also, just as a poet can create poems out of nothing, a lover can see things that do not exist, such the reciprocation of a flirty gesture, simply because that is he or she want to see.

Deceiving and irrational, love can be a challenging emotion to endure. It can be difficult to find happiness in love, and on the journey to find that happiness, love can influence one’s thought process. Shakespeare uses specific wording in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to poke fun while exploring the individual’s quest for love. The desire to find love and a happy ending with a lover is so strong in the foundation of mankind, that people will not accept a life without it. In fact, they would rather give up their attribute of rationality than their opportunity to find a significant other. The heart’s control of the mind can make a foolish man.

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