The Representation of Love in Shakespeare’s Comedy A midsummer Night’s Dream

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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”. (SparkNotes Editors, 2002) This loss of balance is represented in the asymmetrical love between Athenians – Hermia loves Lysander and he loves her back. On the other hand Helena loves Demetrius, but Demetrius loves Hermia, instead of Helena. Thus we have this love misbalance leaving one woman with too many suitors and another with no suitors at all. One could say that love in this play is a character in its own right. It is an acting force which drives not only the characters forward, but also the whole plot of the play. However the represented love in this play is by no means true or faithful to reality. By using magic and fairies Shakespeare further stresses that the whole setting is false. True love exists only in the character’s words and feelings such as selfishness and obsession are mistaken for true love. By analyzing each character’s relationships one can argue that the characters are persuaded to falsely fall in love and that love is simply an illusion. The questioning and persistence of true love begins with the opening scene. It is a dialog between a minor, ... ... middle of paper ... ...m man. Throughout A Midsummer’s Night Dream Shakespeare argues that the notion that is perceived as love is often not love at all and it’s rather selfishness or an obsession. Indeed true love appears in this play as a guest, as a character even, it is rather fleeting and dream-like. It was never meant to stay, even when by the end everything appears to be happy and arranged in order. Works Cited Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). A Midsummer Night's Dream Theme of Love. Retrieved April 15, 2014 from http://www.shmoop.com/midsummer-nights-dream/love-theme.html SparkNotes Editors. (2002). SparkNote on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/msnd/ Nostbakken F. (2003 )Understanding A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents Greenwood Publishing Group
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