Theme Of Love In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Themes of romance and love have been central to world literature at least since the emergence of Ancient Greek drama. Drawing on this classic theatre tradition, modern drama substantially reformed representation of love and romance by embedding it into a complex social, cultural and philosophical context that reflected modern social transformations. This is especially true of William Shakespeare's famous comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream written between 1590 and 1596. The play brilliantly joins two realities of mythological Ancient Greece with its Gods, heroes and fairies with English theatrical world of actors and comedians. It also merges reality and dream making very difficult to draw distinction between them. It is argued in the present essay that A Midsummer Night's Dream main message is about how power, either of father or ruler, is used to arrange and manipulate romantic relations between subordinate people making them dependent on dominant representations of family, gender and discipline. On the surface, Shakespeare's play is a light comedy about romantic relations between a group of Athenian lovers, who spend their time in a fairy forest hours before the marriage of Theseus, Duke of Athens and Hippolyta, Queen of Amazons. Demetrius is desperate to gain love of Hermia, who loves Demetrius, while Helena seeks Demetrius' love. The story of love and jealousy is further dramatised by the magic love juice mistakenly applied by Oberon, a king of fairies, to Lysander and Demetrius, both of whom fall in love with Helena. In the end of the play, Lysander returns to Hermia, while Demetrius continues to love Helena, whom he despised in the beginning of the play. These romantic twists, however, often overshadowed the important role pla... ... middle of paper ... ...hood is something that is too much to bear even for ancient patriarchal community built on principles of children's parental obedience. In contrast, Oberon's patriarchal power has much in common with ideology and political manipulation, because it is capable of presenting its outcomes as a natural state of things. This two-fold analysis of patriarchal power in A Midsummer Night's Dream adds to Chamberlain's study of patriarchal economy as a means for strengthening male social position. However, it also suggests that Egeus' patriarchal strategy is less effective, than that of Oberon's in the condition of sexual emancipation and love autonomy displayed by Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander and Helena. Boehrer's analysis of complex homoerotic, heteroerotic relations and same-sex alliances is helpful for understanding varieties of power relations in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
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