For the purposes of this inquiry, we are defining "love" as "that which steadily desires and works to attain the benefit of another." I think this definition becomes very important when we study the uses and effects of the dew of the pansy (first mentioned in 2.1.166ff.) on the various characters on whom its charm is worked, and by extension, on those with whom they interact. The dew is employed by Shakespeare as a device to demonstrate how fluid a thing "love" is, and how easily the affections of the so-called lover can be swayed. But the dew's power is not all-conquering. It is said to "make man or woman madly dote / upon the next live creature that it sees" (2.1.171-172), and to induce "hateful fantasies" (2.1.258), but it is not irresistible, nor is it ever said to repress any feelings of love a person might have had prior to falling under its charm.
Thus I believe that from our definition of love we can reason that what the dew affects and causes is not, in fact, love at all. Rather, it is fancy, another emotion of which Shakespeare makes considerable use. If a person steadily desired and worked to attain the benefit of another, the charm of the dew would not change that. It would merely fill his or her head with "hateful fantasies" about the new object of affection -- and not desires for its benefit. In any event, certainly someone genuinely in...
... middle of paper ...
... of my examination of love in A Midsummer Night's Dream, to arrive at the conclusion that none of its players exhibited any love at all, and Shakespeare's point was to prove that love is unreal; a fabrication of human imagination. I was excited to discover, however, that in the midst of the ugly scene he set up to emphasize this argument most strongly, he left a single bastion of true, honest, unadulterated (for Hermia is never charmed by the pansy's dew) love. To me, Hermia is an example of what humanity could be, and how it could love, were it to forget some of the smaller matters in which it so often becomes willingly entangled.
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston. New York. 1997.
Rhoades, Duane. Shakespeare's Defense of Love: "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Westport, CT: Greenwood Press,1986.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Theme of Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare When love is in attendance it brings care, faith, affection and intimacy. This is proved true in the spectacular play A Midsummer Night's Dream written by William Shakespeare. This play displays the facts about lust, hatred, jealousy and their roles in something powerfully desirable. It is entitled love. Love is present everywhere, in every form, in every condition and even when one least expects it. True love is like a precious black pearl, it is so rare that many believe it to be a myth, but Hermia and Lysander found true love according to the following excerpt said by Lysander from A Midsummer Night... [tags: Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare]
669 words (1.9 pages)
- Have you ever heard or seen one of Shakespeare's beautiful plays. He is one of the most talented play writers that everyone still enjoys and adores him today. Have you ever been in love so much that you would do anything to be them. This is the type of love that Shakespeare so wonderfully displays in some of his plays. He can make even the toughest and biggest of people to cry because of how sad and beautiful his plays are. In the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, Lysander says “The course of true love never did run smooth” which means love can be hard and strenuous work, not everyone will approve of your love, and love can be confusing.... [tags: love, approve, person, work out]
601 words (1.7 pages)
- Webster’s Dictionary defines love as a feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters. By the end of Shakespeare’s play Midsummer Night’s Dream, it goes without saying that Webster’s Dictionary definition was able to hit this definition head on. Shakespeare is able to paint the perfect picture for this play mainly because he is one of the great masters of the English Language.... [tags: Midsummer Night’s Dream]
716 words (2 pages)
- Is love a remedy to one’s sorrow or the unfortunate reason of their unhappiness. Love is a feeling that overtakes a person when they are around something or someone they admire. It is present everywhere, in every form, in every condition and even when one least expect its. Although love is said to bring happiness to a person’s life; in the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it led the characters into a world of confusion and misunderstanding. Love is chaotic, unpredictable, and leads to sorrow. It is a hard concept to compromise with and if there are any misunderstandings, it could lead to a complicated and difficult life.... [tags: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare, love,]
547 words (1.6 pages)
- Superficial Love in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream In the first soliloquy of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Helena talks primarily of a love that contains depth, a love that looks at who a person is, personality-wise, as opposed to nothing more than their appearance. Helena explains, "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind" (1.1.240). In the shallow culture in which Helena lives, and even in today's society, it is difficult for people to look beyond the outer shell and follow a deeper perception.... [tags: Midsummer Night's Dream Essays]
468 words (1.3 pages)
- Illusion of Love in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream The play A Midsummer Night's Dream is centered around themes that are seemingly apparent and clear: those of true love, false love, love's blindness and the inconstancy of love. However, this pattern of the themes of love dissipate to reveal that these themes are only apparent to the reader who wants them to exist. We want Lysander and Hermia to be in love; we want Demetrius to love Helena as she loves him, but the question arises as to whether these lovers are actually in love.... [tags: Midsummer Night's Dream]
1530 words (4.4 pages)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's most widely read comedies about love. This seems somewhat strange, however, in light of the fact that so few of its characters seem to display any kind of full or true love. A close examination of the actions and words of each of the players will reveal that only one of them, by the end of Act V, should be considered a "lover". For the purposes of this inquiry, we are defining "love" as "that which steadily desires and works to attain the benefit of another." I think this definition becomes very important when we study the uses and effects of the dew of the pansy (first mentioned in 2.1.166ff.) on the various characters on whom its charm is w... [tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream Essays]
2433 words (7 pages)
- The Theme of Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Love is defined as a strong affection, attachment, or devotion to a person or persons. Many people tend to think that if you are young , you cannot possibly be in love at thee same time. It is believed that especially when you are in your teenage year that you are too young to know whether or not you are really in love, but who can really say that they know the true meaning of love whether they are young or old. Despite all of this, there are still those people out there that believe in love at first sight and love being blind.... [tags: Papers]
547 words (1.6 pages)
- The Theme of Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare presents us with multiple types of love by using numerous couples in various different situations. For example: Doting loves, the love induced by Oberon's potion and in some aspects, Lysander and Hermia's love for each other; there are true loves: Oberon and Titania, Lysander and Hermia (for the first half at least, as Lysander's love switches to Helena temporarily) and Theseus and Hippolyta.... [tags: Papers]
1558 words (4.5 pages)
- Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare In midsummer night dream love is portrait in different ways . Many of the characters fall in and out of love with each other. The term lovers is used in the play to mean the four lovers Demetrius, Hermia, Helena and Lysander. They behave as individuals in the play, they also act as a group when they represent the theme of young love. There are different kinds of love in the play. One of the kinds of love which is not real love but many people mistake it as is infatuation or commonly known as lust.... [tags: Papers]
676 words (1.9 pages)