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In Shakespeare’s play ‘A Mid – Summer Night’s Dream’, Shakespeare uses
his characters to present “True Love” as a state of harmony and
happiness between lovers. However, it is only at the very end of this
Mid - Summer night each character must make their own journey through
troubled happenings towards the fulfillment of their desires and the
achievement of true happiness. Shakespeare makes clear in Puck’s final
monologue that this fairytale of love’s complications is not to be
Lysander and Hermia are both seriously in love. Although they love
each other, their parents forbade them to be together “The course of
true love never did run smooth” (Lysander, Act 1 Scene). Egeus,
Hermia’s father strongly disapproved of their relationship and wanted
Hermia to marry Demetrius, who also loved Hermia. Egues’ decision was
clearly made for his own benefit he doesn’t care about Hermia and
definitely doesn’t mind if she ends up in a nunnery or even being
executed. Egeus’ decision forces these two unfortunate lovers into the
woods to escape the cruel Athenian law. Demetrius eventually also end
up in the woods in search of Hermia with Helena following him. With
the (not useful) of a spirit, Lysander falls in love with Helena.
Hermia calls Helena a “thief of love” and fights evolve. At the end,
the problems between the two young maidens are resolved and Hermia
gets married to Lysander.
Demetrius and Helena is an awkward pair. Helena is in love with
Demetrius and would even be his spaniel! “… I am your spaniel and
Demetrius, the more you beat me, I will fawn on you. Use me but as
your spaniel: spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me. Only give me
leave, unworthy as I am to follow you. What worser place can I beg in
your love, and yet places of high respect with me, than to be used as
you use your dog? (Helena, Act 2, Scene 1). But she has not gained his
love because he loves Hermia - her close friend.
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Demetrius’ love and trust, Helena betrays Hermia. Demetrius follows
Hermia in to the woods and with the (useful) help from a spirit,
Demetrius falls in love with Helena. At that point, Helena feels
confused because two men like/love her and she thinks that they are
playing a trick on her. To gain Helena’s love and trust, hatred and
jealousy builds up between Lysander and Demetrius eventually, they
start a fight. At the end, the spirit applies the magic potion to
Lysander’s eyes and he then loves Hermia. At the end, Demetrius and
Helena get married.
Theseus and Hippolyta are together in the first place because
Hippolyta lost in was and got injured. “Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with
my sword, and won thy love, doing thee injuries, But I will wed thee
in another key, with pomp, with triumph, and with reveling,” (Theseus,
Act 1 Scene 1). At first, Hippolyta found no interest in Theseus but
after being together for a while, she finally accepts to marry him.
Just before their marriage, Egeus brings up the problem about Hermia’s
affair with Lysander and Egeus wanting Hermia to marry Demetrius.
Theseus agreed with Egeus’ decision which annoyed Hippolyta and making
her angry with him. But after the incident that happened in the woods,
Theseus allowed the couples to marry the one they love.
Oberon and Titania is a powerful pair, but they also have problems.
They fight over a changeling boy who Oberon wants but Titania wouldn’t
give “… Do amend it then/It lies in you/why should Titania cross her
Oberon? I do but beg a little changeling boy” (Oberon, act 2 scene 1).
Because of Oberon’s extreme desire for the changeling boy and wanting
revenge, he orders his servant, Puck, to collect a purple flower’s
antidote and apply to Titania’s sleeping eyes to make her madly in
love with the first living creature she sees when awakening. The
antidote made Titania fall madly in love with ass-headed bottom. After
gaining the power and having the changeling boy, Oberon applies the
magical liquid on Titania’s eyes and they become a happy couple again.
I believe that Shakespeare is telling us that “true love” cannot
always go as how we want it to. In order to be able to reach the verge
of “eternal true love” there will be obstacles in the way and
challenges to face. Relationships may not be approved by friends or
family but everything can be resolved if you have the “heart”. This
play is mainly a Hollywood Romcom because of its interesting and funny
complications and many comical but tragical events. Even though that
this play shouldn’t be taken seriously, but it is a pretty good
example of how crazy true love can be.