Resolution in A Midsummer Nights Dream

Resolution in A Midsummer Nights Dream

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In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the conflict is based upon
pure confusion. The main characters are involved in a mix-up of epic
proportions. The story begins with Demetrius pledged to marry Hermia, daughter
of Egeus. Conflict arises immediately when Lysander is shown to have won
Hermia's affection and also her undying love. This situation is clouded even
further when Helena, a friend of Hermia is found to be in love with Demetrius.
The crowning mix-up that throws the events of the play into action is the
strange relationship between Oberon and Titania, the ruling fairies. Because of
his untamed jealousy over Titania's new servant, Oberon orders Puck to sprinkle
love juice in Titania's eye and, taking pity on Helena, the eyes of Demetrius as
well. A solution is very close at hand until Puck mistakes Lysander for
Demetrius and causes Lysander to fall desperately in love with Helena. This is
the main conflict. Characters that are desperately in love are torn apart by
forces they c annot control. Helena is in great anguish because she cannot have
Demetrius and now it seems that Lysander is mocking her over this very fact.
Hermia is also in terrible pain due to the sudden change of heart seen in her
lover. Demetrius is still seeking Hermia with no hope of success and Lysander
is trapped in the daze of love for a woman that is not his true love. It is
with this feeling of utter helplessness that Shakespeare ends act II.

     Although this is one of Shakespeare's comedies, an interesting way to
resolve the story would be to take the traditional tragic approach: everyone
dies. Hermia, caught between her father's wish that she marry Demetrius and her
strong love for Lysander, surely will be driven to madness by the loss of
Lysander's love. A loss so great will have no other effect than to drive Hermia
to suicide when she confronts Lysander and is mysteriously and continuously
turned away. With Lysander's own sword, she cuts herself down and bleeds to
death at her lover's feet. Confused by the act and possibly shaken back to
reality by it, Lysander awakens from his daze and sees his love dead, his own
sword plunged through her body.

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Disoriented by the love juice and not
remembering what happened, he concludes that he is indeed the killer and so
takes his own life. Demetrius, out of sadness and the fear that he will be
blamed for his rival's death, flees in terror from the city never to be seen
again. The final fate goes to Helena who, overcoming the death of her friend
and coming to terms with the knowledge that she will never see Demetrius again,
joins a convent and lives out the rest of her life in seclusion.
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