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A Midsummer Night's Dream - How do events in the play support Lysander's claim that

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Introduction

A Midsummer Night's Dream How do events in the play support Lysander's claim that "the course of true love never did run smooth"? In the following essay I am aiming to show how Lysander's claim that 'the course of true love never did run smooth' is supported by other events in the play. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was written by William Shakespeare. No one knows the exact date it was written but we know it was between 1589 and 1595. He combines romance with comedy to produce this popular story. When he was writing the play superstition about nature and spirits played an important part in people's lives, therefore Shakespeare included these ideas in his play. It was believed that fairies lived in a kingdom of their own and came into people's houses where they then interfered with the household. The fairies play a major part in the play where we see a particular character trying to help out the couples, but end up making the situation worse. The play is about love and relationships. The different couples never seem to encounter love running smoothly and are or have gone through problems when in love. Shakespeare shows us what love can make you do but at the end we have a traditional 'fairy tale' ending where the audience eventually see the couples re-united and harmony restored. Love is the main theme and is portrayed by Shakespeare as a kind of 'madness'. Nowadays love is classed as a good thing, but in the play 'love and reason keep little company together'. The themes and events are very contemporary and this is what keeps the play popular today. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" opens with two romantic conflicts. The first part of the scene features the two characters Theseus and Hippolyta. This relationship is very significant and this is why Shakespeare starts the play with this particular couple. ...read more.

Middle

Many people thought they lived in a kingdom of their own and were invisible to humans, but occasionally they allowed themselves to be seen as if in a dream. Hence the title, because in the play Puck states that it is going to be a dream to the characters. Titania and Oberon are significant characters in the play and their relationship is not running smoothly. Their relationship has a big affect on the mortal realm and this involves the audience. Puck is Oberon's servant and he tells the audience a lot at the beginning relating to the king and queen's relationship. 'And jealous Oberon would have the child/Knight of his train'. Titania has an adopted child and this is what their argument is about. Oberon wants to take the child from Titania because she gives a lot of her attention to him, which makes Oberon very jealous and his immaturity leads him to get revenge on his wife. Oberon also feels threatened by Titania. As he is the male he should be the dominant one, but Titania is a strong character and because of this there is no compromise in their relationship; neither of them are willing to back down in an argument which we can see. The argument has major affects on the mortal world, as we learn from Titania's speech. She speaks in blank verse to show her nobility and how important she is. The atmosphere at this stage is very depressing which Shakespeare emphasises by the fact that no one is happy. This is because of the affects of their argument. One of the affects is on the seasons: 'The nine-men's-morris is filled up with mud.' The seasons are mixed up and no one knows what season they are in, therefore the crops are unable to grow. At this time the people relied on the seasons and weather so that their crops could grow but now, because of the argument, there is no food. ...read more.

Conclusion

Through out the story the theme is mainly about love not running smoothly and this is reflected in the sub plot. The play within the play is about two particular characters, Pyramus and Thisbe. They declare their love for each other and agree to meet at 'Ninny's tomb', but as Thisbee arrives at the tomb she is scared off by a lion. Pyramus enters full of expectation but sees Thisbe's bloodstained mantle and immediately claims: 'Thus die I', He irrationally stabs himself but the audience are one step ahead of the characters, and know that Thisbe isn't actually dead. When Thisbee finds the body of Pyramus she does the same and kills herself. This shows one of the extremes of what love can cause you to do when it doesn't run smoothly and the other characters in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' all echo this when Lysander, Theseus and Demetrius claim that they will die for the woman they are in love with. In conclusion, I think Shakespeare balanced this romantic fantasy with the rough humour of Bottom and his friends. Shakespeare also transports the audience from reality to the magical wood of the fairies and involves them in the play. I hope to have shown how Lysander's claim that 'true love never did run smooth' is supported by other events and I think it is clear that love can make people do many irrational things when it doesn't run smoothly. Theseus and Hippolyta show us that love can run smoothly in the end but each relationship has its problem. Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena all reflect the idea of love not running smoothly and show what being in love can make you do. The play remains popular today due to the contemporary relevance of so many of the themes which Shakespeare included and he presents the idea that love is unpredictable and can cause great confusion. Love is something that cannot be explained but only experienced and Shakespeare leaves us to develop our own idea of what love really is. ...read more.

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