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Discuss in detail Shakespeare's attitude to love - You should consider all the different types of love tackled in the play - You should also consider the differences between Shakespearean love and love today.

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Introduction

"The course of true love never did run smooth." (Lysander Act 1: Scene 1) Discuss in detail Shakespeare's attitude to love. You should consider all the different types of love tackled in the play. You should also consider the differences between Shakespearean love and love today. You must remember that 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is a play-how do love elements and various plots affect the reader or audience? Consider the role of Puck, the confusion and the humour. The play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', written by William Shakespeare is a focus on many types of love. The play was written at a time when a daughter's life was not her own. Her father would decide who she would marry and live with, it was a statement of ownership. Marriage today, however, is a statement of love, whereas is Shakespeare's time it was arranged on a basis of financial security and gain. If the prospective bride refused to marry the chosen spouse, she would have to face the consequences, which could range from banishment to execution. This situation is shown in Act 1, Scene 1 between Hermia and Demetrius. If we are to understand the play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' then we need to understand how societies' attitude has changed since Shakespeare's time. At this time women were seen as property to be controlled by men; the father's and then the husband's. ...read more.

Middle

(Act 2: Scene 1)(Oberon) Puck is unaware that there are four people in the woods, two of them gentlemen wearing Athenian clothes. It is Puck that places the juice in the eyes of the wrong person, Lysander. He is not really in love with Helena, which she believes; but Helena feels that Lysander is mocking her; unaware that he feels he is in love with her; although we know he is not. It was an unfortunate mistake, Puck was meant to put the magic juice in the eyes of Demetrius in order to make him love Helena as this would balance the situation; two couples where each person in the couple loves the other. Balance is what is being strived for throughout by the fairy world and the affect the mortal world in order to achieve this. When Lysander is affected by the drug and shows his affection towards Helena; Hermia is confused that this man who she was willing to defy her father for would act in such a way; openly displaying love for someone else. In act 3, scene 2, Hermia falls into farther isolation as Demetrius is affected by the drug and falls in love with Helena. We see that the balance has now been changed from two men in love with Hermia, to both men feeling love for Helena. The audience is assured that this will return to normal; we see that this is possible because the situation was caused by magic. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hermia and Lysander are truly in love, we can see this by their willingness to defy Egeus. Demetrius and Helena have a love which is much one sided; this love comes from infatuation and obsession on Helena's part. They are in love but they needed some assistance to help them achieve it. Titania and Oberon have a more complicated love, they continually bicker, but when they have their good times they are very passionate. Love within the fairy world is going to be treated differently to that in the mortal world. I think that Shakespeare was illustrating the view that love is fickle. The situation of using the juice from a plant as a magical potion shows this to be true; the juice represents all the little things in the mortal world, in Shakespearian times , that would make someone love another person, and that they would easily change their mind when a third person is seen to have more of this quality. I do believe that this play is still relevant in today's society, because the small things which attract one person to another still exist, even though they may be different things i.e. If you're attracted to someone with a car; you mind will be easily changed when someone appears with a better model. I believe that this play will be relevant for all time to come as the subject of love still intrigues many people, and an analysis of it like this one would be helpful to those people. Rachel Henderson Amu Ass. 4 17.5.02 ...read more.

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