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Love in "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

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A MIDSUMMER NIGHT?S DREAM There are various types of ?love? found in A Midsummer Night?s Dream?, which Shakespeare explores through the constant evolution and changing of relationships between the characters. The first of these relationships is that of the duke, Theseus, and his bride-to-be, Hippolyta. Although his enthusiasm over their wedding can be interpreted as a sign of love, it belies his actual dominating nature. He had ?wooed? Hippolyta with his ?sword?, and ?won (her) love doing (her) injuries?. This is a clear example of how Theseus is not the righteous man he claims to be, another example of which is given in Act II Scene I: we discover that he had ?ravished? Perigouna, and ?broke his faith? with Aegles, Ariadne, and Antiopa for Titania. ...read more.


While she expresses her angst at their ?debate?, their ?dissention?, he devises a plan to ?anoint? her eyes with a love potion that will make her ?madly dote upon the next live creature that (she) sees?. In this way, Shakespeare shows how although Oberon and Titania are married, they find love in the end only through Oberon?s manipulation. Titania is seen again in a relationship with Bottom, an actor in the Mechanicals? group. With his magic, Puck ?translates? Bottom?s head into that of an ass, and makes it so that he is the first creature that Titania ?spies? when she awakes. Despite his appearance, Titania thinks of him as an ?angel? and beckons her fairies to wait on him. The irony of this is that the beautiful queen Titania has fallen in love with a common man, whose head has been transformed into an ass?! ...read more.


What is ironic that this attempt to preserve her modesty is ultimately what causes Hermia to lose her love, as Puck mistakes Lysander to be Demetrius due to the fact that they lie far apart from each other. The other main relationship between the lovers is that of Demetrius and Helena. Despite the resolution at the end of the play, we know that Demetrius? love is fickle. This had been established quite early in the play, when lysander calls Demetrius a ?spotted? and ?inconstant? man as he ?made love to Nedar?s daughter Helena? while vying for Hermia?s affections. But in the end, all couples have been paired and Shakespeare ends the play happily. We can safely say that there is no concrete form of love seen in the play that applies to all relationships, it is clear that they all follow the same basic principle; ?the course of true love never did run smooth?. ...read more.

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