• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'The course of true love never did run smooth'By what techniques does Shakespeare prove this to be the case in a Midsummer Night's Dream?

Extracts from this document...


'The course of true love never did run smooth' By what techniques does Shakespeare prove this to be the case in a Midsummer Night's Dream? I have been studying A Midsummer Night's Dream and exploring how the characters within this play deal with love and the consequences resulting from falling in love. I will be answering the question asked by providing quotes and examples of Shakespeare's technique in showing that 'The course of true love never did run smooth' as well as providing answers as to why Shakespeare made this the case in the play. Shakespeare was born on the 23rd April, in an English town called Stratford-Upon-Avon in the year 1564. He lived for 52 years, and in this time he wrote over 100 plays and sonnets, including 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Macbeth' and 'Henry V'. He died on his birthday, St Georges Day. Another interesting thing to consider is that all of Shakespeare's actors were men because women were not accepted on stage in the 16th century. This would seem quite strange to a modern audience as we have to imagine the lovers' scenes being acted by men. A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's comedies. The main characters in this play are four young lovers - Hermia, who loves Lysander, and Helena, who loves Demetrius. The problem is, both the men love Hermia, which is heartbreaking for Helena. Hermia's father would rather see her marry Demetrius, but she would rather become a nun than do so. ...read more.


Shakespeare uses the basic plot outline of a fairy-tale so we always know what's coming, yet he does this with an element of surprise so we do not know exactly how Puck is going to make things go wrong at this point. Further on in the story, we see Puck putting the juice of the flower in Lysander's eyes instead of Demetrius'. This is another one of Shakespeare's almost un-noticeable tricks showing us the way love works. In this scene, Shakespeare is ultimately trying to tell us again that the involvement of other people often causes love to go wrong and the path of true love to become bumpy. "Who is here? ... This is he my master said, despis´┐Żd the Athenian maid;" It is interesting how easily, not just in this scene, Lysander and Demetrius' are mistaken for each other. This could be another technique which Shakespeare uses to tell us about love, possibly saying that love is random rather than following a set of rules, for if it was the latter Hermia could love Demetrius and make her father happy. The way that Shakespeare makes the two men, and indeed the two women, easily confusable is another contribution to the audience being told that love is never smooth; he is telling us of love's fickle nature. Also interesting to consider is the way that, in Scene 3 of Act 2, Puck so easily sorts out the lovers, and the way that it is so quickly and simply changed from both the men loving Hermia to both loving Helena. ...read more.


The most obvious technique he uses is getting other people getting involved who shouldn't be. He uses this to show us that love isn't always seen as a good thing from the eyes of other people, for example Hermia falling in love with someone her father doesn't want her to marry. He also shows us the pain of unrequited love using Helena and Demetrius, which shows us that we can't choose who we love. Another way he shows us this is by subtly telling us, with the use of the fairy story-line, that an un-attached world controls our love life and there isn't anything we can do about it, for love shall always take the most difficult path. The last and maybe most important technique he uses is the way that all of the lovers in this play seem to have a great many things in common. This technique is used throughout the play and seems to be Shakespeare's way of telling us that the course of true love is always the same, a mirror image of all the love stories since pre-history. The techniques that Shakespeare uses are often un-noticeable, but all of them contribute to the general idea that love is awkward, fickle and un-reliable, although Shakespeare does seem to be a believer that it will all work out in the end, as he shows us with the triple wedding ceremony as the finale of the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ellie Robinson Midsummer Night's Dream English Coursework 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

    Showing that even if people are truly in love they still argue and get angry with each other. In the first scene of the play we see one of the obstacles of true love, parental approval. Hermia's father, Egeus, has chosen Demetrius to marry her, even though she is in love with Lysander.

  2. Twelfth Night Essay

    He does this a lot, changing words and sentences to further coddle in thoughts of Olivia. He desires only 'love thoughts' but not love itself. He makes himself 'canopied with bowers' so to feel emotional attachment to love and Olivia.

  1. Compare and contrast - Baldesar Castiglione's Book of the Courtier and Francois Rabelais's Gargantua ...

    For Castiglione, chastity is just another virtue of the court lady, while for Rabelais it is a virtue that should be guarded by the husband, since women are by nature weak and imperfect.

  2. Shakespeare wrote in a "Midsummer Night's Dream" that "the course of true love never ...

    With the words "huddled in her flimsy coat the poet shows here that the girl first of all was not really dressed for the occasion this again expressing to us that she was young. Secondly the word "huddled" tells us that the girl is so depressed and cold that she

  1. ‘Why, Mr Stevens, why, why, why do you always have to pretend?’ What ...

    He considers this the very pinnacle of achievement. It is this blind devotion to such an ethic which in the end undermines decades of dedication, and Stevens true greatness as a butler. His employer Lord Darlington, whom he defends as 'a classic English Gentleman', 'decent, honest, and well-meaning', is ultimately disgraced as a Nazi sympathiser.

  2. shakespeares sonnets

    Christina Rossetti begins to sound serious in the seventh and eighth lines: "Only remember me; you understand // It will be late to counsel then or pray". This shows that she is saying to her lover that she wants him to remember her because once she has gone she will be gone forever.

  1. A Midsummer Night's Dream -

    that their marital ideas are far from the traditional conventions of romance. "Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword and won thy love doing thee injuries". Theseus then goes on to comment "I will wed thee in another key" and put it all behind them "with pomp, with triumph, and

  2. Discuss Shakespeare Presents Love, Friendship and Honesty in Act 5 Scene 2 in the ...

    The revels now are ended and the lovers must go their separate ways. In Act 5 Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Loves Labours Lost he presents love, friendship and honesty by the responses to the gifts and the love poetry. The King sends diamonds, probably a pendant, and a piece of love poetry.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work