Conflicts in Midsummer Night's Dream

Authors Avatar by juliette1998 (student)

In William Shakespeare’s play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, there are lots of different conflicts. The audience finds conflict interesting to watch because it creates drama and tension. Throughout the play, the theme of conflict with authority is apparent and is the cause of the problems of the characters, there is conflict between friends and lovers, parents and children, governors and the governed.  As in Shakespeare’s different dramas, the thematic of mistaken identities, hidden identities and deceptive identities creates many of the conflicts between the characters. The passage below, spoken by Theseus in the opening scene of the play, clearly states this theme:

“Be advised fair maid.

To you your father should be as god-
One that composed your beauties, yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure or disfigure it” –
Act 1, scene 1.

The first example of conflict in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is in the exposition scene and it sets up the conflict for the rest of the play. Hermia and Lysander, two young Athenians, are in love. They want to get married but Hermias father, Egueus, disagrees. He wants her to marry Demetrius, who is in love with her. She refuses to follow her father’s instruction, he declares that if Hermia won't marry Demetrius, she will die: This is the law of Athens and his right as her father. Theseus agrees that Hermia should obey her father but offers her a third option: spending her life in a nunneryHere, the figure of the father is described as the protector, the authority, the education, and the one who decides his daughter’s husband. Hermia declares that she will disobey her father :

Join now!

“unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke

My soul consents not to give sovereignty”

Egeus uses his authority as a tactic to pursue this conflict, this is a patriarchic conflict, and a conflict between generations (old versus young) . As Shakespeare affirms : “The course of love never did run smooth”.  Hermia and Lisander decide to elope to the forest and get married. This conflict gets resolved through the events that happen in the play, whereby Demetrius falls in love with Helena and is no longer a suitor for Hermia and finally Egeus agrees to his Daughter’s wedding to Lysander.


This is a preview of the whole essay