A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare Essay
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A Misummer Night’s Dream is a comedy play written by William Shakespeare. In this play there are multiple themes however the most evident theme is love. Why is love an evident theme? It is an evident theme because the play commences with two Greek mythology characters─ the Duke of Athens, Theseus and Amazon queen Hippolita planning their marriage. However as Theseus plans his marriage he has to help Egeus persuade his daughter Hermia to marry Demetrius. Unfortunately both the Duke and Egeus failed to persuade Hermia into marrying Demetrius so the fairies (another set of characters. The fairies in this play consisted of goddess of chastity and Queen of fairies, Titania and King of fairies Oberon and his assistance Robin Goodfellow) decide…show more content…
A Misummer Night’s Dream is a comedy play written by William Shakespeare. In this play there are multiple themes however the most evident theme is love. Why is love an evident theme? It is an evident theme because the play commences with two Greek mythology characters─ the Duke of Athens, Theseus and Amazon queen Hippolita planning their marriage. However as Theseus plans his marriage he has to help Egeus persuade his daughter Hermia to marry Demetrius. Unfortunately both the Duke and Egeus failed to persuade Hermia into marrying Demetrius so the fairies (another set of characters. The fairies in this play consisted of goddess of chastity and Queen of fairies, Titania and King of fairies Oberon and his assistance Robin Goodfellow) decide to resolve this issue by involving a “western flower” whose juice “ will make…man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature it sees…” Through each and every action of the characters Shakespeare implies that love is makes us crazy, but it moves the world. Love is something that needs to be felt with the heart and once someone feel it, their life can change forever.
If you have loved, you will have realized that love is influential. It makes us do crazy things that we would probably never imagine doing in our lives. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a perfect example of love being influential. As mentioned previously Egeus and Thesues are trying to influence Hermia to marry Demetrius but Hermia does not love this man, she loves another man,
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In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander and Demetrius change their feelings of love and promises for both Helena and Hermia. Shakespeare shows us how love is unpredictable and inconsistent with the changes of feelings and broken promises between the young lovers. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander switches his love for both Hermia and Helena with changes of feelings of love and broken promises, showing how unpredictable and inconsistent love is. In the beginning of the play, Lysander is deeply in love with Hermia. The only obstacle standing in his way of being with her is that Hermia is supposed to marry Demetrius under the Athenian law.
Her father Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, both Demetrius and Egeus are determined to have the plans for the arranged marriage follow through. Hermia’s father will hear nothing of Hermia being with and marrying her love, Lysander. Lysander and Hermia only want to be together and married but under the Athens law; Hermia must marry who her father insists upon, Demetrius. Hermia has three options: to be put to death, to be sent to a convent and never marry, or deny her love for Lysander and marry Demetrius. Lysander and Hermia will hear nothing of this. They are determined to be together.
The young lovers feel their love is true and strong enough to find away to make it as one. Their plan is to run away together and find a way to be married. They will escape Athens and the laws forcing them apart. While they are running away they decided to rest and sleep in the woods. Before the lovers fall asleep, Lysander promises his love to Hermia after they say good night to each other. They express their love through words of promises and affection. “‘Amen, Amen’ to that fair prayer, say I, And then end life when I end loyalty! ” (2. 2. 68-69). In this quote Lysander is expressing to Hermia his love for her.
He says ‘let me die before my loyalty ever ends for you’. He is so sure that his love for Hermia is true that he will never leave her or forsake her. He is certain that nothing will come between them or alter his love for her. He says to her he would die before his love for her ever ends. Little does either lover know that his loyalty and promise to Hermia will end that very night. In the fairy Kingdom, the head Fairy Oberon witnesses two young Athenians fighting. Helena is trying to persuade Demetrius to love her, but he is in love with Hermia. He has set out to find her in the woods after she ran away with Lysander.
Oberon feels very bad for Helena and thinks that Demetrius should love her back, considering how persistent and doting she is over him. He sends his prankster and fun loving fairy, Puck, to sprinkle a love potion on Demetrious eyes so that he falls madly in love with Helena. The love potion is from a flower that was accidently shot by cupid and can make anyone fall in love with the first thing they see. Oberon only tells Puck to sprinkle the potion on a young Athenian male’s eyes. He does not know that there are two Athenian males in the woods, Lysander and Demetrius.
Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius and puts the love potion on Lysander’s eyes instead of Demetrius’. While Helena is stumbling through the woods seeking Demetrius she comes across Lysander sleeping on the ground. She is confused why he is here and wakes him up. Helena is the first thing Lysander sees once he is awake. And after having the love potion mistakenly put on his eyes, he falls in love with Helena instantaneously once seeing her. “And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake”(2. 2. 109). Within the first minute of laying eyes on Helena, Lysander is saying he would walk through fire for her.
He would give anything for Helena he tells her. Within only a night, Lysander has taken back his heartfelt promise to Hermia that he will die before his love for her changes. By only the next morning he is promising to walk through fire for a different girl, Helena. “Content with Hermia? No, I do repent/ The tedious minutes I with her have spent. Not Hermia, but Helena I love. Who would not change a raven for a dove”(2. 2. 118-121). Lysander has drastically changed his feelings for Hermia and switched them for Helena, he has flip flopped his love for the girls.
He broke his promise to Hermia to love for forever, and now is saying he loves only Helena. He says she is more beautiful and that he regrets his time with Hermia. Lysander has completely betrayed Hermia, and is now saying most the same things he said to Hermia, but now to Helena, only a day later. His promises to Hermia are broken. He is madly in love with Helena now, and would do anything to be with her, leaving behind Hermia and his broken promise of his loyalty to her. The whole love scene is now a mess with the all the couples mixed up. Lysander is supposed to love Hermia, but now loves Helena.
The love potion has screwed up everything. It is shown here how inconsistent love truly is. Lysander loved Hermia one day then Helena the next. Love is unpredictable. None of the lovers would have guessed of this mess happening and love flip flopping around. Lysander’s love is completely inconsistent with his change of feelings for both girls. His love is also unpredictable because no one could have predicted the change of feelings or guessed he would love Helena instead of Hermia. The love potion from the flower put on his eyes is obviously a symbol from Shakespeare.
The love potion is not real but the uncertainties of love are. No one can predict love or if it will change. Love is most often inconsistent too, even without a love potion. There are no grantees with love and no certainties with predications. For the lovers of the play though, the love potion is what is mostly what caused the uncertainty and inconsistence. Something has to be done about this mix up of love. Because Oberon sees the mistake Puck has made by putting the love potion on Lysander’s eyes instead of Demetrius’. Oberon wants Lysander to go back to loving Hermia like he did in the beginning.
He sends Puck to put a reverse potion on Lysander’s eyes, it is the potion from Diana, the goddess of virginity, the potion will take back the new love Lysander has for Helena. Puck finally gets it right this time, and successfully puts the reverse love potion on Lysander’s eyes. “Then crush this herb into Lysander’s eye, Whose liquor hath this virtuous property, To take from thence all error with his might” (3. 2. 387-389). Here Oberon has ordered Puck to put the reverse love potion on Lysander’s eyes. It will take back all the mistakes and mishaps that caused the mix up. Puck successfully puts the reverse love potion on Lysander.
Lysander wakes up after the love potion and sees Hermia, again he is back to her. He is no longer in love with Helena. Shakespeare does not show us if Lysander stays with Hermia or if he is as in love with her as he was in the beginning. There are no lines after the reverse love potion in which he expresses his love again for Hermia. He does however end up marrying her. We can conclude from that that he still is in love with her and is for now loyal to her again. However with no lines of certainty of his undying love again for Hermia, we cannot know if he forever continues to love her.
Another mix up could happen, repeating his inconsistence of love and uncertainty of a solid predication of what is to come or last. Shakespeare shows us how love is unpredictable by ending the play with no promise of Lysander’s love and no certainty of consistency to follow. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Demetrius switches his love for Hermia and Helena multiple times, showing how inconsistent and unpredictable love is. At the start of the play Demetrius is fighting for Hermia’s hand in marriage. Her father has arranged a marriage between them, but Hermia is making that difficult.
She is not in love with Demetrius, but is in love with Lysander. Hermia is refusing to marry Demetrius, but under the Athenian law she has no other chose but death or convent life. Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius, and Hermia’s father, Egeus, take the feud to the head of Athens. While they are there, each person is throwing out arguments and reasons for why Hermia should be with either man. Egeus and Demetrius are determined to have Hermia marry Demetrius. But Hermia and Lysander will not have it and are willing to argue against the head of Athens for why they should be together.
Demetrius will hear nothing of it though. He is set on marrying Hermia and loves her. One of Lysander’s arguments for why Hermia should not marry Demetrius, but him instead, is that Demetrius was once in love with or pursuing Helena instead of Hermia. “Demetrius I’ll avouch it to his head, Made love to Nadar’s daughter, Helena, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,” (1. 1. 108-110). Lysander here is explaining to the head of Athens that Demetrius was once in love with Helena at a time. Demetrius was originally in love with Helena. Lysander here is proving that Demetrius’ love is already inconsistent.
Because he once loved Helena but now is claiming he loves Hermia and wants to marry her. Demetrius has flipped from the girls, and has changed his affection. There is no knowing if he will stay loving Hermia or Helena, or be consistent to either girl. He was once in love with Helena, but now is not. His love is unpredictable. Demetrius is determined to show that he is in love with Hermia now however. Lysander and Hermia have their secret plan to run away together in the woods to escape being forced apart. The lovers run away so that Hermia will not be forced to marry Demetrius.
Demetrius is sure though that he loves Hermia and wants to marry her. He forgets about his love for Helena in previous times. Helena is still all the while doting on Demetrius sense he made her fall in love with her. But Demetrius has left Helena for Hermia. Helena is mad that Demetrius does not love her anymore so she tells Demetrius of Hermia and Lysander’s plan to run away. Hoping that in exchange for this information Demetrius will be grateful to Helena and return to her. But Demetrius is now set on Hermia and finding her. He goes into the woods after her and Lysander.
He denies Helena continually in the woods, explaining that he now long loves Hermia not her anymore. “I love thee not; therefore pursue me not. Where is Lysander and fair Hermia? ”(2. 1. 195-196). Demetrius is denying his love completely for Helena here and only concerned about finding Hermia. He forgets that he ever once loved Helena, but now loves Hermia. Helena is desperate for Demetrius to love her again, but re refuses his love. He loved her once, but not anymore. Now all he cares about is Hermia. His love is inconsistent, switching from one girl to the next, and leaving behind old loves for new.
It is unpredictable if his love could ever last or could stay with one girl. Demetrius is in love with Hermia he thinks, but that will soon change again. Once Oberon sees Demetriues denying love to Helena, he sends Puck to make him fall in love with her. After the mix up, when puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, Oberon sends Puck out again to make it right. This time he puts the love potion on Demetrius eyes and makes him fall in love with Helena again, now forgetting about Hermia. “My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourned, And now to Helena is it home returned,”(3. 2. 174-175).
After having the love potion put on his eyes Demetrius is back to loving Helena. He explains that he no longer loves Hermia, but now Helena. He says Hermia did not belong to his heart but Helena did. His love keeps flip flopping all over. He has gone from loving Helena, to loving Hermia and denying Helena, to now loving Helena deeply again. Demetrius’ love is as unpredictable and inconsistent as ever. Clearly most of this flip flopping was from the symbolic love potion. The love potion in real life though is symbolic to how anything can make love unpredictable and inconsistent. It is not real in true life, but the uncertainties of love are.
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No love is predictable or always consistent. Shakespeare shows us this with the mythical love potion used on the lovers in the play. In A midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander and Demetrius continually change their feelings of love and promises for both Helena and Hermia. Lysander starts by loving Hermia then loves Helena, but then goes back to loving Hermia. Demetrius starts by loving Helena then loves Hermia, but then finally returns to Helena. Shakespeare shows us how unpredictable and inconsistent love really is. There are no guarantees or certainties with love, with or without a love potion.
Author: Brandon Johnson
A Midsummer Nights Dream Essay
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