Examine How Shakespeare Presents Love in Act 1 Scene 1 of ‘a Midsummer Night’s Dream’

875 WordsDec 24, 20124 Pages
Examine how Shakespeare presents love in Act 1 Scene 1 of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Love is a theme which reoccurs through many of Shakespeare’s Plays. In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, the theme ‘Love’ is presented from the very beginning in Act 1 Scene 1, through Shakespeare’s use of poetic language, structure and vivid imagery. At the beginning of the play we see an example of parental love, between the characters Egeus and his daughter Hermia. Egeus is ‘Full of vexation’ when he enters the scene, and Shakespeare presents his love for Hermia through this anger. When reading his speech, lines 22 to 45, it first appears that Egeus is a cruel and unreasonable father. This is because he is denying Hermia the right to marry her true love…show more content…
Hermia’s love for Lysander can be seen as genuine as she states ‘I would my father looked but with my eyes’ which means she wishes her father could see Lysander the way she does. This suggests that she is not under his spell as she truly sees him with her own eyes, and loves him. The audience also sees that she is very passionate about Lysander, as she chooses to ‘yield my virgin patent up’ and live the life of a nun or die rather than ‘wed Demetrius’. We also see the love between Lysander and Hermia is genuine later in Act 1 Scene 1 when ‘Exeunt all but Lysander and Hermia’, as it appears that Lysander is finishing Hermia’s sentences, indicating they are very familiar with each other, and he is comforting her lovingly. Lysander also states ‘true love never did run smooth’ which suggests they truly believe what they feel is true love. Another technique used by Shakespeare to emphasise their love is vivid imagery. Hermia’s speech declaring that she would meet Lysander in ‘the wood’ is filled with imagery suggesting love and passion, such as ‘by Cupid’s strongest bow’ and her reference to the Greek Goddess Venus: ‘By the simplicity of Venus’ doves’, emphasises her passion for Lysander. Another example of Love present in the play is unrequited love. This love is presented through the characters Helena and Demetrius. Helena is deeply in love with Demetrius, but
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