How does Shakespeare present love in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'?

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Shakespeare uses many different themes to present love; relationships, conflict, magic, dreams and fate. Overall, he presents it as something with the ability to make us act irrationally and foolishly. Within A Midsummer Night's Dream we see many examples of how being 'in love' can cause someone to change their perspective entirely. 'The path of true love never did run smooth' is a comment made from one of the main characters, Lysander, which sums up the play's idea that lovers always face difficult hurdles on the path to happiness and will usually turn them into madmen. Shakespeare presents love through the relationship shared by Hermia and Lysander. This relationship, at the start of the play, is portrayed as the traditional true love;…show more content…
The artificial love given by Titania to Bottom demonstrates how magic can duplicate the realist atmosphere given from true love as both of those involved are unable to recognise that it is false. True love can cloud judgement and Shakespeare shows how artificial love can do the same, Titania is convinced Bottom is beautiful even though he has the head of a donkey 'Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful'. Bottom responds to the beautiful, magical fairy queen's devotion as nothing out of the ordinary and that all of the trappings of her affection, including having servants attend him, are his proper due. His unawareness of the fact that his head has been transformed into that of an ass parallels his inability to perceive the absurdity of the idea that Titania could ever truly fall in love with him. However, Shakespeare uses Bottom to draw the audience’s attention to serious themes, such as the relationship between reality and imagination. He is also the most down-to-earth character in the play as he does recognise that Titania's statements about him aren't true, when Titania devotes her love to him 'On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.', Bottoms responds with 'Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that', also when Titania
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