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Love for Friends and Love for Lovers Compared in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream

Decent Essays
In his A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare contrasts the love existing in the relationships of friends and of lovers. Love here does not refer to romantic emotion exclusively; “love” means connection and empathy with another being. The female relationships in the poem, between Hermia and Helena, and Titania and her fairies, exist with a love based on connections between the females. However, the lovers’ relationships arise from a love produced by desire for another’s differences. The females produce a strong bond with each other that exists to provide the other person with a better version of themselves and protection from destruction. Love can only exist in this relationship because it exists away from outside forces, such as sight.…show more content…
So we grew together/ Like to a double cherry tree, seeming parted/ But yet an union in partition/ Two lovely berries molded on one stem/ So with two seeming bodies but one heart.”(97) The love between these women molds them into “one heart.” Unlike male-female love, this female-female love develops a connection between the two that originates from association rather than longing. Besides a connection between the women, the relationship develops independent of outside forces. In the woods, the help of the fairies resolved the lover’s dispute. However, the female’s argument was never involved in the magic, which symbolizes these “outside forces”. The lover’s relationship was only able to exist in the woods with the help of magic, but the females’ friendship exists both in a dream and in consciousness. The female friendship is based solely on connection with another being, and exists independent of the senses and society. In the poem Shakespeare portrays both interactions of love through rhyming, between both the lovers and the female friendships. In conversation between Hermia and Lysander, one can see that this rhythmic patter still exists: “Hermia: Be it so Lysander. Find you out a bed/ For I upon this bank will rest my head. / Lysander: One turf will sere as a pillow for us both/ One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. / Hermia: Nay, good Lysander.
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