Midsummer Night's Dream-- Rationality vs. Irrationality Essay

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Society today encourages rationality in nearly every situation. That being said, irrational behavior is tolerated today as much as it was in the time of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. One does not have to go far to realize this fact – consider the reality television shows today (ex. Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Bachelor, etc.) The reason behind the popularity of these ridiculous shows is quite simple: people find entertainment in watching others make fools out of themselves! Shakespeare was quite aware of this in his writing of Midsummer, with the characterization of Helena, the absurd quarreling between Oberon and Titania, and the foolish love of Hermia and Lysander. Before going any further, perhaps it …show more content…

So, basically, Helena is encouraged by Demetrius’s insults and threats. This example proves how her thoughts and actions are irrational in every way, but can be quite humorous to Shakespeare’s audience. Another conflict that shows the contrast between rationality and irrationality is the relationship dynamics of Titania and Oberon, the queen and king of the fairies. They are both extremely stubborn and selfish, which causes a disturbance in the typical weather patterns of their realm. In spite of their responsibility to ensure the well-being of the forest, they argue over foolish things-especially over the Indian boy that Titania has been raising. Oberon decides he cannot be happy unless he has the boy for himself, and resorts to desperate measures to get his way. In this case, irrationality wins against rationality. Rather than working through his marriage problems with Titania, Oberon sends Puck to put a potion on Titania’s eye, which makes her fall in love with the first thing she sees. This conspiracy allows Oberon to snatch away the child while Titania is distracted. Although the marriage worked out in the end, it is based on the deception of a desperate husband who wanted his way.

As with many infatuated young lovers, Hermia

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