Shakespeare’s Use of Love Quarrels to Reach a Comedic Climax in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
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Alas, love can be a great source of confusion and sorrow, but it is nevertheless probably the most powerful feeling a human being can experience. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander says that “the course of true love never did run smooth” (Shakespeare 1.1.134), which is seen in the quarrels between the couples throughout the play. Shakespeare makes use chiefly of the fairies’ supernatural powers to settle the love conflicts and portrays the irrationality in love of the characters, thereby creating numerous comic situations and leading to the unification of the couples towards the end of the play.
First, one of Shakespeare’s techniques to bring about the comedic climax is the use of fairies whose supernatural powers create…show more content…
Consequently, Demetrius falls in love with Helena, as it should have been in the first place, so “two [men] at once woo one [woman],” as Puck says in line 3.2.118. Helena is completely mixed up when Demetrius states that he is now in love with her because then both of Hermia’s suitors are now wooing her. The conflicts in love that Shakespeare presents here are a way for him to start solving the love issues by bringing the couples together using the fairies’ magic powers. Indeed, by making Demetrius fall in love with the lady who loves him, he pleases Helena, who should normally be happy to have won her quest. However, since Lysander is also in love with her, she is not fooled, and knows that there is something unusual going on. She suspects that the gentlemen are teasing her scornfully by “flout[ing] at [her] insufficiency” (2.2.128).
More confusion arises when Hermia arrives, and Helena says in line 3.2.192 that “she is one of this confederacy” of people who make fun of her. Then, Hermia comes to think that it is actually Helena who is playing a trick on her: “I scorn you not. It seems that you scorn me” (3.2.221). This mixup and inability to understand other people’s intentions are Shakespeare’s ways of demonstrating how hard it is to understand the behaviour of love-struck people.
All the quarrels are solved when Puck squeezes juice for a second time