The Nature of Love Explored in A Midsummer Night's Dream

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“The course of true love never did run smooth,” comments Lysander of love’s complications in an exchange with Hermia (Shakespeare I.i.136). Although the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream certainly deals with the difficulty of romance, it is not considered a true love story like Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare, as he unfolds the story, intentionally distances the audience from the emotions of the characters so he can caricature the anguish and burdens endured by the lovers. Through his masterful use of figurative language, Shakespeare examines the theme of the capricious and irrational nature of love. As the play opens, Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, his fiancée discuss their upcoming wedding. With the introduction of Theseus and…show more content…
Oberon demands, “How can you stand there shamelessly talking about me and Hippolyta, when you know that I know about your love for Theseus? And weren’t you the one who made him cheat on all of his other girlfriends, like Aegles, Ariadne, and Antiopa? (Shakespeare II.ii.76). Furthermore, Titania complains due to Oberon’s actions, she and her fairy friends have been unable to meet anywhere for their usual dancing and frivolity without being disturbed. In order to further expand the point of the irrationality of love to the audience, Shakespeare continues to use hyperbole to express her intense feelings. Titania reasons that because of Oberon’s insistence on taking the Indian boy as his knight, there is no place for her to meet—not “on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, by pavèd fountain, or by rushy brook, or in the beachèd margent of the sea” (Shakespeare II.i.86). His continual interruptions have prevented their dances and moreover, his revenge has brought about terrible consequences for the human mortals. As Shakespeare details the affects, he imaginatively uses personification to describe the pale moon in her anger filling the air with disease and the icy winter wearing a crown of summer flowers in mockery. As Titania’s closes her long rant directed at Oberon, she concludes by confessing, “And this same progeny of evils comes from our debate, from our dissension, we are their parents and original” (Shakespeare II.i.118). As a
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