Literature Essay

972 WordsOct 12, 20144 Pages
“The course of true love never did run smooth” (Lysander), as the hearts of humans often oppose the logic of their minds. For Shakespeare, love is both chaotic and restorative. Where marriage is symbolic of societal order and for fundamental values of morality to be upheld, Shakespeare shows how love that results in marriage can be paradoxical for such passions can both create disorder and restore societal chaos. In nature, the order of the universe was supposed to be maintained, but Shakespeare turns this idea around and shows how this natural order can be disrupted by the powerful forces of the unnatural elements in the forest, and so the magical chaotically impacts the natural in a comedic manner. However, whilst we laugh when individuals uphold societal values of marriage, we are aware that underneath such unions chaos can be simmering. And, so, ultimately for Shakespeare, real order is unattainable. Romantic love, especially unrequited love, according to Shakespeare, is paradoxical for romantic love can result in chaotic problems within society whilst simultaneously has the power to resolve societal problems. For Shakespeare, human nature dictates that romantic love is governed firstly by appearance, for beauty is the primary form of attraction, and for such appeals appropriate marriages are often challenged and societally accepted real love not found. The more attractive Helena loves Demetrius, but Demetrius loves Hermia, whilst Hermia and Lysander love one another, despite her being less physically beautiful – an horrific inequity for one lady has many suitors and one does not have enough. And, yet, it is the fundamental value system of filial piety that in itself challenges romantic love by resulting in rebellious circumstances, creating societal disorder. Because for societal order a father must accept a son-in-law, Egeus’ family is compromised because

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