The Pursuit Of Love In A Midsummer's Night Dream

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Thesis: A Midsummer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare explores the idea of love and how it causes one to make irrational decisions and prone to foolishness. In the play, love is caused by a magic love potion where the four Athenian youths, Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena fall out in love with their courtship (Lysander and Demetrius fall out of love with Hermia and in love with Helena) and chase the wrong person around in the woods. Shakespeare may conclude that love is fickle and makes us suffer because of its strong power over us. I. Theseus, the king of Athens and Hippolyta, the Amazon Queen, serve as the ideal form of marriage as well as an example of traditional love. a. This couple represents the order of love and its structure. b. Theseus and Hippolyta’s relationship is an admirable kind of love as he wins the right to marry when he “wooed the with my sword/ And won thy love doing thee injuries” (I.i. 17). II. Lysander and Hermia demonstrate the beginning stages of love or passionate love. a. Shakespeare criticizes love from the viewpoint of Hermia’s father, Egeus as well as being challenged by society itself. b. The challenges of love are being portrayed when Hermia’s father, Egeus’s, refuses her to marry Lysander but Demetrius (Carter, 2). Hermia is given the ultimatum of choosing Lysander or execution. She then chooses the latter, resulting in her and Lysander fleeing to Athens to escape Athenian law. c. The trials and tribulations of love are summarized in Lysander’s statement: “The course of true love never did run smooth. /But either it was different in blood” (I.i. 136). d. Lysander explains that even true love has its obstacles as well as because of class and social standings. e. Lysander, moreover, explains that love can be as easily destroyed: “War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,/Making it momentary as a
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