Advanced Placement Literature
March 26, 2012
Shakespeare’s Meaning of love
The comedies A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest are two of the many Shakespearean plays that resolve conflicts by way of marriage. Although the situations may be different in many ways the two play have much in common with each other. The idea of marriage resolving a conflict is viewed as two lovers coming together to solve an issue facing them, but Hawley sees these situations as being, “...ethical conflicts to be resolved relationally” (159). But, it is clear that the conflict is purely a relationship issue used to demonstrate that love conquers all rather than an issue of ethics. Over the course of the plays, Shakespeare uses the three marriages in A Midsummer Nights Dream and the single marriage in The Tempest to convey the idea that true love conquers all in many different ways.
Lysander and Hermia are in love with each other and all is well except for the fact that Egeus, Hermia’s father, wants her to marry Demetrius. Because of this conflict, Hermia must choose between her father’s love and approval or her soul mate’s love. Hermia is faced with a tough choice and chooses to retreat to the wilderness with her lover to escape her oppressive father. Just as they believe that they may have escaped the clutches of the Athenian political system, Demetrius and Helena appear in the wilderness as well.
Demetrius, in love with Hermia, is loved by Helena even though he himself cannot stand her. Helena chases Demetrius throughout the forest even as he insults her at every turn. Helena, madly in love with Demetrius, is undeterred. She continues to follow him attempting to win his love. Demetrius, determined to secure Hermia’s love, continues to shun Helena. By purshing her away, Demetrius causes conflict in Helena’s life by not returning her affection even though she is madly in love with him. Helena continues to frustrate herself because of her...