A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Write an essay in which you explore a central theme in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Provide evidence for your ideas.
In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream a central theme is love. The characters experience many hardships, yet the bonds of love remain unbroken.
One form of love experienced in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is possessive love. Egeus loves his daughter Hermia so much that he is willing to force her to marry Demetrius when she loves Lysander, “As she is mine, I may dispose of her.” Theseus is soon to be married so he knows how the lovers feel, “Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with my sword and won thy love doing thee injuries.” Yet the law of Athens states she must obey her father. She rebels against her father’s decision and runs of with Lysander, to escape the hardships that face her in Athens, “Take comfort: he no more shall see my face; Lysander and myself will fly this place.”
Lysander is very romantic when it comes to Hermia. Lysander has enticed Hermia into falling in love with him, “Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, and interchang’d love-tokens with my child.” When they become lost they decide to rest for the night. Lysander wants the two of them to sleep together, “One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth,” but Hermia has other plans, “Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.”
Helena loves Demetrius yet he does return her love, “I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.” Her unrequited love causes her to love him more, to the point where she is begging him to take her back, “The more you beat me, I will fawn on you,” yet he just becomes disgusted by her Pleading, “I am sick when I do look on thee.”
Love is altered in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by a magical flower, hit by cupid’s arrows, “Before milk-white now purple with loves wound.” It is used to cause complete and utter mischief. Puck uses it for entertainment, “Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be,” and...