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A Midsummer Nights Dream on the exploration and themes of love Essay Sample

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A Midsummer Nights Dream on the exploration and themes of love Essay Sample

Throughout Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are many occasions where the characters face challenges with each others relationships. A Midsummer Night’s Dream focuses on the exploration of love in its many different forms. Some of these forms of love shown in A Midsummer Night’s Dream include forced love, parental love and unrequited love.

Forced love is shown throughout the play as characters force themselves or others to love one another. This is interesting, as it shows how people can be tricked into something they really would not feel or do. In the beginning of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Egeus is forcing Hermia to marry Demetrius. As Egeus is Hermia’s Father, he feels as if he has the right to Hermia’s future as he does own her. Egeus is obviously forcing and imposing his initial ideas even though Hermia clearly does not want to marry Demetrius and would rather become a nun or die.

This concept is seen again in a different light with Helena and Demetrius. Helena is constantly forcing herself to have a relationship with Demetrius even though Demetrius rejects her every time. Helena did previously have a relationship with Demetrius before he found Hermia and does not realise that her relationship with Demetrius is over. When Helena follows Demetrius into the forest she even suggests that she be treated like a dog as long as she is with him. This demonstrated how Helena lowers herself to acquire Demetrius’s love.

Throughout the play, Oberon disturbs the relationships between Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius. Different characters come to love others that they previously would not have. They are being forced to love each other except they can’t reject the idea because it becomes the only reality that they know. (That is why this is different to the situation of Egeus and Hermia. Hermia could reject Egeus’s idea.) Oberon decides to interfere because it would make him seem powerful. Maybe even enough to win over the Indian boy without having to resort to interfering with Titania which he does anyway.

While it seems as if Theseus and Hippolyta both naturally love each other, indeed, behind the scenes Hippolyta is not really that interested in Theseus. In the beginning of A Midsummer Night’s Dream the story of how Theseus won Hippolyta is told. In some sense Hippolyta is forced to marry Theseus because he won her in a battle and is now the rightful owner of her. Only this time, Hippolyta is not complaining like Hermia does.

Within A Midsummer Nights Dream, there are cases of parental love and the miscommunications it formes. Egeus wants his daughter Hermia to marry Demetrius instead of the man she really loves, Lysander. Hermia is constantly trying to remind her father that she does not want to marry Demetrius. This then leads to Hermia being lectured by not only her father but Theseus too. The issue here is that even with the horrible options facing Hermia if she does not marry Demetrius, Hermia still insists on dying then marrying. This indicates a lack of understanding between Hermia, Egeus and Theses.

Only later in the play when the four are found in the forest Theseus realises the mistake he had made earlier by forcing Hermia to marry Demetrius. When Theseus orders Hermia to now marry Lysander, which she wanted all along, Egeus keeps quite. He is very ashamed that he did not realise this for his own daughter but someone else had to. This also causes great embarrassment from then on for him.

There are many cases of unrequited love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. An example of this unrequited relationship is shown between Demetrius and Hermia and then separately Demetrius and Helena. While Hermia is being forced to marry Demetrius, Demetrius still loves Hermia. Hermia does not want to accept this love for him (as she loves Lysander and while being true to him, loves no one else). Demetrius is always trying to impress Hermia but in that sense he is just impressing Egeus. This is also why Egeus feels so strongly to make Hermia marry Demetrius.

Another illustration of unrequited love is when Helena is continuously trying to prove herself to Demetrius, but is being rejected every single time. She even tries to justify her actions with Demetrius saying that she would accept being treated like a dog just for his love towards her. The only reason why Demetrius pushes Helena further away more aggressively is because of Helena’s overly dependant attachment to him. Helena does not leave Demetrius causing him to become extremely disturbed by her actions.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream while being quite a complicated story, shows the many types of love and interactions the characters have with each other.

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