William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1545 Words
Date:  2022-07-15


The play by William Shakespeare is one of the most celebrated plays due to the nature in which it was written. The play has many unique features that are not found in the other plays. One of them is that the play has portrayed love relationships in a different way and the actors seem to be begging for peace from their partners. The play has several actors who are in love with each other and whose relationships seem to be balanced between break-ups and forced love relationships. The comedy was written in 1595 and 1596 and it exposes the issues that surround the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens and Hippolyta, who is the former queen sof the Amazons. The play explains the love relationships of four Athenians and a group of more amateur actors. The play was written in four different plots that were interconnected by the wedding between Theseus and Hippolyta (Ioppolo n.p). The thesis of the article is that the lovers in the play behave irrationally because of several problems: desire, ego, and addiction/jealousy and the essay map is an analysis of the three of love's disturbing features in the play.

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Obsession: The Irrationality of Love Relationships

The first abnormal feature seen in the act is that the love relationships are obsessive. The way the people who are in love behave in the lay indicate that they are obsessed with each other. Normally, a love relationship is not expected to be associated with such high levels of obsession, whereby the partners are addicted and committed to being with one another regardless of the situations. The issue of obsession is related to the thesis in that the desire and ego of the lovers make them to be obsessed with each other. The first and most obvious indication of such obsession is with Helena where she describes her love for Demetrius where she says the following;

And even for that do I love you the more.I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,Unworthy as I am, to follow you.What worser place can I beg in your love,--And yet a place of high respect with me,--Than to be used as you use your dog? (2.1.203-210)

The above words show that Helena was ready to do anything to be with Demetrius and she did not want anything between them. The words indicate that she has been a victim of domestic violence and that she is begging her partner to come back to her and to be with her when she needs him most (Ioppolo n.p). The fact that she demoted herself to the level of a dog, she also accepted to tolerate any kind of abuse, shows the dangerous irrationality of the romantic relationship between the two. The above is just like in the thesis that explains the way desire, ego and addiction affect the behavior of the actors.

Titania and Bottom: Trust and Social Differences

The other irrationality is observed in the case of Titania, the lady who exposed her love in many ways and who showed a high level of obsession. Titania, regardless of her social status as a fairly queen, fell in love with a commoner known as Nick Bottom. Nick is said to have the head of an ass and he is of a lower social class. However, Tatiana fell in love with him and even ordered her servants to obey him. When she net him, Tatiana says the following;

Out of this wood do not desire to go:Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.I am a spirit of no common rate;The summer still doth tend upon my state;And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;And I will purge thy mortal grossness soThat thou shalt like an airy spirit go.Pease blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard seed! (3.1. 152-162)

Normally, this is not expected to happen and most of the ladies will analyze the social status of the lovers they choose and they avoid dating people of a lower social class. I this relationship, Bottom had no choice and Titania, who was the queen of Fairies, used her position in power to force Bottom to stay with him (Ioppolo n.p). The use of her power to retain him is irrational and a dangerous feature of the relationships in this comedy. Just like it was mentioned in the thesis, the actors acted rationally due to addiction, love and desire to win the love of their partners. Titania is a good example of how the actors used their positions and powers to get what they desired.

The third one is Demetrius who is madly in love with Hermia, to an extent that he decided to abandon his relationship with Helena and this made her an emotional wreck. The move by Demetrius also led to the breakup between Hermia and Lysander. The actions of the actors indicate that they acted for love only and none of them cared whether the other partner was happy or not. For example, when Demetrius fell in love with Hermia, he use his friendship with her father, Egeus, to separate Hermia and Lysander. In an attempt to save their relationship, Hermia planned to elope with Lysander and revealed this to Helena who reveals it to Demetrius. Lysander laments the following; "I came with Hermia hither: our intent, / Was to be gone from Athens, where we might, / Without the peril of the Athenian law. (4.1.151-153). Demetrius left a relationship that was seemingly stable and where both of the partners were happy to follow Hermia. The same is indicated by the words of Helena who says the following;

So the boy Love is perjured everywhere:For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt. (1.1.240-244).

Due to the quest to be with their loved ones, the four lovers escaped into the magical forest and they fell prey to Puck's tactics which led to the tearing apart of their relationships. When love bonds was replaced with magical power in the magical forest, the lovers fell apart and this shows the dangerous feature of the love affairs. The desire, addiction and ego of the actors, as seen in the thesis, contributed to the rate at which the actors fell into the Puck's tricks.

Metaphors and Their Significance in Portraying Irrational Love

In the play, one of the key outstanding metaphor is the trust that Titania had in Nick Bottom. Considering the social differences between them, the trust that developed between them led to their sexual maturity and it affected the relationship they started. The metaphor is also seen in the speech by Theseus which is used to trigger the poet to see the irrationality that existed between the lovers and the lunatics. The information about the lovers is unbelievable and it is a clear expression of a metaphoric reasoning that these lovers used. The couples are said to have disappeared into the magical forest or the woods, which is also a metaphor that shows the entrance of the lovers into the world of sexual immorality (Cavendish n.p). The views of the lovers were not in line with what the thesis statement about ego and desire, and this requires a deep analysis to determine what the writer of the play wanted to exhibit.


The play by Shakespears exposes several ways in which the lovers in it portrayed irrational love relationships and made decisions that the audience did not expect. The study on the decisions made and the different ways that these decisions affected the lives of the actors shows that some of them acted out of pure love and it is the only factor they considered. Some of them broke up to pursue love with others and others fell in love with people who were not of their social class. The relationships ended up with confusion and lack of happiness. For example, when Helena was left by Demetrius, she lost interest in many things and she also lost her friends due to the pain she experienced. She fought to retain her lover and this led her to breaking her trust with her friend Lysander when she revealed Lysander's plan to escape with her lover to stay away from Demetrius' efforts to beak them apart. The conclusion is that the actions of these actors are unexpected, uncalled for and irregular. The use of a metaphor is also evident in that the forest in which the lovers got lost into is a metaphor to illustrate the change in their behavior. The play is a combination of many writing styles and tactics and this makes it unique and interesting.

Works Cited

Shakespears, William, "A Midsummer Night's Dream. Retreived from http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html

Cavendish, Dominic (21 June 2014). "10 things you didn't know about A Midsummer Night's Dream". The Telegraph. Retreived from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Midsummer_Night%27s_Dream#Plot

Cite this page

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay. (2022, Jul 15). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/william-shakespeares-a-midsummer-nights-dream-essay

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