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The play A Midsummer Night's Dream, written by William Shakespeare, depicts the circumstances surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of Amazons, Hippolyta. Other characters in the history of the marriage are assigned various roles in the marriage planning by the protagonist. A noteworthy characteristic of the play's atmosphere is that magic and art seem to be the defining aspects of social debate. The topic of the game of love is given importance in the play due to the study of the trend of human connection and relationships, to explain the dark side of it in a comical way. The first complexity in the coverage of the concept of love is in consideration of the failure of arranged marriage. Egeus had already found a suitor for his daughter Hernia in Demetrius, who was positive about the idea possibly because of his societal obligation. Hernia was, however, opposed to the concept of love altogether because instead, she found Lysander as her preferred male partner, a move that was opposed to what her father wished for her (Shakespeare 3). Upon realizing this, Egeus became so enraged that he seeks to invoke the ancient law of the land that would require his daughter to choose between marrying her suitor of face death. The significance this aspect of the story in the theme of the complexity of love is that it is used to illustrate the social change in how children and parents perceived love and marriage.
Another significant feature is the mix-up in the love affairs between four people who had different perceptions of whom each loved. Lysander was in love with Hernia while Helena was in love with Demetrius despite the fact that Demetrius was Hernia’s suitor based on traditions. However, when magic is applied on Lysander and Demetrius in a chaotic scene, the effect changes so much that one doubts the significance of love altogether. Both Demetrius and Lysander find themselves chasing for Helena with Hernia being left without any suitor (Royal Shakespeare Company 2). The relevance of this outcome is that the reader gets the impression that love is easy to manipulate and is subject to change.
The last significant feature that is apparent in the play is the complexity that surrounds Oberon and Titania’s marriage. The King and Queen of the Fairies had set out on a journey to the forest and end up disagreeing on a petty issue (Shakespeare 4). Titania then claims that she intends to stay in the forest for some time to make sure she witnesses the central marriage in the lay between Theseus and Hippolyta. Oberon is, however, offended when Titania refuses to give him the changeling that he should have used as his knight. He gets offended so much that he decided to seek magic to punish her wife. The relevance of this feature is that the reader realizes that married people tend to disagree on minor issues.
In summary, it is noted that the complexities surrounding love in various scenes create the impression that many become victims when it is thought to unify people. The failure in the traditional arranged marriage, the interplay of love between four characters and the effect where a King want to punish her wife for a minor dispute justify that love has dark sides. Overall, the William Shakespeare’s play serves as a comical way of appreciating the theme of love that tends to be a defining feature for human connection.
Royal Shakespeare Company. “Themes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” RSC (2002): n. pag. Web.
Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. N.p., 1605. Print.
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