In William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he creates relationships and situations that show how love can be both celebrated and ridiculed. When love is celebrated the emotion is truly exposed, whereas when it becomes ridiculed, it makes us question it, both can stretch us to our absolute limit. Helena embraces an unrequited devotion for Demetrius, Oberon along with Titania have a passionate relationship, while Hermia and Lysander have true love. How will these couples love be defined?
Helena, daughter of Nedar, is in love with Demetrius.
This is an unrequited love as the feeling is not reciprocated. Her love for him is so strong and faithful that she does not care how he treats her; she just desires to be by his side “I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me I will fawn on you.” Act2Sc1Ln203-204 Shakespeare ridicules this couple’s relationship by having Demetrius pursue Hermia after his brief affair with Helena, and although he once loved and cared for her, he now treats her with no respect.
After Oberon and Puck put the love juice onto Demetrius’ eyes, he comes to love Helena again like he once did. As a couple, in love, their love is celebrated as they come together and unite in marriage.
Oberon and Titania are passionate lovers; they are also the rulers of the fairy kingdom. They are very strong and powerful but, with great power also comes great responsibility. Titania does a favour for a dying friend and promises to take care of the friend’s son. This causes an outburst of jealousy for Oberon as Titania’s attention is given to the Indian boy. In a calculated act in order to get what he wants, he makes Titania the object of ridicule when he uses the love juice to make his wife fall in love with an ass. Although Oberon did this wild act, he later ends up using an antidote for the love juice and then he and Titania retreat. “Trip we after night’s shade; We the globe can compass soon
Come, my lord, and in our flight
Hermia, daughter of Egeus, a father who wants his daughter to wed Demetrius, even though she is in love with Lysander. The faith of Hermia and Lysander is tested when they decide to elope to Athens in the hope to live with Lysander’s aunt so they can be together. Even though what this couple is doing may be a risky act, Lysander says that “The course of true love never did run smooth” Act1Sc1Ln135. Their love is challenged when an attempt to put things right with love goes wrong. This is when Puck applied the love juice onto the eyes of the wrong person. Even in chaos, Hermia still loves Lysander. Their love is celebrated by the fact that their faith for each other is strong and even with a few unfortunate events, they make it through and become one with marriage.
In conclusion, it can be seen that love goes through many obstacles. Even though challenges occur, it is evident that in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there is always a better side to things that go wrong. This is usually a celebration where love is displayed. William Shakespeare is definitely the master at creating wonders with words. The art of his play demonstrates many ways that love can be awarded and made fun of.