A Midsummer Night's Dream Love Essay

1361 words - 6 pages

In the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written by William Shakespeare, a literary technique known as “doubling” is used to convey entertainment, mystery and reality as the story line for Lysander and Demetrius, Helena and Hermia, Oberon and Theseus, and Titania and Hippolyta. ”Doubling” shows indistinguishable personalities of each character but completely contrapositive background stories and actions. Lysander and Demetrius are completely identical except for their personality, actions, and the fact that Egeus and Theseus do not approve of Lysander as Hermia’s spouse. Helena and Hermia are very alike except for the minor differences in their appearances. The third doubling relationship ...view middle of the document...

They both are rich, have admirers, they are both considered beautiful, and their appearance in generally is the same. The only thing that differentiates them is their deeds and their names. Demetrius is a good boy but Lysander is a rebel. He wishes to follow the path of love and run off with Hermia rather following the Athenian Law. Demetrius on the other hand tries to act perfect so that he can keep his approval to marry Hermia. Demetrius is a scornful, rude person. He scorns Helena when she follows him for the sake of love. “I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia? The one I’ll slay, the other slayeth me. Thou told’st me they were stolen unto this wood, Because I cannot meet my Hermia. Hence, get thee gone and follow me no more!”(58). Lysander on the other hand is not scornful or rude in his normal state. When Theseus and Egeus insult him, he does not give them the satisfaction of seeing him get hurt. He just sits there. Shakespeare uses this as entertainment because when Puck is instructed to give the love potion to the man wearing Athenian clothing, he mistakes Lysander for Demetrius. This causes a huge mix-up which makes Helena, who is generally jealous of Hermia, to become protective of herself and her friend. When Puck is scolded by Oberon, he is told that he must go back and resolve the mix-up that he created. He uses Lysander’s voice when talking to Demetrius and vice versa. Both boys get tired and lie down to sleep. The reaction provides humor to the audience. “[Lysander:] ‘Where art thou. proud Demetrius? Speak thou now.’ ‘[Puck in Demetrius’s voice:] Here villain, drawn and ready. Where art thou?’” (122). This continues throughout the scene and finally causes them to give up. However, the theme of entertainment is not the only one that Shakespeare considered while writing this play.

William Shakespeare makes the “doubling” between Hermia and Helena obvious not for entertainment purposes but for the audience to collect pieces of the puzzle and figure out how the actual story finishes. Like for the other characters, Shakespeare only gives enough information to just have a faint picture of what the character looks like. There is no distinguishing Helena and Hermia. They are both wealthy, protective and strong willed. Throughout the book, sometimes it even looks like they are supposed to be the same person. It may raise suspicions about whether they are telling the truth about their stories or not. Occasionally it seems as though Demetrius and Lysander are one person while Helena and Hermia are one person. Shakespeare uses “doubling” here to create a mysterious and suspicious feeling among the audience. Upon reaching the climax of the story,the “doubling” is shown once again when the love potion from the fairies is administered and the lovers get mixed up. When Puck gives the “man [Lysander] with the Athenian clothing” the love potion, Lysander immediately turns his love towards Helena. She...

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