Love, Hate, Resentment, And Desire: Jealousy In A Midsummer Night's Dream

875 words - 4 pages

In William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the most important, recurring theme is jealousy. Best defined as resentment, anger, or sadness caused by longing or suspicion, jealousy motivates the characters' actions and feelings and influences the events of the story throughout the play. Between Helena, Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander, and even the fairies, jealousy is a very significant, driving force. One of the most powerful, complex human emotions is that of jealousy, and this is a dominant theme in A Midsummer Night's Dream.One good example of jealousy in A Midsummer Night's Dream is Helena's jealousy toward Hermia at the beginning of the play. Hermia had something Helena wanted more ...view middle of the document...

" (3.2.290-291) Although this hadn't even been mentioned to that point, they both start to use this against her, with Lysander even telling her, "Get you gone, you dwarf;/ You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;/ You bead, you acorn." (3.2.327-239) Clearly, her jealousy caused her self-esteem to be drastically hurt, and this in turn caused the men to think less of her as well, similar to what happened between Helena and Demetrius earlier. Furthermore, her jealousy causes her to become enraged to the point of physical violence toward Helena. In one unforgettable line, she says, "How low am I? I am not yet so low/ But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes." (3.2.297-298) This threat is toward what used to be a good friend of Hermia's and someone she was close to since childhood. This further comments on the power of jealousy to cause anger and conflict.Another prominent example of jealousy in A Midsummer Night's Dream is in the relationship between Oberon and Titania. First off, Oberon is jealous of Titania's Indian servant boy, and this causes a long fight between the two of them. This is a relatively simple example of jealous; Oberon is angry and resentful toward Titania because of his envy of her "possession." He declares, "I do but beg a little changeling boy,/ To be my...

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