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'the Play Seems To Set Out To Make Fun Of Love And Lovers.' Do You Agree With This Comment On A Midsummer Night's Dream?

1366 words - 5 pages

'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was written by William Shakespeare in 1595 and performed to celebrate a wedding in a noble family. It was seen at the time as a light comedy and nothing more, but audiences and those studying the play have since discovered that the play is more dramatically complex than first thought. Shakespeare explores many different themes in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', one of the main ones being love. The portrayal of love in the play has been described in different forms; it can be described as a sickness or madness, in the way that it causes people to behave irrationally and to do things that they wouldn't normally. For instance, Hermia disobeying her father when she knows that the punishment would be terrible seems like madness. It has also been thought that Shakespeare had wanted to mock love, and make it seem like a foolish game. There are many examples of this in the play, which I will look at in this essay.The play opens as a wedding is supposed to take place, which people see as a holy union between two people in love. However, that union is interrupted by a request from outside, as Egeus arrives to protest against his daughter Hermia, saying: "Come I, with complaint/against my child", because she refuses to marry the man he chose. The fact that this symbol of love and devotion, a wedding, begins the play, but never actually takes place initiates the exemplification of the foolishness of love for the rest of the drama. Whether he intended to or not, Shakespeare appears to ridicule love, as he seems to epitomize how foolish it is throughout the play.Titania and Oberon, the Fairy Queen and King, enter in Act 2 Scene 1, enraged with one another although they are supposedly in love. Oberon wants to have something evil happen to his queen, because of their argument, she refuses to give him what he wants, as seen in the same scene, when Oberon says: "I do beg but a little changeling boy", to which Titania replies, "The fairy land buys not the child of me". This makes him or his love seem immature or crude. Making Titania fall in love with a vile creature mocks the validity of love, when an argument as small as this leads to these extremes.Seeing the spectacle of the four lovers, Demetrius, Helena, Hermia and Lysander quarrel in Act 3, Scene 2 is amusing to the fairy Puck. He states in the most famous line from the play, "What fools these mortals be!" implying that their foolishness arises from their love for each other. Puck sees that love makes the mortals act foolish, but he doesn't see that the world of the fairies is by no means immune to the foolishness of love; he forgets that love and the arguments caused by it is doing the same, arguably worse, to his Fairy King and Queen.It is when Titania falls in love with Bottom in Act 3, Scene 1: "On the first view to say I swear, I love thee", that Shakespeare appears to be making pure mockery of love. A fairy queen falling deeply in love, not even with a human, but with an ass,...

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