The Theme of True Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
The overriding theme of the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare deals with the nature of love. Though true love seems to be held up as an ideal, false love is mostly what we are shown. Underneath his frantic comedy, Shakespeare seems to be asking the questions all lovers ask in the midst of their confusion: How do we know when love is real? How can we trust ourselves that love is real when we are so easily swayed by passion and romantic conventions? Some readers may sense bitterness behind the comedy, but will probably also recognize the truth behind Shakespeare's satire. Often, love leads us down blind alleys and makes us do things we regret later. The lovers within the scene, especially the men, are made to seem rather shallow. They change the objects of their affections, all the time swearing eternal love to one or the other. In this scene Shakespeare presents the idea that both false love and true love can prevail..
Throughout Act III Scene II, many conflicts arise. However, the main conflict within the scene is the confusion the lovers face when their perceptions are altered. This confusion enhances the central theme of true love versus false love. There are many aspects of the play that deal with this central theme, but it is most prevalent within this scene. The chaos reaches a climax causing great disruption among the lovers. However, the turmoil is eventually resolved by the character who is originally responsible for the confusion, Puck.
Puck causes the disruption initially, when he intervenes in the lovers' business. Jester and jokester, Puck, otherwise known as Robin Goodfellow, is like a wild, untamed member of the fairy clan. Though fairy king Oberon tells him they are "spirits of another sort," Puck, with his connection to English legend and folklore, seems related to a slightly more dangerous kind of sprite. Not that he is truly malevolent, but his tricks make people uncomfortable. However, they don't seem to do any permanent damage. He casts an ironic eye on humanity. Thinking of people as fools, he loves to make fools of them. He expresses this idea when he states "What fools these mortals be…" But laughter, not tears, is his aim. With his quickness, ventriloquism, and shape-changing ability, he clearly has magic fairy powers of his own. Meddling in the affairs of lovers and administering Cupid's love juice, clearly presents Shakespeare's views on the nature of love. Puck's mischievous ways may allow him to meddle within the affairs of the lovers, however, does this interference do more harm than good?
This scene begins with Oberon encountering Puck in the middle of the woods. Puck, very excited, explains his actions. He tells Oberon how he caused Titania to fall in love with Bottom, who now has a donkey head. Puck also tells him that the Athenians had been placed under the...