Sitting on a porch swing with one's true love hugging and kissing as the moon smiles down upon them, seems like the perfect situation for true love. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Shakespeare presents the truth about true love in his comical tragedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. Lysander clearly stated loves situation when he told Hermia "the course of true love never did run smooth" (Griffiths 94). "In some ways Lysander's declaration becomes the play's structural and thematic point" by which Shakespeare uses to explore the storms of love (Bloom 12). In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare uses young lovers to depict how "love masters young people" and pushes them to extreme measures (Comtois 20). The explanation Shakespeare gives for people doing nearly anything for love is that "reason and love keep little company together nowadays" (Griffiths 149). Shakespeare does not label love as a failure, he simply states that it is hard to come by and even harder to preserve.
William Shakespear was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23, 1964 (Bloom 7). He was the third child of John and Mary (Arden) Shakespeare (Bloom 7). At eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway and they had three children, Susan and twins Hamnet and Judith (Bloom 8). In 1592, he became a recognized actor and wrote his first play, Henry VI, Part one (Bloom 7). The success of the play impelled him to write the second and third parts (Bloom 7). In 1594, he acted in a comedy before Queen Elizabeth and many more royal performances followed (Bloom 8). In 1596, Hamnet died, that same year Shakespeare bought a home, New Place, in the center of Stratford (Bloom 8). Shakespeare began the Lord Chamberlain's Company and they performed in the Globe Theatre; constructed around 1599 (Bloom 7). He retired from stage by 1613 and it was about this time that the Globe Theatre burned down (Bloom 9). Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, and rests in the Church of St Mary's in Stratford (Bloom 9). A monument stands in the Poet's Corner of the Westminster Abby, in his honor (Bloom 9).
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare created a comical tragedy of four lovers who let love make them commit some "crazy" acts. Comtois states that Shakespeare depicts "young people who experience love...as something they cannot control" and let it lead them astray (16). According to Girard, "the real obstacles are not outside the enchanted circle of the lovers: each of them is an obstacle to the others in a game of imitation and rivalry that is their mode of alienation and this alienation finally verges on trancelike possession" (18). This also enforces the fact that the lovers are immature and allow love to make their decisions for them, by overstating their passions (Comtois 16). Though Shakespeare incorporates many other themes in this play, the theme of the mistaken identity of the lovers would be the central conflict.
A Midsummer Night's Dream opens with the festive...