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“What Will Your Verse Be?” Essay

1424 words - 6 pages

In his A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare contrasts the love existing in the relationships of friends and of lovers. Love here does not refer to romantic emotion exclusively; “love” means connection and empathy with another being. The female relationships in the poem, between Hermia and Helena, and Titania and her fairies, exist with a love based on connections between the females. However, the lovers’ relationships arise from a love produced by desire for another’s differences. The females produce a strong bond with each other that exists to provide the other person with a better version of themselves and protection from destruction. Love can only exist in this relationship because it ...view middle of the document...

Helena and Hermia’s connection is again revealed later in the book: “Have with our needles created both one flower/ Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion/Both warbling of one song, both in one key/ As of our hands, our sides, voices, and minds/ Had been incorporate. So we grew together/ Like to a double cherry tree, seeming parted/ But yet an union in partition/ Two lovely berries molded on one stem/ So with two seeming bodies but one heart.”(97) The love between these women molds them into “one heart.” Unlike male-female love, this female-female love develops a connection between the two that originates from association rather than longing. Besides a connection between the women, the relationship develops independent of outside forces. In the woods, the help of the fairies resolved the lover’s dispute. However, the female’s argument was never involved in the magic, which symbolizes these “outside forces”. The lover’s relationship was only able to exist in the woods with the help of magic, but the females’ friendship exists both in a dream and in consciousness. The female friendship is based solely on connection with another being, and exists independent of the senses and society.
In the poem Shakespeare portrays both interactions of love through rhyming, between both the lovers and the female friendships. In conversation between Hermia and Lysander, one can see that this rhythmic patter still exists: “Hermia: Be it so Lysander. Find you out a bed/ For I upon this bank will rest my head. / Lysander: One turf will sere as a pillow for us both/ One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. / Hermia: Nay, good Lysander. For my sake, my dear/ Lie further off yet. Do not lie so near.”(57) Love as a whole exists with poetry and this rhythmic pattern. However, looking closer into the structure of these rhymes, the reader sees that the rhyming between the lovers exists with their individual statements and does not connect with the other’s proceeding one. All love has this poetic base, but only the love existing between the female friendships has the rhythmic connection and replication that continues with each female’s dissertation. Looking at the content of the lines and comparing them to the exchange between the women in the previous passage, another separation of these relationships reveals itself. In the previous female conversation the women recognize that they are of “one heart.” However, in this passage, when Lysander states that he and Hermia have this connection, her reaction is not in compliance. This connection is only able to exist in the female relationships. The female-female friendship exists in this, as to combine the two hearts involved in it, but the female-male relationship can never reach the same level of intimacy. The females’ love is formed by connection; therefore it is able to intertwine the two women into one spiritual being. However, the male-female relationship prevents the two beings from being completely connected...

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