A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Essay Title: “The course of love never did run smooth,” Says Lysander (1:1: 135)
How is this demonstrated in the lives of all the lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
Shakespeare has written about a variety of love affairs in this play and has managed to include several relationships, some of which work well, some that need exertion and others that need control and commitment.
To begin with, the love between Theseus and Hippolyta is much admirable as he wins the right to marry the Queen of the Amazons by striking his sword and therefore Hippolyta is under obligation to marry him. (1:1.16)
Theseus: Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with my sword, and won they love, doing thee injuries; (1:1.16)
Although this love affair may seem unnatural to an extent, when reading the play it reveals that the couple are quite pleased with this choice and content to marry.
In act 1, Theseus expresses how he feels the four days till their wedding will go slowly and linger before they marry and Hippolyta elucidate that it will pass by soon and their love can then flourish. (1:1.7, 8, 9)
Theseus: Four days will go quickly steep themselves in night;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night of our solemnities. (1:1.7, 8, 9)
This may be the only case where love did run smoothly until interrupted by Egeus.
Shakespeare introduced tragedy in the life of the four lover’s right from the start and in an exceptionally clever manner by setting up a conflict between Egeus and his daughter Hermia. The story works well and presents the rules that were expected to be understood and adhered to in those times. Some of these rules still apply today in many faiths and religions where the daughter is expected to marry the man her father chooses. Not all has changed today in comparison to the Elizabethan times.
The quote “The course of love never did run smooth,”...