A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare is a complicated play with many twists and turns, with a theme centered around love. Love is a very important part of daily life, and Shakespeare shows dangerous love and how twisted it can truly become. Shakespeare presents wonderful stories of love and with great variety Through the confusing, but exhilarating turn of events it is evident the impact other people can make on others lives and relationships. Through the characters intertwining relationships and the complicated love triangles, wonderful examples of the different types of love are presented. In A Midsummers Night’s Dream, there is three drastically different types of love romantic love, artificial love, and parental love.
Hermia and Lysander are in deep, romantic love with each other, but are unable to get married because of Hermia’s father. After her father took them to the duke and legally forbid them to get married, they decide to make other plans. They completely ignore her father’s wishes and plan to elope. Hermia states, ”By all the vows that ever men have broke / (In number more than ever women spoke), / In that same place thou hast appointed me, / Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee” (1.1.171-181). In this quote, Hermia is promising Lysander she will flee to the woods with him. This is a very crucial line because it is evident how willingly Hermia fights against Egeus, despite being aware that this could end in her death. She is also giving up all her friends and family for this one man. The things that Hermia is saying, shows how intense and passionate her love is for Lysander. Compared to all the other couples in the play, Lysander never stops loving Hermia on purpose and Hermia never stops loving Lysander. This specific relationship is very interesting and unique.From the start it is obvious that they will find their way back together somehow. Furthermore, Lysander is so excited to be alone with Hermia and away from the threats of her father. Lysander exclaims, “O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence! / Love takes the meaning in love’s conference. / I mean that my heart unto yours is knit,” (2.2.51-53). Lysander is trying to convince Hermia to sleep next to him because they are finally free and will soon be married.
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, artificial love is also presented. As the name implies, it isn’t real, but it is so strong that it tricks you into thinking it is real.This love is not actually love but more of an illusion. Bottom and Titania are a perfect example. While practicing in the forest, Bottom wakens Titania who has had the love potion placed on her eyes, as soon as Titania sees Bottom, she becomes completely head over heels. Within a few moments of knowing him she declares, “Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful” (3.1.150). Those words are incredibly deep to tell someone especially at first meeting. Titania truly believes that Bottom is the love of her life with just one glance. Due to the love potion, she insists he remain in the woods with her and even tells bottom that she loves him. She is so infatuated with him while he seems to be clueless and lost. “So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle / Gently entwist; the female ivy so / Enrings the barky fingers of the elm. / O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!” (4.1.43-46). Titania remains completely starstruck by Bottom. Later it is discovered that it was all fake due to the Love potion that was put on her eyes. Parental love is another amazing example of love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Egeus refuses to give up Hermia because he believes that it is her best interest to marry Demetrius. Egeus says, “As she is mine, I may dispose of her, / Which shall be either to this gentleman / Or to her death, according to our law / Immediately provided in that case” (1.1.43-46). He refuses to let her go and says that she will marry Demetrius or die. As the play draws to a close it is prominent that after the struggle of true love and fake love, the lovers are finally content and have each other and are trying to prove to Theseus that they should get married legally. Egeus shows her passion as she cries, “Enough, enough!—My lord, you have enough. / I beg the law, the law upon his head,” (4.1.150-151). Even though Demetrius is no longer fighting for Hermia, Egeus still doesn’t give up until he sees he truly has no reason to be again Hermia and Lysander. Even though she fought against him, he loves his daughter dearly and all he wants to do is make sure she’s married to someone he knows to be good.
This play is a wonderful work of art as it helps people truly see that sometimes false love can present itself as true love. With the great example of Hermia and Lysander never giving up on their true love, it’s easy to see how crucial love is and how important it is to life. Artificial love is another important part of this play, it’s something needed to be able to recognize and understand. Love is something humans want and crave, whether it is romantic or platonic, everyone wants to have a place to belong and it is found with others.