The exposition and complications are introduced right from the start when the theme of the play, marriage, becomes apparent. Theseus and Hippolyta are anxious to wed and are in a Dionysian mood and full of love and bliss. We see the complication shortly after this when Egeus enters the room, greets Theseus and suddenly launches into a twenty line rant due to his vexation right after Theseus states that he does not want anybody making him potentially upset i. . he does not want to be in the midst of any “pale companions”. We are led to believe that the play will end in tragedy when Theseus attempts to rectify the difficulty between Hermia and her father Egeus. Egeus wants Hermia to marry a man who she doesn’t want to and she wants to marry a man, which Egeus doesn’t want. Theseus tells Hermia, “Either to die the death or to abjure forever the society of men”.Order now
This means that Hermia has three options: Listen to her father and marry the man he chooses for her Continue to object and be put to death Be sent to a nunnery for the rest of her life This complication is developed when we find that Hermia and Lysander the man Hermia is in love with leave the apollonian realm of Athens and flee into the Dionysian realm of the woods whereby no rules are bound to anybody. Dramatic tension is created in the play as we see it once when Theseus gives Hermia her options i. . a question of how this problem will develop. The repetition of the statement “four days” in the opening paragraph gives the play a structure and a time span that they will become newlyweds in four days. This also indicated the exposition as well and we also see that the play is a comedy because all comedies end in marriage. We see that love is presented as a main them in the play because it is clear that through Act One Scene One, everybody who is a genuine character has somebody to love.
There are many different types of relationships; firstly the father daughter relationship between Egeus and Hermia and then the rivals Lysander and Demetrius who are etching for the right to Hermia. True love is shown from Hermia and Lysander and we also see Helena’s unrequited love from Demetrius. We see that love is bound up with economics in the sense that Theseus “won” Hippolyta in battle. This re-enforces the medieval chain of being and shows that women in that time were shown to be objects; in this case Hippolyta is seen as a “prize” to Theseus.
In this play we see that men and women are treated differently. We see that they are both good and bad in different lights but in general we see men are “unfaithful” but also far more powerful than women. Women are seen to be loyal and true but are seen to be potential prizes and general property. Shakespeare uses figurative language throughout the play. He uses metaphors, similes and semantic fields associated with economics and pastoral imagery to create strong impacts on his play.
The metaphor of the moon, a symbol of chastisy, “this old moon wanes! shows affection during the night. The constant use of this metaphor and the quote “four days” serve a constant reminder of the play being a comedy. A simile is used “line to a step-dame or a dowager”. This associates love and money and bounds them together â€“ the stepson is waiting for the stepmother to die so that he can get all the money. Shakespeare uses stichomythia in two different ways. Once it is used between Hermia and Lysander. They used balanced phrases and agree with each other which show they think alike and that they’re in love.
Stichomythia is used again between Helena and Hermia however on this occasion they have contrasting and somewhat opposite views which mean that they finish of each others sentences in disagreement. Although in both cases it is indicated that they both show that love is complicated, “The course of love never did run smooth”. From a Nietzchean perspective, characters and locations within the play can be stereotyped as either Apollonian or Dionysian. Athens is viewed as Apollonian and is strict and strongly bound by laws.
However, the woods are viewed as Dionysian which means that no rules are applied to anybody and people are happy and do as they wish. The complications of the play are really rectified here as we see that as people have no rules bound to them they can live their lives freely. In terms of people, we can say that the younger generation of characters in the play are far more Dionysian i. e. Hermia than the older generation who are more Apollonian i. e. Egeus. There are some moments when the duke Theseus is both Apollonian and Dionysian and in general he ends up in a Dionysian mood e. . he is very Apollonian when he is giving Hermia her options and then speaks to her in a very friendly manner.
It is said that the perfect society would be when Apollo and Dionysius “dance together” in which they do at the end of the play. In Athens when the law is too strict for Hermia to marry Lysander, the laws are suddenly bent and the permission is granted. From here we can see that the different societies merge together into wholesome agreement and there are no longer any conflicts regarding Apollo or Dionysius perspectives.