Many describe love as a strong feeling of desire towards an object of affection. However, defining love is a difficult subject. Love can be constructive at the same time dangerously destructive. It is a feeling beyond once control. Quoting world famous songstress Celine Dion “Love does not think twice it can come all at once or whisper from a distance”. Often romantic comedies and famous love stories like Romeo and Juliet, The Notebook and Sleepless in Seattle portray two individuals of evidently sharp contrasting backgrounds regardless of their circumstances, moving towards the tide that is destiny in order to end up together. However, the underlying question remains a ghost in the closet for many people. Can we choose who we fall in love with? Many believe in destiny. Is it true that there is someone out there for everyone when it comes to love? The characters in William Shakespeare’s humorous play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream “depict and tackle these issues of love through their actions (Finck 54).
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At the exposition, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare introduces the audience to the plot of the play through a famous quote. “The course of True Love never did run smooth”, uttered by the character Lysander. Lysander is a character in the play that falls in love with the beautiful, enchanting Hermia daughter of Eugeus (Regina 36). However, it is Eugeus wish that his daughter Hermia marries Demeritus, a man he believes is the most suitable for his daughter. The play then proceeds with Eugeus presenting the three individuals to his Majesty King Theseus for him to enforce the marriage of Hermia to Demeritus. King Athens threatens to send Hermia to the convent if she does not oblige to marry Demeritus. Left with no other option the two lovebirds decide to escape. In reference to a famous movie, “The Notebook” the course of true love is indeed rough. Just like the play, Allie the main character in the movie becomes separated from her true love Noah and destiny after her strict and dictatorial mother disapproves of the relationship. Noah is a poor country boy while Allie, is young classy educated young woman from the city. It does not seem realistic for the two to end up together. In most love story, the plot is always similar. Two individuals of different social class meet and fall in love. However, their union draws resistance from all aspects of their lives. Disapproving and discontented parents are the principal obstacles in prominent Love stories like the Notebook and Titanic. In most scenarios, mothers especially, feel that the young man in love with their daughter does not suit her because of his poor and pathetic background. However, in the play AMidsummer Night’s Dream it is the father of Hermia, Eugeus who objects her marriage to Lysander (Delilah 23).
When it comes to matters pertaining the heart, one cannot control the urges of love but let the heart decide. It is still a myth how love works. In the play Helena, the main character in the play falls in love with Demeritus, a man determined to marry Hermia. Helena cannot control her feelings towards Demeritus even though he has made it clear that his love belongs to someone else Hermia. However, this statement does not deter Helena from pursuing Demeritus she hopes that her dream will come true (Emily and William 9). Indeed later in the play, Helena proves to the audience that, through patience, one can nurture love into her objects desire. Helena introduces a controversial topic when it comes to love. She proves that is not obligatory for individuals to fall instantaneously in love with each on set of meeting. However, Helena portrays true love as patient, selfless and undying even the object of one’s desire does not reciprocate. She remains faithful and loyal to Demeritus even when he does not reciprocate. She tips Demeritus on the elopement of Hermia and Lysander. Helena might appear foolish to the audience, but she triumphs by proving that the mind sometimes outshines physical appearance when it comes to true love.
What a man thinks so he becomes. It is often said that like attracts like. However, does this apply in matters pertaining love? Sadly, the answer is no. Classis films like Beauty and the Beast, Princess and Frog support this theory of two unlike poles attracting each other (Sternberg 3). Just like Helena in the play, the two characters in the films, I have mentioned above namely the Beast and The Frog transform their ugliness through magic into something beautiful (Delilah 23). In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Love potion that Puck sparks on Helena makes her noticeable to Demeritus who falls madly in love with her (Emily and William 17). Also in the film the Princess and Frog, the frog magically transforms into a handsome prince subsequent to the princess truly falling in love with him. The play proves that patience is a virtue that works hand in hand with true love. Characters in the play and the two films wait patiently for their soul mate to realize that they bound to be together. William Shakespeare uses the love potion a representation of how love works in inexplicable and astonishing ways (Regina 28). In the play, Shakespeare uses sets contrasting couple in conveying that, most often couples who fall in love contrast in personality, and background. Researches based on science prove that couples with a contrast in personalities tend to last more than couples with the same character traits (Sternberg 7). Realistically, a relationship made up of two emotional individuals does not stand a chance. Shakespeare uses contrasting couples to enhance the theory of opposite attraction. In addition, the idea of contrast occupies a central and clear part in the whole play.
As the title of the play suggest, dreams, play a significant role in the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the forest scenes, the dreams are of the bizarre happenings of love. Just like a dream when an individual falls in love strange, unexplainable events occur. Shakespeare uses dreams to stress that love can be an illusion. Once cupid strikes, an individual belongs to a surreal and fantasy world. It takes a while for such an individual to come back to earth. In the play, Shakespeare positions the dreams at the epitome of the play. He uses dreams to resolve the conflicts in the play and come to a happy resolution (Ellis 45).
Through the analysis of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I conclude that true love indeed exist. In summary, love works in mysterious ways. To some extent, individuals have the power to select who to spend the rest of their lives with. However, in some cases fate and destiny becomes a determining factor in shaping ones future. Love stories, romantic plays and fairy tales portray a world where fate and destiny surpass all odds to emerge victorious. In the play Hermia ends up with Lysander even though the King and her father object their union. They prove that destiny conquers all (Finck 15). Helena portrays a virtue in love that most couples tend to over look. Through Helena, we learn that love is patient and kind. Demeritus does not give Helena a second glance when she is first introduced to the audience. However, with time Helena proves that patience indeed pays when she manages to win over Demeritus.
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