Discuss the Role That Love Plays in a Midsummer Nights Dream

April 16, 2018 General Studies

A Midsummer Nights Dream’ is entirely based upon the characteristic of love. First there are the complex relationships between Demetrius, Lysander, Hermia and Helena. Demetrius and Lysander are rivals fighting for Hermia’s hand in marriage, except Hermia loves only Lysander. Hermia’s best friend Helena, however, loves Demetrius but he does not share the same feeling.

The types of love between characters are not always between a man and a woman but the love between friends, for example, Hermia and Helena share a sister-like love. In the play the role of love is not solely in the human world but also in the fairy world. However the two worlds collide when a love juice from the fairies charms Demetrius and Lysander. Turning everything upside down. One major example of love shown in the play is the romance between Lysander and Hermia. It is clear that Lysander loves Hermia when he says, “I am belov’d of beauteous Hermia. Hermia must love him back since she is willing to leave her whole life behind to wed Lysander in another city. Unfortunately this sweet love between them turns sour once Lysander is charmed to love Helena by mistake. Upon being charmed Lysander immediately says statements such as, “Not Hermia, but Helena I love. ” to Helena. This error only occurs because of the unrequited love between Demetrius and Hermia that King Oberon tried to fix. The second example of the role love plays is between Demetrius and Helena, which unlike Lysander and Hermia’s love, is not mutual.

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Hermia only feels this way towards him because before pursuing Hermia Demetrius originally had loved for Helena. Hence resulting in Hermia’s love and affection towards Demetrius. Helena’s love is shown in this quote, “And even for that do I love you more. ” she says this after Demetrius has told her, “I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. ” followed by a string of unpleasant comments. But once Demetrius is under the same potent charm as Lysander his feelings towards Helena suddenly change. We are shown the different stages of love hroughout the play, either by true or fake love and how quickly ones feelings can change. Love’s part is not only found between couple but between friends too. Helena and Hermia have been best friends since they were young girls. Yet despite Hermia and Helena’s deep friendship Helena is still willing to throw it all away for her love for Demetrius. Only afterwards does Hermia realise her mistake but it is too late. Their love and care for each other is stated when Helena says, “I evermore [do] love you, Hermia,” when the two girls are fighting.

Fortunately once the mix up between lovers is set correctly the two become the best of friends once again. This is yet another example of how love can quickly be changed in the play and also in real life. To close, it is obvious that role love plays in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is enormous. The play would simply not have any storyline at all if love’s component were absent. Shakespeare shows how quickly love can turn into hate with Hermia and Helena, and Demetrius and Helena. Also showing how unpredictable and difficult love can be.


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