Dr. Kathy Buckelew
7 June 2009
True Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Lysander's famous quote "The course of true love never did run smooth" is proven true of the couples in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare 1.1.134). Theseus wins Hippolyta in battle by killing with his sword but wants to win her love with his heart (1.1.15). Demetrius is in love with Helena's best friend even though he has already won Helena's love (1.1.110). Lysander and Hermia are in love, but Hermia's father forbids them to be together (1.1.30). The three couples have different obstacles to overcome before they can be united.
Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, will marry in four days. Waiting impatiently, Theseus is excited about Hippolyta becoming his wife but does not want to make her marry him. He ...view middle of the document...
The day ends in laughter and love.
In love with Demetrius, Helena chooses to love him without his returning her love. Helena says, "The more I love, the more he hateth me" (1.1.199). Demetrius is promised Hermia's hand in marriage by her father. Hermia, Helena's best friend, is in love with Lysander. Demetrius only loves Hermia because she does not love him; he wants what he cannot have. Helena's love is consistent and patient though one might think her crazy to love a man who has shown her no respect. Demetrius is put under a spell by the fairies to make him see his true love is Helena.
Lysander, Hermia's true love, will do anything for her hand in marriage. Hermia's father, who promised her to Demetrius, does not care who Hermia is in love with and will have her killed if she disobeys him: "As She is mine, I may dispose of her, which shall be either to this gentleman or to her death according to our law"(1.1.42-44). Hermia and Lysander plan to meet in the woods and run away together. The fairies first accidentally put a spell on Lysander in the woods, thinking him to be Demetrius. This makes Lysander think he loves Helena. When the fairies discover their mistake, they remove the spell. Thanks to the spell on Demetrius, Hermia's father changes his mind, allowing her to marry Lysander.
Finding true love is never easy. There will always be difficulties to hinder it. Is it not these obstacles that make us realize how special the love is that the couples share? Do they not prove that because they are willing to overcome, they show true love? The man who truly loves a woman wins her with his sword and his heart. A man blind to love is transformed. A father's heart and mind are changed. In the end, they all find true love with a worthy partner and celebrate the day with a grand wedding.
Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Norton Introduction to
Literature. 9th ed. Ed. Alison Booth, J. Paul Hunter, and Kelly J. Mays. New
York: Norton, 2005. 1690-1742.