Essay on Contrast in a Midsummer Night's Dream

Submitted By jessii16
Words: 1054
Pages: 5

Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is about 2 different worlds that are able to come together because of the love of 4 people. Both worlds are able to interact with each other in extremely different ways and yet are able to co-exist despite their differences. Athens’ is a city driven by reason where rules are strictly followed, the restrictive laws negatively impact 4 people and their relationships. The magic forest is driven by only passion, and magic although used thoughtlessly, helps solve the 4 lovers’ issues. The 2 worlds, Athens and the magic forest, come together to create the perfect balance of passion and reason helping the lover’s relationships flourish. Shakespeare uses contrast between the 2 worlds to demonstrate how by balancing passion and reason, people can overcome obstacles because of love. Athens is filled with rules and reason that prevents the 4 lovers, Hermia, Lysander, Helena, and Demetrious, from being able to untangle their complex love web. Hermia and Lysander love each other but Demetrious loves Hermia and Helena loves Demetrious. This becomes a huge issue when Egeus, Hermia’s father, decides that Hermia should marry Demetrious instead of the man she loves, Lysander. Egeus made this decision only out of reason. He did not consider Lysander’s perspective: “I am my lord, as well derived as he, as well possessed. My love is more than his, my fortunes every wage as fairly ranked, if not with vantage as Demetrious, and, which is more than all these boasts can be, I am beloved of beauteous Hermia.” If Egeus had used both reason and passion, he would have chosen Lysander because he is just as rich and well possessed as Demetrious, if not more because Hermia actually loves him back. The decision Egeus made by choosing Demetrious for his daughter, Hermia, would have been a good decision if she wasn’t in love with another man already. By thinking with only reason, Egeus has hurt his daughter without even intending to in the first place, he just wanted Hermia to be with the best man he could find for her but forgot to consider her feelings. This proves how making a decision based only with reason can end poorly for everyone involved. Unlike Athens, the people in the Magic forest act only through passion and not reason which in a short time period can be helpful for the lovers. When Hermia’s father acts with only reason on his decision of who Hermia should marry, Hermia responds with a decision based only with passion, to run away with Lysander to the magical forest. Hermia and Lysander run away because the laws in Athens would demolish their love. Demetrious follows them into the forest with Helena following close behind. Once the 4 lovers are in the magic forest ruled by Oberon, the fairy king and Titania, the fairy queen, everything begins to go wrong. Oberon seeing how Helena follows Demetrious like a dog, tells his mischievous servant, Puck, “A sweet Athenian lady is in love with a disdainful youth, anoint his eyes, but do it so the next thing he espies may be the lady.” Oberon makes this decision based on passion because he feels bad for Helena being treated so terribly and wants to help her receive Demetrious’ love. This decision is as well intended as Egeus’ marriage choice for Hermia but is also not thought through thoroughly enough because by mistake, Puck puts the love juice on Lysander causing him to fall in love with Helena and not his true love Hermia. To fix his mistake, Puck also puts the love juice on Demetrious, causing them both to love Helena. After a night of utter confusion with Helena experiencing Hermia’s love problems of having both Lysander and Demetrious love her while she loves only one of them, Oberon has Puck fix his mistake for the 2nd time by having him remove the juice from Lysander creating 2 happy couples. By Oberon acting only with passion and not reason, he almost destroyed true love. But, if he made…