William Shakespeare presents love in many complex ways in the first three scenes of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. The first three scenes introduce us to eight lovers. A part of the comic plot comes from a father, Segues, attempting to thwart his daughter’s and Lassoer’s relationship. Segues threatens his daughter with life in a Nunnery if she refuses to marry his chosen suitor Demerits. He does not paint a picture of this being a happy life, referring to it as “barren”, “cold” and “fruitless”.
Despite him knowing that Hermit would rather die, “so die, my lord, ere I will yield my virgin patent up” Han marry Demerits, her father believes that he is doing the loving thing as he thinks that Alexander “hath bewitched the bosom of my child. ” Interestingly this aspect of the play is similar to that of the story of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ which Shakespeare wrote at a similar time. Both plays depict a girl trying to escape from a forced marriage, however the outcome in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream does not encompass the same tragic ending.
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However in the beginning of the play the author does not tell the audience that Alexander and Hermit will be so lucky. Shakespeare shows the power of love by the similarity of the two plays; if Segues had achieved his plans, Alexander and Hermit may have also taken their own lives in despair. Instead they plan to run away together and married where Lassoer’s aunt lives; “There, gentle Hermit, may I marry thee. ” The love that the mature couple Theses and Happily have contrasts that of the younger lovers.
Theses fought Happily but now he loves her. His change of attitude illustrates how Shakespeare wanted to present love as irrational but powerful. It is clear that Theses sincerely loves his bride to be “fair Happily, our nuptial hour draws on apace”, fascinatingly Shakespeare makes it unclear about whether Happily is happy to be marrying Theses or whether she is reluctantly playing her part in a peace treaty.
Although she is deferential toward him. Howbeit the audience can learn that Theses and Happily express contrasting attitudes. He jokes about his impatience for the wedding night ‘this old moon wanes”, whereas she speaks in a more subtle tone “Four days will quickly steep themselves in night”. These references to the night and predominantly the moon establish it as a key image of the play.
The moon has connotations of madness and change, which makes it a suitable to accompany love in a comedy. Shakespeare presents the fairy King and Queen, Oberon and Titanic, to show a less romantic image Of marriage. With their quarrelling and the jealousy of Oberon causing the couple to be temporarily estranged. In conclusion Shakespeare presents love to be prevailing despite the couples facing serious difficulties on their journey to romance.