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Romantic Love in Shakespeare’s Plays
Part 1: Compare in the matrix the way romantic love is treated in the comedies, tragedies, and romances.
Barriers to fulfillment of desire
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream love is the one thing that that can give fulfillment of desire. Henry V has barriers to fulfill the desire of his people and to keep bringing them peace and happiness. The barriers that I see to fulfillment of desire in Othello are the struggle that Othello and Desdemona are in a mixed relationship.
Conventions of courtship
The form of courtship that I am able to see in A Midsummer Night’s Dream called for the man that was attracted to the woman would have to ask the woman’s family if the two could be together. The form of courtship is just the same as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The man has to go to the woman’s family or father to as for hand in marriage. Of course families or fathers would have to agree on this, but having to be married by the church also played a large role in courtship.
Treatment of sex
This would have to be caused by the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This would be because the fairies are making people fall for one another from their love juice This one is tough but I would have to say the sex/love life of Henry and Catherine. In Shakespeare tragedies the treatment of sex has to deal with both man, woman and marriage.
Challenges to romantic love
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream the challenges to romantic love are when Hermia goes against her father’s orders to marry Demetrius the man that she doesn’t want to marry. The challenge comes from Catherine, because she knows that she is getting used for a political pawn. That’s why when we see Henry wanting to marry Catherine; she tells Henry that it is not up to her but her father, who wants to sign his own daughter away so that there will be peace with England. The Challenges that I see are the same challenges that we face today. Which are being unsure if the one you love is out cheating on you and having the trust that she is not? I say this because this is what we were able to see coming from Othello. When Othello is convinced that Desdemona is being unfaithful.
Gender roles and relationships
Women would have to be the main gender, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and their roles are headstrong women that against anything, they believe in true love. In Henry V The Gender roles are based around male figures and the power that each one holds. The Gender roles scale from men and women. You have Othello and Desdemona who are in a relationship, then you have lago an evil person that just wants to see the down fall of Othello.
What love means
The meaning of love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is to stay strong to the one that you love no matter the situation that may be at hand. In Henry V I see love having the meaning of doing what is right as a King. Because in order for Henry the V wanting to do right he had to first have a love for his
people. Love in this play has the meaning of loving someone so bad that it hurts or to death. We see that Othello loved his wife to be, that why he could not even think of her cheating on him or anything else that would bring him pain.
Part 2: Answer the follow-up questions:
Do you think Shakespeare provides a unified concept of romantic love across these genres? If so, what is the meaning of romantic love in Shakespeare’s plays? If not, why do you think romantic love differs across these genres? What is its significance in each genre? I would have to say yes and no on this question, reason being is because Shakespeare shows us all some of the things that we may often face or things we are going through now in romantic love. For example having to ask the family or father to take their daughters hand in marriage, that is something that stayed the same across the board but we also see this in the world today. The only thing that I feel differs would have to be the fairies having others fall in love because of love juice.
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