Madmen For Love Throughout life, people will experience different kinds of emotions. People can control their emotions but sometimes they let their heart take over the mind, especially when they are in love. In the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare explores the true nature of love. Love is a powerful force and illusion, which controls people to act irrationally or changes their personality. Love can change a person’s mind and judgment drastically. The characters in the play undergo heavy transformations because of their passion.
In the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hermia turns into a different person because of her love for Lysander. She is rational and intelligent, however her emotions make her forget about her identity and status as well as the danger of her actions. For instance, when she becomes bold and she rebukes her father. Hermia stands up against her father, Egeus, in front of Theseus when Egeus demands Theseus to punish Hermia based on the Athenian law: “I know not by what power I am made bold” (1.
1. 59). Hermia was an obedient daughter until she meets Lysander.
She is no longer the daughter Egeus know. She is brave to go against her father even though it is against the law to fight for her love. However her action also shows that her passion is controlling her. She does not think about the consequences of her action. She neglects the Athenian law where men are more dominant in the society and she will get punished for her impoliteness. Her love for Lysander creates an illusion of a perfect life away from Athens, when in reality her actions may bring her to her own downfall. Furthermore, Hermia becomes deranged when Lysander rejects her.
Hermia starts to swear at Helena when Lysander spurns Hermia’s love and professes his love for Helena: “ O me, you juggler, you canker-blossom! / What, have you come by night/ And stol’n my love’s heart from him? ” (3. 2. 282-4). Hermia is deeply hurt because of Lysander’s rejection. She bursts into anger and she starts to blame Helena for everything, neglecting their friendship. Hermia and Helena are really good friends however because of her passion, Hermia forgets about their friendship. She does not think clearly and does not realize that Helena is also confused with the situation.
Her sorrow blocks her way of thinking. She hurt her best friend with her words and actions because of her passion. In conclusion, Hermia let love control her actions, which leads her to make hasty decisions. Similar to Hermia, Helena also allow her passion controls her. Helena goes madly in love over Demetrius. She desperately longs after Demetrius’s love and affections, which makes her a fool for love. It shows when Helena breaks her promises to Hermia by telling Demetrius about Hermia’s escape. Helena talks to herself about her plan to tell Demetrius; “I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight …) and for this intelligence If I have thanks it is a dear expense: But herein mean I to enrich my pain To have his sight thither, and back again” (1. 1. 246, 248-51). Without thinking it more thoroughly, Helena endangers her friend’s safety in order to meet Demetrius. Helena does not think about the repercussion of her action. Demetrius could have told Egeus about Hermia’s escape and Hermia might get the death punishment. All she can think about is how to get Demetrius’ love. Moreover, Helena hopelessly chases for Demetrius’ love.
In the forest when Demetrius tries to escape from Helena, she complains: “Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex! ” (2. 1. 240). In society, usually men are the one who chase for the women by wooing them. However in this case, Helena breaks the stereotype of women. She follows Demetrius wherever he goes and begs him to love her back. She is not bothered about what other people might think of her. She lowers down her dignity to gain Demetrius’ attention. She does not care if she is seen as a fool. To sum it up, Demetrius’ rejection drives Helena insane and provokes her to makesimpulsive decisions.
Much to the same as love, the magic potion can blind people who are under the spell and change their personality. Anyone under the magic potion will fall in love with the first thing or person they see after they wake up. The magic potion resembles love at first sight. It happens in a short time period and may not be true and sincere. Even so the magic potion can transform the person under the potion drastically. The transformation because of the magic potion is shown through Titania’s action. Titania falls in love when she first sees him even though Bottom has a donkey head.
She praises Bottom when she wakes up after Oberon put the magic potion into her eyes; “I pray thee gentle moral, sing again: Mine ear is much enamour’d of thy note So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape. And thy fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee” (3. 1. 121-5). The magic changes her vision and how she view things. Logically, Titania will not fall in love with Bottom by love at first sight because of his unappealing appearance. However the magic potion has changed her perspective.
Because of the magic potion, Titania changes the way she perceives her surroundings. She changes Bottom’s unattractiveness into something wonderful that is worth falling in love to. Another example of transformation caused by magic potion is Demetrius. Demetrius finally settles down for Helena because of the magic potion. In the beginning of the play, Demetrius agrees with Hermia’s father to marry his daughter. In Act 4 Scene 2, he refuses to follow Egeus’ orders: “(…) To her, my lord Was I betrothed ere I saw Hermia But like in sickness did I loathe this food. But as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now I do wish it, love it, long for it, And will for evermore be true to it” (4. 1. 170-5). In the beginning of the play, Demetrius is fickle-minded. He loves Helena but then when he gets Helena’s love, he falls out of love. He starts to chase Hermia. Demetrius loves the thrill of chasing women. However the magic potion has changed his infatuation for Helena into love. He finally commits Helena. The magic potion has transformed him into a devoted and faithful man. To conclude the magic potion or love at first sight can truly transform and control the people under the spell.
To summarize it all, the characters in the play experience transformations and make rash decisions. Helena and Hermia change because of the power of love, while Titania and Demetrius change because of the magic potion, which is consider as love at first sight. They allow their emotions to define themselves. Through the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare tries to send a message to the audience to be careful when dealing with powerful emotions. When people are under the influence of love, they act based on the heart without thinking and they act differently. Love can make people lose sense of all.
Cite this A Midsummer’s Night Dream Transformation
A Midsummer’s Night Dream Transformation. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-midsummers-night-dream-transformation/