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A Midsummer Nights Dream - Book Report/Review Example

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In the essay “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” the author discusses scenes of love as a trophy of war and love as compulsion, delusion, and trickery. Egeus, Theseus and the Duke of Athens attempt to influence Hermia’s choice of love object while Hermia tries to regain Demetrius’ love…
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A Midsummer Nights Dream
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As Hermia's sight cannot be magically altered, Egeus chooses to deploy a more overt, infinitely more violent strategy for the control of her emotions and the redirection of her love-choice. Love is controlled and directed through the threat of death. As Egeus' says:
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)
With these words, Egeus denies Hermia's individuality and independence. Perceiving of her as a lesser extension of his own self and an object, no person, of his command, Egeus insists that Hermia love whom he commands her to love. He uses the ultimate threat, the threat of death, to add substance to his meddling.
To escape Egeus, Hermia and Lysander run to the forest where, instead of finding refuge and safe haven for their love, they are confronted with more meddling and more trickery. Demetrius pursues them, intent on capturing Hermia and marrying her, even if against her own will. Indeed, it is only when he becomes a victim of magical trickery and is made to Helena, that he abandons his pursuit of Hermia. In other words, for Hermia and Lysander to fulfill their love for one another, Demetrius had to become the victim of magic and trickery.
Even though at least in the case of Hermia and Lysander, love ultimately triumphs, the very nature of love is questionable. As portrayed in "Midsummer Night's Dream," love is perceptions and illusions. Love does not, and cannot, run a smooth course because it is a matter of perception and, not only do perceptions change but, are subject to external influences. External influences, assuming the form of magical trickery, compelled Tatiana to surrender the child and to fall in love with Bottom as half-ass and then, when perceptions changed, caused her to find him repulsive and hateful. Similarly, external influences intervened with Demetrius' perceptions, causing him to fall out of love with Hermia and in love with Helena. As presented in this myriad of complicated relationships, love hardly emerges as a genuine expression of authentic emotions but as an outcome of present perceptions, perceptions that are subject to change. Hence, because it is the outcome of transient perceptions and because it is vulnerable to external influences, love cannot run a smooth course. Read More
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