Irrational Love In A Midsummer Night's Dream Analysis

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Irrationality in Love in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream
Love is a central motif in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, as evidenced by the actions and agency of the main characters in the play. According to Hutton (290), many critics feel that Shakespeare offers the audience a choice between the rational and irrational. The theme of love brings out this choice capably, as demonstrated by the perception that rational love triumphs over irrational love, as the young lovers settle for rational love and marriage after a night of irrationality. However, the view that rational love and reason win over irrational love is contestable, as the rationality of the outcomes remains questionable. Focusing on aspects such as contrast and metadrama,
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Describing the relationship between Theseus and Hippolyta as ideally rational is not entirely accurate, as a closer look reveals gaps. According to Marshall (548), some manner of disconnect is evident between Theseus and Hippolyta, as Theseus appears more excited while Hippolyta appears noncommittal. Marshall (548) describes Hippolyta as appearing as a queenly prisoner-of-war, with an evidently restrained demeanor that does not match the energy and excitement evident in Theseus. Whereas Theseus is animated when thinking about what will happen in four days, Hippolyta’s response is that “four days will quickly steep themselves in night, Four nights will quickly dream away the time;” which captures the rather guarded and reserved outlook she has on the relationship. Considering Theseus admits wooing Hippolyta with his sword and won her while perpetrating injuries against her people, her solemn and reserved outlook is not only not surprising, but also reveals that their love cannot be considered ideally …show more content…
Whereas Titania’s absurd and irrational love for Bottom is evidently different from the relationship between Hippolyta and Theseus, various gaps exist in the idea of transition. Hippolyta and Theseus are not in a perfectly rational romantic relationship. Moreover, Hermia and Lysander’s story arc does not conform to the shift from irrationality to rationality, while Demetrius ends up settling for Helena while under the influence of magic. The sentiments offered by Puck while breaking the fourth wall alongside the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe further indicate that the transition towards rational love was not necessarily perfect. Ultimately, a complete triumph over irrationality in love remains elusive in A Midsummer Night's

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