Midsummer Night’s Dream themes

The different types of love Mature: opposite of young/fickle love – Theseus and hippolyta throughout the entire play → they never fight and are always in loveUnrequited: the love is not returned or reciprocated – Hermia doesn’t return Demetrius’s loveDemetrius doesn’t return Helena’s love (except when under the potion)(Under love potion) Lysander doesn’t return Hermia’s loveYoung: is fickle and always changing → not loyal/consistent – Lysander and Demetrius keep changing who they love (At first, demetrius was with helena, then love hermia, then love helena while under the love potion) (At first lysander loves hermia, then loves helena while under the love potion, then loves hermia again when the love potion is taken off of him)Hermia and helena never change who they love thoughFamilial: caring and loving your family → being protective over who you love – Egeus wants hermia to be successful and to have a good marriage (tries to force hermia into marrying demetrius even though she doesn’t love him)Titania towards the indian boyLove in discord/conflict: the couple is always fighting → not mature – Oberon and titania always fightOberon is immature for trying to trick titania with the love potion and for trying to take the indian boy
The power of desire Egeus wants successful marriage → make hermia have to run away to be with lysander(Lysander and hermia love each other → drives them to run away to the woods)Helena wants demetrius’ love back → drives Helena to tell demetrius about hermia and lysander’s plan → brings demetrius to the woods Oberon is jealous of the indian boy → drives him to take the boy away → drives him to put the spell on titaniaLysander loves helena under the love potion → causes fightsRobin likes to play tricks → reason bottom’s donkey headOberon wants to help helena receive demetrius’ love in return → robin puts love potion on lysander by accident → causes all of the fights
Reality vs. illusion Reality:- Athens- Theseus and hippolyta (1.1)- Workmen (1.2 and 4.2)- Daytime- Mortals- When the lovers are discovered by theseus → he brings them back to reality from their “dream” (4.1)Illusion (imagination/dreams):- Woods- Love potion- Oberon’s speech about the love potion (2.1)- Nighttime- Faires- The play (pyramus)- Theseus speech about dreams and imagination (5.1)- Hermia’s dream about the snake (2.2)- Puck’s tricks (2.1)- Bottom waking up without the donkey head trying to remember what happened (4.1)- Robin closing the show (tells audience to think of the play as a dream)- The lovers saying that they will discuss their dream (4.1)

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