“Ay me! For aught that I could ever read, Could ever hear by tale or history, The course of true love never did run smooth.” Midsummer Night’s Dream has many different ways it shows what love is and what happens when two people are in love. Love is a very complicated emotion that is often hard to explain. It does stuff to the brain that changes the way you act and feel. Love does something to you that can change the way you look at things. To some people, love isn’t a big deal and is just an emotion one feels, but to others, it is something both men and women look forward to in life. Midsummer Night’s Dream dives right in to the topic of love. In the play there are multiple different kinds of love in each set of couples. There is a lot to learn about each character in this drama, including what the meaning is to it all. For the characters, love does things for the best, but also for the worst. This play is based off of love and how sometimes it can be messy but love can also be something to look forward to. Love is its own feeling and it is expressed a lot Midsummer Night’s Dream.
All of the characters each have a different meaning of love, whether it’s being loved or giving love. Hermia for example loves Lysander so much that she’s willing to run away with him into the woods to make sure she doesn’t have to marry Demetrius. According to an Athens law stating that the father of the daughter has to give his hand to the husband of his pleasing or kill her, Hermia is forced marry Demetrius. Demetrius on the other hand wants to marry Hermia because he loves her, but is struggled with his past with Helena, who is Hermia’s best friend. Demetrius sees that there is only one girl for him, this being Hermia, and he will stop at nothing to get her, regardless of if he has to treat people like they don’t matter. This is shown in the beginning after Helena tells Demetrius about the leaving of the two lovers, Hermia and Lysander. Demetrius treats Helena like she is nothing and runs away from her multiple times. This also tells you a lot about how Helena acts with love. She is one to give up friends in order to get what she wants and she tends to stick to a man even after something happens between them. As stated before, Demetrius and Helena already had something before Hermia, and Helena still proceeds to love him for what they were in the past.
Adding on to those complicated couples is Oberon and Titania which were lovers who fought for everything. Oberon is one to always get his sidekick Puck to do his dirty work, even if it is making people fall in love. Oberon gets what he wants when it comes to love, and is willing to do anything to get it even if he has to trick people. He doesn’t show much love for anyone, which is opposite Titania, who loves all. He wanted the young Indian prince to become a knight for him. She loved the young Indian prince so much so that she wanted him as one of her children. Because of Oberon’s evil ways, she was later tricked in loving a jackass and she loved him dearly. As shown so far, each character has their own way in showing what they love and how they act towards it; but sometimes that can change in a blink of an eye as saw in the play with the flower that made everything different.
Love is a silly thing that works all the parts of your brain, such as the Caudate Nucleus being the social behavior part of the brain or the Ventral Tegmental being the pleasure, attention, and motivation part of the brain. These all work together in order to find what you love. There are stages of love, as weird as it sounds, such as lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust involves hormones like testosterone and estrogen that make you want to be with someone. Attraction is associated with dopamine or adrenaline that people give off to make you want to be with them. This stage in love is a very important one in a Midsummer Night’s Dream because, as discussed, in the beginning of the story Hermia and Lysander run away together to love each other and get married. Their adrenaline made them kept going with the love they had for each other. The third stage of love, attachment, involves oxytocin which kicks in when you spend more time with someone and makes you feel all good, moving your mind to make long term plans.
Now that the stages have been identified, the reasons are a good thing to look at next. There are four main reasons for love, those being smell, similarities, appearance, and body mass index (BMI). The smell, which would be the pheromones that a certain person gives off, attract you to them. This can be just people’s natural pheromones as well as the kind of perfume they use or cologne they put on. Another reason for love is the similarities that two people share. Everyone looks for the same beliefs or values in others they love to make sure it’s the best relationship they can have. This is a very good tactic when picking out who you want to love because if they don’t believe what you believe, then there will be arguments which can lead to breaking up. Appearance is a very important reason also because if you’re not attracted to the person you are dating, you won’t be able to love them like you actually should. It is scientifically known that people are attracted to looks that they want their children to look like, which also correlates with the reason of BMI. BMI is not a reason for everyone, but to some it goes back to the good genes concept. For example, people see the smaller waist on a woman or larger in men and it’s a big deal for some women’s idea of children. All in all, love has many different reasons in order to figure out what your interests are to help you to pick the perfect person.
There are also different kinds of love. For one, there is sex which is seen as with Helena and Demetrius. Their relationship before Hermia was purely sex; at least for Demetrius it was. Helena actually fell in love with him while he was just doing it for pleasure. Another kind of love is romance which is seen between Lysander and Hermia. They are willing to die before giving up their love, hence why they ran away to be together. They want to be together forever, which is the romance part of it. There is also attachment, which is like Titania and the Jackass. She was so attached to him even though she was under the spell of the flower. She wasn’t in love with him, she just wanted to help him with anything she could.
There are many different kinds as well as stages of love in Midsummer Night’s Dream and each character acts a different way with the emotion. There are some in love and some that are not, but in the very end everything gets back to normal with Lysander being with Hermia and Helena with Demetrius. Puck fixes everyone with the antidote. Everything is exactly where they want to be and in the end they all get married. Everyone had to work out their problems to get to the happy ending that we all love in most happy stories or fairy tales. Just like in the play, love can make people do weird things and become someone else. In the end though, love can turn out to be a good thing and make you happy.