The theme of love plays a very important role within the play. The different characters show different types of love and respect for each other, but all the love in the play is not necessary true love, due to Oberon’s love potion.
The main type of love is romantic love, like the love between Hermia and Lysander. Their bond together is so strong that they vowed to do anything to be together. “If then true lovers have been ever crossed, it stands as an edict in destiny.” The language they use toward each other is poetic and loving, as they talk about cupids, wishes, marriage and other such things.
There is also a very sinister side to love. Helena and Demetruis show this at the start of the play. “Use me but as your spaniel; spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me.” This is an example of unrequited love, also known as obssesional love. The language Helena uses is very persuasive so it trying to convince Demetruis to love her again; however his response is full of hatred towards her. “Do I not tell you in the plainest truth tell you I do not, nor cannot love you?”
Family is also another role in the play, because Hermia is Egeus’ daughter, he thinks she should do whatever he say. Family do things for each other because of love and a sense of duty and being patriotic towards them. “Full of vexation come I, with complaint against my daughter Hermia!” In this scene Egeus complains about Hermia to Thesus about her not full-filling her duty towards him.
In the day this play was written, males were in control of all females. So it was serious offence to break out from your father or husband’s authority.
Yet after all this there is another important type of love; friendship. The most offence example is between Hermia and Helena. “All school-days’ friendship, childhood innocence.” The language used conveys memories of girls at school, being inseperial, best friends.
All these were examples of true love. But there is also a false love within the play. After Oberon sees Demetruis and Helena, he decides to play around with some love potion. He makes the wrong couples fall in love. But like most stories there is a happy ending. This includes Helena and Demetruis being married. They fell in love because of the potion, so is it now true love or will they fall out of love?
The most famous example of created love was between Titania and Bottom. “O how I love thee! How I dote on thee!” The reason why Oberon put Titania under this spell because she wouldn’t give him a changeling boy; another example of females breaking out of authority. But once Oberon is jealous because his wife is saying, “I love thee!” to another man he changes her back.
Bottom did not only fall in love with Titania but has good friendships with the other machenicals. “Bottom! Oh most courageous day! O most happy hour!”
The play is full of love and would be nothing with out it. It also changes people. At the start Hermia was feisty, young girl, who could speak out against the Duke. But after married, they speak when spoken to and not much else. So this play also shows what women went though in Shakespeare’s time. So maybe William Shakespeare was trying to show how women change, how important love, friends and family are. And how it can all go wrong.