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A Midsummer Nights Dream

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In A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare, love and magic play a part in causing interesting and confounding problems for the characters. Magic causes the lovers to find that love is no smooth enterprise as stated by Lysander; "The course of true love never did run smooth." (1.1.134) Their pursuit of love may not run smooth but most, although not all, of the lovers end up happy. Hermia and Lysander find that they cannot be together so they run off where Lysander's love for Hermia is lost. Helena cannot seem to make Demetrius love her until Puck's interference and then she does not believe it. Titania and Oberon fight over an Indian boy which causes Oberon to make Titania fall in love with an ass, Bottom. All of these couples have their problems but in the end they find that love will overpower all and they end up happy. The characters of Pyramus and Thisby in the play-within-a-play find that loving each other is difficult with a wall between them and things do not end up so good for them. Puck's statement, "Lord, what fools these mortals be." (3.2.115) seems to encompass the unfortunate experiences of all the lovers.

In the beginning, Hermia and Lysander are forbidden to be together by Egeus even though they love each other. He tells Theseus "Stand forth, Lysander. And, my gracious Duke, This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child." (1.1.26-27). He believes that Lysander has seduced Hermia and will not have that. Faced with a difficult decision they run off together into the wood on their way to be married. While there, they sleep and along comes the mischievous Puck. He puts the love potion in Lysander's eyes but when he wakes the first person he spots is Helena. Under the spell, his love for Hermia is lost. Lysander says to Hermia when she asks what has happened to his love, "Thy love! Out tawny Tartar, out! Out, loathed med'cine! O hated potion, hence!" (3.2.262-263). Hermia does not understand why Lysander would say such things and blames Helena. She cannot see why Lysander would stop loving her. Their love's course seems to have run into a mountain. In the end, after another short sleep, though, they find that their "true" love is returned when Puck has to fix his mistake. They end up becoming happily married.

Helena loves Demetrius but he loves and is supposed to marry Hermia. Helena hopes that telling Demetrius where Lysander and Hermia have run off together to, will make him forget about Hermia, but it does not work. He follows them and Helena follows him. She begs and pledges her love to him; "What worser place can I beg in your love-/And yet a place with high respect with me-/Than to be used as you use your dog?" (2.1.208-210). She puts herself down and begs for the love that he will not give her; "Tempt not the hatred of my spirit." (2.1. ). Later on, when Puck interferes again, Demetrius does find himself in love with Helena but she will not believe it because Lysander is pledging the same things to her. She believes that they are mocking her and exclaims; "Oh spite! Oh hell! I see you all are bent to set against me for your



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