Symbolism and Metaphors of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Last Updated: 22 Nov 2022
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This play was a comedy that portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons. It includes the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. This play was just one of Shakespeare's most popular works and is widely performed across the world. Most think love is controlled by a higher power, where many think that a higher power has control over love, while others reject the idea that a higher power controls love and that the people who experience love can control it, in “A Midsummer Night's Dream", by William Shakespeare, there are several examples of which love can be associated with a higher power. As we begin from the beginning of the story line we see our first example with the supreme ruler of Athens, Theseus ends up marrying Hippolyta, the queen of the Jungle.

We see Shakespeare illustrates that Hippolyta never discusses her feelings and ideas about marriage and acts as if she had no choice but to marry Theseus. We can prove this this by seeing how Hippolyta's position in the relationship between herself and Theseus. During the battle Hippolyta was captured by Theseus and Theseus intimidates Hippolyta into marrying him since he is the supreme ruler/leader and she was sort of say defeated by him. We know Hippolyta was capture by Theseus in the quote, "I wood thee by my sword/ And won thy love doing thee injuries” (Act I, Pg 7). As for me, this above quote makes me believe that she doesn't really love him but is being forced into the marriage due to his authority. This example shows how his authority is the higher power and her love in the marriage is controlled by Duke's authority.

There are many more examples throughout the play that illustrate the authority of love with the relationship between Egeus and his daughter Hermia. In Act I, Hermia goes to her father, Lysander, Helena, Demetrius, and Theseus to confess her love for Lysander, her father is very upset about it, he is upset only because Hermia is defying his wishes for her to marry the man that he chose, which is Demetrius. When her father begins to threaten her life because she object's his wishes, he does this to get her obedience, "As she is mine, I may dispose of her/ which shall be either to this gentleman/ or to her death, according to our law/ immediately provided in that case" (Act I, Pg 9).

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This describes that the higher power is held with Egeus, this results with Hermia running away, which she is followed by Helena and Demetrius. The couples end up in an enchanted forest where a lot of event partake that mix up the lovers. Following that they all return to Athens where Hermia and Lysander get married. The fact of them getting married proves the fact that love can also defeat a higher power, Hermia defied her father who was the higher power and still ended up marrying the man she wanted.

Not only does this play show examples of how love is controlled by a higher power within just the people but also through a certain environment known as the Enchanted Forest. Within the forest there lie numerous numbers of creatures and fairies. Certain fairies that are within the forest such as: Oberon, Titania, and Puck all can use their magic that can change the feelings of love within people. When the two couples wandered into the forest, they ended up getting mixed up in a series of events where the fairy Puck changed the feelings of the couples by using a love potion on Lysander.

As any other fairy tell would go when Lysander woke up he was in love with Helena. As the play goes on its one big jumbled love mess between all the couples but is soon fixed and back to its original state. This example shows that the fairies are the higher power because of their ability to use their magic to change the love that lies within people. This proves that a higher power can control the feelings of love in people.

As seen in the above paragraphs we can see that there were three different examples proving that love can be associated to a higher power. A higher power is defined as "any being or group of beings that have direct control over the actions of another being" (Higher Power). Two of my above listed examples showed how a higher power can control love and the other exampled showed how love can defy a higher power and succeed. As for me and seems for other people reading this story we can realize that is has been proven that a higher power does exist when dealing with love. But even if love isn't associated with a higher power in life, it is strange that the association of love with higher powers is a valid observation that was portrayed with this play by William Shakespeare.

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Symbolism and Metaphors of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (2022, Nov 22). Retrieved from

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