How are the elements of magic and love interrelated in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Lysander, in Wiliam Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream suggests that

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; …

This is somewhat ironic, for the loves of the four young mortal lovers in the play only do run smooth due to the interference of Puck, although even in the magical realm, love can be inappropriate and unrequited. Titania and Oberon do not live in complete harmony, and there are many plot complications before the inevitable happy resolutions.

The suggestion in  Puck's famous speech that love and poetry are alike akin to a certain type of madness suggest that all three, lunatic, lover, and poet are associated with the supernatural, both in the sense of their moving outside the ordinary world of "getting and spending" and the sense that perhaps there is something mysterious and magical inherent in their inspiration or cause and needed for their successful outcome.


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