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Judging from this much of the play, what observations can we make about Shakespeare's...

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english1991 | eNoter

Posted December 5, 2010 at 9:58 PM via web

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Judging from this much of the play, what observations can we make about Shakespeare's ideas on the nature and effects of love?

in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 6, 2010 at 7:19 AM (Answer #1)

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In Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, we find that nature and love are intertwined.

Nature is used to bring the Athenian lovers, and Titania to a state of love with the potion ("love juice") found in a certain flower (on which Cupid's arrow rested) found in the forest. (II, i, 165)

The setting of most of the play takes place in the lap of nature, the forest. Besides being a place of enchantment after dark, it is within the embrace of nature that the Athenian lovers are joined, separated, and finally find much-desired love in the arms of their sweethearts.

Titania explains that Oberon and she love human beings, and bless them with things in nature to help and uplift them: crops, changes in the seasons, breezes, plants, etc. When Oberon and Titania fight, these gifts from the land are not forthcoming, and humans suffer, much to Titania's great sadness.

When Oberon describes the place where Titania sleeps, nature seems to enfold her lovingly.

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.

There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,

Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight.

And there the snake throws her enameled skin,

Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. (II, i, 249-256)

Nature provides the setting for love which triumphs in the play.

 

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