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A Midsummer Night's Dream confirms the complex nature of love and how susceptible to misunderstandings and almost comical results, anyone involved in it is. Shakespeare is certainly believed to have enjoyed creating this play which combines the serious with the ridiculous and, in fact, highlights man's own shortcomings. This play reveals the contradictory characteristics of love as man becomes self-absorbed and self-serving.
To condense the story into one paragraph requires the basic idea behind the story rather than a lot of detail:
In Athens, Theseus, the duke is about to marry Hippolyta and, it seems, love is on everyone's minds. Hermia must marry Demetrius and not her devoted Lysander; Helena is doomed to suffer from unrequited love as Demetrius only has eyes for Hermia, in terms of Hermia's father's demands and, even Oberon, king of the fairies, is hurt and jealous of his wife, Titania's affections for a young page boy. In the woods, their lives will all collide and the juice of a flower selected by Puck, the mischievous elf, on Oberon's command; chosen for its abilities to cause people to fall in love; will have disastrous and comical effects. Even Bottom, a simple man, tasked with presenting a play at Theseus's wedding, and tricked by Puck, feels love's confusing and preposterous effects, believing he has been dreaming. There are many misunderstandings that ensue as a result of Puck's efforts but ultimately, couples will be gratified, perfectly-matched, marrying according to their wishes and even Oberon will be content. Lysander's words hold the truth when he says in Act I (scene i, line 134), "The course of true love never did run smooth."
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