What are the love imbalances and their consequences in all of the relationships in the play A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The love imbalances in A Mid Summer Night's Dream are mostly between a foursome of Athenians. These imbalances form opposites, doubles and love triangles.

The first triangle is that Hermia loves Lysander and Lysander loves Hermia...but...Demetrius also loves Hermia. This triangle has a double complication in that Lysander and Demetrius have been friends...and...Demetrius is loved by someone other than Hermia...who loves Lysander.

Helena, the character who delivers the philosophical speeches about love, loves Demetrius...who, you will recall, loves Hermia...who has been Helena's friend. This leaves Helena out in the cold because there is no one left to love Helena.

This triangle and spare wheel situation results in Helena telling Demetrius of Hermia and Lysander's secret plan to elope through the forest. The consequence of this is that the foursome is spied upon in the forest by Oberon, King of the Fairies, and Puck, his handy assistant. These two plan a distribution of a magic love potion that turns the situation from confused to upside down on its head.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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