Love is Blind and Appealingly

Two ideas really struck me when thinking about posting for the blog, and throughout reading the play.

 

Firstly, I wanted to consider the most important (and obvious) and reoccurring theme is love, and to develop it further I focused on “love is blind”, many of the characters act “blindly” due to their emotions towards another person.

Helena’s affections towards Demetrius exemplifies this. Helena blindly follows Demetrius around, although he just continuously rejects her. (861) Similarly, Demetrius’ love for Hermia is not returned but he continues to “love” her/pursue her. Hermia and Lysander’s relationship also exemplifies how blind love can be. Hermia is bold and aware of the consequences of defying her father’s wishes of marrying Demetrius. Neither care for the consequences of their actions and believe in love blindly to pursue their happiness. Hermia “blindly” follows Lysander to Athens. (852)

Hermia: In that same place thou hast appointed me

Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee. (177-78)

The same can be said with Titantia and her devotion to the child. (859)

These blind pursuits of love are seen throughout the play and are important to examine. Each character shares a similar devote to another and willing risks whatever consequences may ensue.

It is ironic how love can be changed with the potion, creating a sense of blind loyalty. It is waking up to love and loving who/whatever blindly that also aids in this theme. Titania blindly loves an ass, Demetrius and Lysander change their opinions and love Helena, and all of this is by magical means. Emotions lead characters to act in a “blind” manner, acting in a way that is irrational. This “blind” behavior also depicts a lack of substance in a “loving” relationship. Helena is tormented because she thinks the boys are playing a harsh joke on her. It is odd to think she might act differently if Demetrius had only changed his affections towards her. Love is a highly emotional state and can cause people to act in irrational ways.

 

Another aspect that stuck in my mind is the adaptations of the play into film and other performances, and how it can be applied to modern society. Thinking of adaptations, I thought it would be comical to consider the play turned into a modern day soap opera or reality television. Contemporary society could easily translate the bizarre love triangles between Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius into an extremely entertaining show.

Modern society loves dramatics; this is seen in reality “trash” tv, dramatic/suspenseful movies, tabloids, etc. I’ve been envisioning how A Midsummer Night’s Dream could easily be a show on MTV or could have parallel “dramatics” as some on the trash that is on tv. “Are You The One?” reminds me of the play in some ways. The show is a competitive game where singles try to find love, while at the same time trying to win money. I could see A Midsummer Night’s Dream being portrayed in a similar manner into a tv show, where finding and keeping love is distorted and

I’m not sure how it fits in with the “rude mechanicals”. However, reality tv comes in all shapes and sizes. So, I think a view of class systems or viewing the lower class in a reality tv version could easily be formed as well. Undercover Boss, American Idol and Keeping Up with the Kardasians all speak to somewhat similar ideas concerning this part of the play. Mostly, American Idol would really fit into what these characters are doing within the play. Competition for wealth and social status is essentially what happens on shows like American Idol and many others. Bottom, and the others, are performing for the wedding and working to show off their talents and ideally change their social status. If you win American Idol something similar happens, you are televised nationwide and could possibly be successful and then hopefully wealthy.

I think the play could easily be adapted to modern society, and viewers would throuoghly enjoy the drama.

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2 thoughts on “Love is Blind and Appealingly

  1. elisebrucche

    Your analysis of the “love is blind” cliche is an excellent critique of the lover’s relationships, and I found it interesting to contrast it with the depiction of marriage in the Bedford Companion piece that we read. It is certainly true that the four lovers in the play, and, indeed, most modern lovers, choose to believe in the power of love as capable of overcoming all obstacles, including unrequited passion, class inequality, and parental disapproval. Yet, as we learn in “Marriage and Money,” love in Shakespeare’s time was anything but “blind!” Rather, “love,” if you will, was the product of years of financial arrangements, as carefully planned as a military engagement. One could argue that the unions of these marriages did not experience “love” as we understand it, and perhaps Shakespeare’s depiction in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a longing for our all empowered, all empowering love. However, it is also possible (if not as nice to think about) that Shakespeare is critiquing such a longing, emphasizing the ludicrous behavior of the lovers as they run through the forest as a ridiculous product of desire placed before security.

    Reply
  2. Danielle Walsh

    I really liked the question you asked; would Helena have been as upset if only Demetrius had changed his mind and began to love her? I think that is a really good thing to think about when reading Midsummer. The reason it all goes to chaos is because Puck puts the potion on the wrong Athenian. How different would the play be if it had all gone according to plan? I supposed it would not be very entertaining. Like we talked about in class both tragedies and comedies start with a rapture in order only to be restored at the end through death or rebirth. The irrationality of the lovers really brings the chaos into this play but all the chaos comes from mystical means. What disrupted the order of this play, Hermia running away to the woods with Lysander or was it the potion turning both lovers away from Hermia? In the end all’s well with the lovers they are married and the women turned mute. Order is restored but questions are definitely left unanswered.

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