” Essay, Research Paper
“…reason and love keep little company together nowadays.”
This quote from the play is extremely applicable. In the world in which we live there is always a reason for love. You do not wake up and automatically fall in love with someone. You meet someone, get to know them and then form a relationship. All bets are off in this play.
At first we see that there are relationships formed. Lysander and Hermia are in love, but Demetrius also loves Hermia. To make matters worse Helena loves Demetrius. And finally Egeus, Hermia’s father, wants her to be with Demetrius, not Lysander. Because of the lack of character development we do not understand why any of this is this way, but we accept it none the less.
After Puck puts the love juice in the eyes of the characters all that we have come to know about the characters changes. Lysander and Demetrius both end up hating Hermia and loving Helena. There would be no other “human” reason for this to happen.
In another part of the story Titania, Queen of the fairies, falls in love with Bottom, who is one of the rustics. Bottom ends up with the head of an ass, but Titania still loves him. Once again there is no “human” way for any of this to happen, but we do not question it because all of these unusual events take place in the forest, which we learn is very magical.
In Act III we see how very true the statement, “…reason and love keep little company together nowadays.” Is. We see the queen of the fairies in love with a mortal and not just any mortal, but one with an asses head. This is the act in which we see the four lovers in love with all of the wrong people. Lysander and Demetrius not only fall out of love with Hermia, but also act very cruelly toward her. And example of this would be when Lysander says to Hermia, “Get you gone, you dwarf! You minimus, of hindering knotgrass made! You bead, you acorn!” They also mock her dark complexion while praising Helena on how beautiful she is. Unfortunately Helena thinks they are all acting in this manner to make fun of her. She proves this by saying, “ O spite! O hell! I see you are all bent to set against me for your merriment.” (Act 3.2 line 145) and “Never did mockers waist more idle breath.” (Line 168) Helena also thinks Hermia is mocking her when in actuality Hermia has no idea what is going on either. We can see that Helena believes Hermia is against her in line 192 when she states, “Lo, she is one of this confederacy!”
All control is in the hands of the fairies throughout the play in Act IV, the fairies mend all of the confusion they have caused in Act III. Titania falls out of love with Bottom and he no longer has the head of an ass. Lysander and Hermia fall back in love with one another. Demetrius and Helena fall in love as well. Basically, they all live happily ever after, yet none of them know or understand why. This is why reason and love keep little company throughout this play.