In Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” the mortal teenage characters fall in love foolishly, and the character Bottom states, “O what fools these mortals be”. They are foolish because they act like children. Although Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius, and Helena appear grown-up, when they are in love they act foolishly. The four teenage lovers are fools.
Demetrius is a fool because he is unaware that his love changes throughout the play. At the start of the play, Demetrius does not love Helena. (II ii, line 188) Demetrius says, “I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.” (II ii, line 194) “Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.” In III ii, Demetrius after being juiced begins to love Helena. (III ii, line 169-173) Demetrius says, “Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none. If e’er I loved her, all that love is gone. My heart to her but as a guest-wise sojourned, And now to Helen is it home returned, There to remain.” This proves he is a fool because he is not aware of his changing love for Helena.
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Helena is a fool because Demetrius does not love her but she still persists in chasing him. Demetrius shows no love for Helena. (II i, line 227-228) Demetrius says, “I’ll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes, And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.” (II i, line 199-201) “Do I entice you? Do I speak to you fairly? Or rather do I not in plainest truth Tell you I do not, nor I cannot love you?” Demetrius clearly illustrates to Helena that he has no interest, but Helena persists. (II i, line 202-204) Helena says, “And even for that do I love you the more. I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius, The more you beat me, I will fawn on you.” (II I, line 220-222) “Your virtue is my privilege. For that It is not night when I do see your face, Therefore I think I am not in the night;” This proves that Helena is a fool because Demetrius does not love her, but she still persists.
Lysander is a fool because he persuades Hermia to avoid death and run away with him. Hermia must marry Demetrius or she will be put to death. (I I, line 83-88) Theseus says, “Take time to pause, and, by the next new moon- The sealing-day betwixt my love and me, For everlasting bond fellowship- Upon that day either prepare to die For disobedience to your father’s will Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would,” Hermia does not love Demetrius. (I I, line 140) Hermia says, “O hell! To choose love by another’s eyes.” Hermia loves Lysander. (I I, line 150-155) “If then true lovers have been ever crossed, It stands as an edict in destiny. Then let us teach our trial patience, Because it is a customary cross, As due to love, as thoughts and dreams and sighs, Wishes and tears, poor fancy’s followers.” Lysander has an alternative idea. (I I, line 157-159) Lysander says, “I have a widow aunt, a dowager Of great revenue, and she hath no child; >From Athens is her house remote seven leagues.” (I i, line 164- 165) “Steal forth thy father’s house tomorrow night, And in the wood, a league without the town.” Lysander is a fool because he convinces Hermia to risk death and run away with him.
Hermia is a fool because she risks death for love. Hermia is to marry Demetrius or be put to death. (I I, line 95-98) Egeus says, “Scornful Lysander, true, he hath my love, And what is mine my love shall render him. And she is mine, and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius.” Lysander suggests an idea. (I I, line 157-159) Lysander says, “A good persuasion. Therefore, Hermia. I have an aunt, a dowager Of great revenue, and she hath no child;” Hermia agrees with the idea. (I I, line 168-169) Hermia says, “My good Lysander, I swear to thee by Cupid’s strongest bow,” (I I, line 178) “Tomorrow truly will I meet thee.” Hermia is a fool because she is risking death for the love of Lysander.
Therefore this proves, the four teenage lovers are fools. (VI I, Theseus states) “Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends.” William Shakespeare’s A Midsummers Night’s Dream shows how childishly foolish lovers can be.
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