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A Comparison of Romeo and Juliet & A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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A Midsummer Nights Dream can be compared with the play Romeo and Juliet. They both encompass many of the same themes of love. Love is prohibited, true, lustful, and desired. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream Lysander demonstrated the overriding theme of both plays, “The path of love never did run smooth” (1.i.14). The two plots revolve around two couples that are in love with each other, yet cannot be joined together because of family members who prohibit the lover’s love. The endings are very different, but with a few changes both could have resulted in a tragedy or comedy.

True love is shown and prohibited in both plays. In a Midsummer Night’s Dream Egeus, Hermia’s father does not want her to marry Lysander, but Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander are in love, yet her father thinks she is just blinded. He forbids Hermia to marry Lysander and if she does she will be put to death or have to become a nun. Romeo and Juliet cannot be together because their families hate each and are feuding. Even though the couples are truly in love the authoritative figures cannot see this and think they are just love struck. The plays show that love is in the eye of the beholder and one cannot choose who they love.

Love is very powerful and both plays depict this. The love that the lovers have will not just go away because it is not approved of. They are willing to do anything to be together because of the love they share. Romeo and Juliet marry secretly. Afterwards, Romeo is exiled from Verona and Juliet contemplates to commit suicide because she is not able to be with her love. Finally, with her father’s command to wed Paris she decides to fake her death. Juliet would rather never see her family again just to be with Romeo. In the end both kill themselves because it is the only way they can ever be together. In a Midsummer Night’s Dream Hermia and Lysander are willing to do anything to be together because they are in love. They decide to leave Athens and go to Lysander’s aunt and from there they will marry. Hermia like Juliet is willing to never see her family again to be with her love. They are also both innocent and chaste before they are with their lovers.

Lust is mistaken for love in both plays. Hermia and Rosaline are two characters that are desired. Hermia is desired by Demetrius who is only in love with what she looks like and who her father is and not in love with her. At the beginning of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is lustful for Rosaline. He likes her looks. Benvolio advises Romeo to go to the Capulet’s feast and there he will find another girl that is just or more attractive and he will forget Rosaline. Romeo and Demetrius forget about the girls and in both plays fall in love with another girl.

In A Midsummer Summer Night’s Dream everything ends well for Hermia and Lysander. The play ends in being comedy. In Romeo and Juliet, both commit suicide after their plan to be together goes wrong and it ends in being a tragedy. Both plays, however, could have easily been changed to have a different ending or similar ending.

The plays are imbedded with many themes of love. They both show how powerful love is and that one cannot control whom they love. Love always has its difficulties and people in love will go to all extents to be with each other. The play shows that often the reason of family members is not objective and pure, but their reason is influenced by their wishes.

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