Desire In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Desire is a well-known trope in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The four lovers and their magically caused mishap is one of the plays main scenes. However, even though sexual desire is found in every act, it isn’t the only type of desire found within the play. In addition to sexual desire, we find a desire for utter and complete control, which is held most notably by Oberon, as well as the desire for chaos. Puck is a character recognizable by those who study mythology by his mischievous nature and tendency to play tricks on those unfortunate enough to slight him. These three incarnations of desire all play into the social standing of life at the time. Those in power had control, and felt threatened by anyone else who had any form…show more content…
He takes back control by using a ‘love potion’ that will “Will make or man or woman madly dote/Upon the next live creature that it sees” (2.1.171-2). With Titania’s attention averted, Oberon will be able to get the child, and thus regain his control in their marriage. His desire blinds him to any compassion towards his wife, and he doesn’t care about what this situation could land Titania in: “The next thing then she waking looks upon—/Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,/On meddling monkey, or on busy ape—/She shall pursue it with the soul of love”…show more content…
In fact, it is the very first image that is given in the play. The first words out of Theseus’s mouth are words depicting his sexual wants: “…but O, methinks, how slow/ This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires/Like to a stepdame or a dowager/Long withering out a young man 's revenue” (1.1.3-6). The theme of sexual desire isn’t only present in the male characters of the play, as it often is in many plays of the time. In fact, the level of sexual desire fluctuates between all of the characters. Hippolyta reveals in her response to Theseus that she too cannot wait until their wedding night, but she is far better at hiding it. It, however, is not the case that women are forced to hide their sexual wants due to it being considered ‘unsuitable’ for women, as can be seen in the case of Helena and Demetrius. Helena is far from afraid of announcing her affections for Demetrius to him. It is a form of sexual harassment, and Demetrius is far from giving into her wants, and even goes about warning her from spending too much time with him unsupervised: “You do impeach your modesty too
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