Theme Of 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 play’s main scenes. However, even though sexual desire is found in each of the play’s acts, 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 of control or power to themselves. Sexual repression was quite common as well, and the idea of marrying for love wasn’t a well-used reason. And the chaos that goes on in the play, caused both by Puck and the rift in Oberon and Titania’s marriage, is what ensues when the natural order of things is changed. Oberon’s…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
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