Thursday, May 30, 2019
Superficial Love in Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream :: Midsummer Nights Dream Essays
Superficial Love in Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream In the first soliloquy of Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream, Helena talks primarily of a love that contains depth, a love that looks at who a person is, personality-wise, as opposed to nothing more than their appearance. Helena explains, Love looks not with the eyes, simply with the mind (1.1.240). In the shallow culture in which Helena lives, and even in todays society, it is difficult for people to look beyond the outer shell and take on a deeper sensing. The concept of the perfect person is constantly drilled into peoples minds. In Helenas day, this was through expectations taught to children from their parents. Today, this type of expectation comes mostly from the media and entertainment industries. Helena describes love as the admiring of his qualities and as possessing the ability to transpose to form and dignity (1.1.238-240). Though this may not be a perfect comment, it is much closer to the Biblical definition as described in 1 Corinthians than most common definitions of Helenas day. Because of the strong influence of the shallow culture in which Helena lives, she, too, finds it difficult to keep societys haul out of her definition of love. One of the first things she points out in her soliloquy is the fact that, Through Athens I am thought as join as she (1.1.232). She then proceeds to explain how she wishes Demetrius would think she is as fair as Hermia. If Helena believes so strongly in love coming as a result of admiration of ones personality, one must question why she loves this man who focuses merely on the appearance of women and pays no regard for who they are as a person. Then, again, the number of men in her day who didnt found their love on such superficial characteristics was probably pretty low, if not zero. Either way, Helenas perception of love is not perfect, her thoughts are still influenced by the surrounding culture. Helenas interpretation of love, as a deep, powerfu l emotion is virtually unseen in the live of the play. Rather, the opposite, superficial love, plagues most characters of the play. Theseus, Demetrius, and Lysander constantly offer comments about females. Rather than focusing on who these women are, these comments pertain to the appearance of the women.