Shakespeare vs. Tom Stoppard

Vikas Sharma Honors English Final Exam Essay 5-24-10 Stoppard vs. Shakespeare There are many ways love is presented thematically in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and Shakespeare in Love by Tom Stoppard. In a Midsummer Night’s Dream, love is off and on going between most of the characters which shows that love was difficult and not too strong between the characters, while in the play Shakespeare in Love, the love between Shakespeare and Viola seems to be pure and full of passion. The idea for love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream starts out with Theseus and Hippolyta.
Hippolyta, having been the Queen of the Amazons, has been conquered by Theseus and is therefore under obligation to marry him. Shakespeare presents this kind of love as forced love because Theseus has conquered Hippolyta which means that she is dutiful to Theseus. Throughout the story Hippolyta starts to accept Theseus which shows that the nature of their love is mature. The four main characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream all have difficulty in their love which shows that it is true but also very young.
As Lysander states in the novel “The course of true love never did run smooth. ” He articulates on of A Midsummer Night’s Dreams most important themes. The theme of love’s difficulty is often explored through the motif of love out of balance—that is, romantic situations in which a disparity or inequality interferes with the harmony of a relationship. One of the reasons that love didn’t go smooth with Lysander is because of Egeus, Hermia’s father. By law he has power over her and what he wants for is daughter is what must happen.
And by law, Hermia is expected to be dutiful to her father, by respecting and obeying him. His over-protective parenting style demands Hermia a new man, but Hermia’s and Lysander’s true love and determination brings them together. Despite the obstructions that face the couple, their love succeeds in the end to show true love is strong and with determination it prevails. This kind of love is similar with Shakespeare’s and Viola’s love in the movie Shakespeare in Love because throughout the play, there are many obstacles that prevent them from being together.
One of the obstacles of their love is that Viola is forced to marry Lord Wessex because she has to obey her father but she does not truly love him. Her love is only with Shakespeare and with poetry. Their love for each other is very mature, and is full of true love, but sometimes does not run smooth just like Lysander’s relationship with Hermia. Next there was the love of Helena and Demetrius. The opposite of true love would be Helena’s and Demetrius’s relationship. Shakespeare uses magic in the story to bring in bizarre events and hilarious situations.
One example of why there is awkward and difficult love between all the characters is because of the love potion. The love potion is made from the juice of a flower that was struck with one of Cupid’s misfired arrows; it is used by the fairies to wreak romantic havoc throughout Acts II, III, and IV. Because the meddling fairies are careless with the love potion, the situation of the young Athenian lovers becomes increasingly chaotic and confusing. Helena’s and Demetrius’s relationship is described in a simple sentence by Helena that states, “The more I love, the more he hateth me. “.
This evidently shows Helena’s love for Demetrius, and yet her love for him is not returned for he is blinded by his love for Hermia. This unrequited love shows the cruel nature of love. This kind of love is also seen in Shakespeare in Love by Viola and Sir Wessex. Wessex wants to marry Viola because of her power and money, but Viola in return does not agree to give Wessex her love and passion for it belongs to Shakespeare. This can also be seen as cruel love because the lover in return only gets misery and a broken heart. Finally, Oberon and Titania’s love can be seen as confusing but full of character.
Their love starts out to be strong but as time goes by, Oberon become’s jealous. This can be seen as jealous love. This shows there are troubles present in their relationship, since the two do not appear to be on good terms. Oberon and Titania are arguing over the changeling boy, the son of one of Titania’s late friend. Oberon would like to possess this child, but Titania refuses to let him go. This shows that the nature of love can at times be irritating and troublesome and that the love between Oberon and Titania is most definitely not running smoothly.
Throughout the story you can see Oberon’s jealousy increase as the story goes on. Jealously is a powerful emotion, and when mixed with love, it has devastating effects. Oberon’s jealousy grows, as Titania’s love for the changeling boy does, and as a result, the relationship between the two worsens as they grow apart from anger. Sir Wessex also starts to become jealous of William Shakespeare because his love with Viola is very passionate and true. Wessex knows that his desire to marry Viola for her money cannot become reality unless he does something to hurt Shakespeare’s and Viola’s relationship.
In the end though, true love defines all odds and Shakespeare is meant to be with Viola. All in all there are many ways love is presented thematically between the characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and Shakespeare in Love by Tom Stoppard. Both authors present love thematically in different and similar ways using many methods. They both like to create bizarre scenes and like to complicate their characters loves. They both have similar but also different ideas to attract their fans and to complicate the scenes in their stories.

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