In his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare presents the idea that love and desire can indeed be affected by outsides forces—namely by family, friends, and laws. Shakespeare demonstrates this idea through the asymmetrical love between four characters—Hermia loves Lysander, Lysander loves Hermia, Helena loves Demetrius, and Demetrius loves Hermia instead of Helena; it is a simple imbalance which serves to illustrate the difficulty of love.
In one dialogue between Lysander and Hermia, Lysander, in an attempt to comfort Hermia, comments, “The course of true love never did run smooth” (Shakespeare 15)—articulating this difficulty. Shakespeare’s exhibition of the tractability of love is one I agree with because, through personal experiences, I have come to the same conclusion. One of the outside forces that Shakespeare uses to demonstrate the pliability of love and desire is family.
Egeus, the father of Hermia, demands that she marry Demetrius and not Lysander, the man she is actually in love with. He says to Hermia, “To you, your father should be as a god, one that composed your beauties, yea, and one to whom you are but as a form in wax by him imprinted, and within his power to leave the figure or disfigure it” (Shakespeare 10-11). He does not take into consideration at all with whom she is actually in love with and simply demands her to comply with his wishes.
This is yet another case of parents forcing onto their children their own desires and values without taking into consideration the wants of their children. This particular example I hold to be especially significant because I can personally relate to Hermia. Growing up, I was the stereotypical Asian child. I excelled at math, played the piano, and spent my free time reading and studying. In regards to friendships and relationships, well, it was almost as if my parents were the ones that picked them for me, not me. My…