"The course of true love never did run smooth." A Comparison of Romeo and Juliet & A Midsummer Night's Dream (honors student)

Essay by Robyngood December 2003

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A Midsummer Nights Dream can be compared with the play Romeo and Juliet. They both encompass many of the same themes of love. Love is prohibited, true, lustful, and desired. In A Midsummer Night's Dream Lysander demonstrated the overriding theme of both plays, "The path of love never did run smooth" (1.i.14). The two plots revolve around two couples that are in love with each other, yet cannot be joined together because of family members who prohibit the lover's love. The endings are very different, but with a few changes both could have resulted in a tragedy or comedy.

True love is shown and prohibited in both plays. In a Midsummer Night's Dream Egeus, Hermia's father does not want her to marry Lysander, but Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander are in love, yet her father thinks she is just blinded. He forbids Hermia to marry Lysander and if she does she will be put to death or have to become a nun.

Romeo and Juliet cannot be together because their families hate each and are feuding. Even though the couples are truly in love the authoritative figures cannot see this and think they are just love struck. The plays show that love is in the eye of the beholder and one cannot choose who they love.

Love is very powerful and both plays depict this. The love that the lovers have will not just go away because it is not approved of. They are willing to do anything to be together because of the love they share. Romeo and Juliet marry secretly. Afterwards, Romeo is exiled from Verona and Juliet contemplates to commit suicide because she is not able to be with her love. Finally, with her father's command to wed Paris she decides to fake her death. Juliet would...