Love-in-idleness: Topic assigned was describe one idea that Shakespeare used on more than one level in any one of his plays.

Essay by lilgurlgoneHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2006

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Shakespeare used the word love-in-idleness on two different levels in the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream". On the superficial level love-in-idleness is the name of the love potion that Oberon and Puck put into Titania, Lysander, and Demetrius's eyes. After this potion is administered the person who receives it falls in love with the first person that they spy upon waking. However on a higher level love-in-idleness has a double meaning within the play. It sometimes can block or help bringing about the new fertile society at the end of the play. The new fertile society is a convention that Shakespeare used in his comedies as and ending where the play ends in the realization of new, fresher values while the old, bad values are thrown out. The new society also ends with pairings of people who believed in the new values or are converted to it, so that the new society can be fertile and propagate.

Love-in-idleness can mean an idle love, one that is fanciful and without depth like the medieval view of love as a sickness or disease. It also presents love as fickle and erratic when it pairs and re-pairs the lovers. This sort of love doesn't really have any deep emotional value and it doesn't last very long. Also it isn't the sort of love that helps bring about a new fertile society where "jack has jill, and naught goes ill." In a A Midsummer Night's Dream an example of love-in-idleness relationship is that of Bottom and Titania. Titania falls in love with Bottom after Oberon, the king of fairies, puts the love-in-idleness juice in her eyes. Oberon says he will let Titania suffer under the potion until she gives him an Indian boy that he desires from her. Upon waking she sees...