Essay on Love is Evil: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Williams Shakespeare

“There is no evil angel but Love.” While that specific quote is from one of William

Shakespeare’s plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love has been the evil mastermind behind

several, if not all, of Shakespeare’s infamous tragedies. Take Hamlet for example; the tragedy of

Hamlet would not be a tragedy if it were not for anguished love. Feeling, seeing, hearing, and

ultimately experiencing love can have multiple effects on a person, or many people for that

matter—even one’s not directly involved. Love is a seemingly altruistic emotion. Not everyone

has a friendly encounter with love because of its deceivingly ability to bring out the foulest of

evils in everyone. How, though, can something so delight be so ultimately evil? One could only

begin to comprehend this puzzling question by, first, understanding the true meaning of evil and

the multiple conceptions of it, then, making the connection between love and evil.

Phillip Cole, a well-known philosopher, has four major conceptions of evil. The first

being the “monstrous” conception of evil; “according to which the agent who freely chooses to

pursue human suffering for its own sake thereby becomes, or perhaps already is, a creature

distinct from normal human beings, a monster” (Garrard, McNaughton 4). The monstrous

conception of evil is displayed in act two, scene two of Hamlet. Hamlet begins to exert insults

upon Polonius. After consistently draining Polonius of all of his logic, Hamlet proceeds to guilt

trip Polonius in saying “You can’t take anything from me that I care less about—except my life,

except my life, except my life” (Crowther, 9). Even though the topic of love seems far from the

center of their conversation, if the love that both Poloniu…

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…e in Hamlet.

Evil, whatever the conception, must have some motivation of some sort. Evil always

requires some previous occurrence to emerge from the depths of the human soul. Love,

undoubtedly, does just that. In today’s society as well as in the literary works of the great

William Shakespeare, love is all-powerful in many ways. It can bring out the worst in a person

just as easily, if not easier, as it can bring out the absolute best in a person. Love is a “one

extreme or the other” type of emotion. In conclusion, love an evil appear to be complete

opposites but, when looked into deeply, people will be able to see one does not exist without the


Works Cited

Garrard, Eve. Speak No Evil?.Midwest: Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 2012: 1-8, web 28 February 2014

Crowther, John, ed. “No Fear Hamlet.” SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 5 Mar.2014.

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