Love’s Garden in Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay

Flower colors must coordinate, lawns must be mowed, weeds must be pulled, trees must be trimmed, and bushes must be pruned. Human’s dominion over nature is displayed in a simple drive down the street. However, humanity rarely faces or recognizes the implications of this reign over nature. This need for control is accepted and even respected. In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, fairies take an extensive control of nature which begins to reflect their attempts to express love as they deal with the love amongst themselves. The abundance of nature in the play presents a circumstance of controlling love. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare manipulates nature imagery to portray control of nature among the fairies and reflect humanity’s quest for control in the realm of love, revealing a world that requires an evolving and dynamic relationship with love.

The play begins in the Athenian world, a place void of nature, with four lovers—Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander, Helena—plagued by their inability to rationalize love in a world of rules and regulations. As Act 2 opens, Shakespeare transports not only the audience, but the lovers to a magical and enchanted forest. The forest creates a perfect setting for these four characters to fight, frolic, and fantasize over their love for each other. However, the aura of the woods would not be truly alive without the forces of fairies.

Shakespeare presents the fairies as powerful creatures, controlling the wild and enchanted forest. Vivid nature imagery within the forest establishes these fairies’ control of the natural world and the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream are far removed from their archetypal vision of naivety and innocence. In Act 2 Scene 2 of A Midsummer Night’…

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…reflection of themselves and their emotions of love. The need to bring order back to the relationship between the fairies and nature is a need to maintain order and harmony. The powerful force of nature that the fairies use to control the powerful force of love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream highlights the need for order and symbiosis in life. This relationship between love and man’s natural control over it must be reciprocal. Neither force may dominate the other, but must simply feed into the other. A plant may be controlled and prodded by the gardener, but the plant itself must act as a force to illicit response. The two forces must be intertwined. Neither the gardener’s green thumb nor the plant’s will to grow can stand alone. The force of love cannot stand alone. Love must be nurtured in order to nurture its subjects. Love must be the gardener and the garden.

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