In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the
hardship of love is the love triangle among the four young Athenians: Hermia
loves Lysander, Lysander loves Hermia, Helena loves Demetrius, and Demetrius
loves Hermia instead of Helena. The first
major obstacle Hermia and Lysander face is Hermia’s father, Egeus, who wants
her to marry Demetrius instead of Lysander (1.1.22-45). Duke
Theseus is the ultimate law in Athens. Egeus says to Theseus, he has the right
under Athenian Law to determine Hermia’s fate. “I beg the ancient privilege of
Athens. As she is mine, I may dispose of her” (1.1.41-45). Unfortunately, Theseus has to agree that he has the right under Athenian Law to determine
Hermia’s fate, and reminds Hermia that she must marry the man of her father’s
choosing according to Athenian law. Hermia is angry with her father, Egeus,
because she is madly fall in love Lysander, and does not love Demetrius. Theseus
gives Hermia two choices. She has the choice of dying or becoming a nun for the
rest of her life. He gives her four days to make her decision until the day of
his own wedding with Hippolyta (1.1.65-79).
However, Hermia and Lysander come up
with a secret plan and decide to
escape from Athens in order to get married to each other and live happily. The
second obstacle Lysander and Hermia face is when Puck accidentally puts the magic
juice in Lysander’s eyes instead of Demetrius, and Lysander falls in love with
Helena who is madly in love with Demetrius (2.2.86-91). That becomes the main
conflict of the play for Lysander and Hermia. Promptly, Puck fixes this issue
that Lysander loves back Hermia again. When Egeus finds out that Demetrius does
not love Hermia anymore, the Duke Theseus govern Egeus’will and approve Hermia
to marry Lysander, as well as approve Demetrius and Helena to marry (5.1.160-173).
Love’s intoxication endures that
love is above law, and law is below love.