Shakespeare in Love
William Shakespeare’s amazing gift of combining together four plots, with four different sets of characters in one play was evident in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The underlying theme of love through the use of cohesive images unified the narratives as one. The metaphorical images of moonlight and eyesight provide the media for this coalescence. The sense of sight, being a judge of physical beauty, is almost always associated with romantic love.
Enthralled, latched, and charmed were words expertly used by Shakespeare in the third act to describe one engulfed in the feeling being in love. Shakespeare’s “O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine! To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?” remarkably associated unrivaled eyes to one’s devotion. The different aspects of romantic love were also established by Shakespeare through his illustration of the shifting phases of the moon. Shakespeare starts to picture the moon as old and slow in waning, keeping Theseus from realizing love. However, Shakespeare transformed the moon in the third act as an instrument of darkness of the night, which causes one to lose sight, thus losing the feeling of love. He rescued this loss through “Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found; Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound,” establishing how devoted affection cannot be borne alone on the physical facet of a person, purporting the cliché the love is indeed blind. He used moonlight to shine on a person’s true being amidst the shrouding darkness of the corporeal world. These elements are masterfully employed by the Bard of Avon in order to create a comedy that can be truly remembered to illustrate the magical world of romanticism.