| Quote #4
This is one of the most famous lines of the play, and for good reason. Lysander's declaration pretty much sums up the play's notion that lovers always face difficult hurdles on the path to happiness – whether it's a disapproving parent, rival lover, or something else. In the play, Shakespeare makes this "love is an obstacle course" metaphor very literal when the young Athenians go chasing each other around the wood in pursuit of love. We're also interested in the way Lysander locates his love for Hermia in a long, rich "tradition." For Lysander, love is epic and the stuff of great literature and history.
| Quote #5
Here, Lysander lists the obstacles that can separate lovers: "war, death, or sickness." Lysander also knows that, even though love can be explosive like "lightening," it's usually short-lived: "So quick bright things come to confusion."
P.S. The idea that love is transient, by the way, is a major theme in Romeo and Juliet, where Friar Laurence says the following about Romeo's passion: "These violent delights have violent ends" (Romeo and Juliet, 2.6.1).
| Quote #6
When Helena admits that she loves many of Demetrius's "base and vile" qualities, she recognizes that her love has made her "blind" in that her judgment has been skewed by her passion. This idea resurfaces throughout the play, especially when Titania literally falls in love with a "base and vile" creature – an "ass."
We also want to point out that Helena is acting a little immature here when she complains that most people think she's prettier than Hermia. Apparently, love also makes us self-absorbed.