THESEUSFair lovers, you are fortunately met;Of this discourse we more will hear anon.Egeus, I will overbear your will;For in the temple, by and by, with usThese couples shall eternally be knit. (4.1.6)
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the seemingly natural course of love ends in marriage. (This is true of all Shakespearean comedies and we talk about this in "Genre.") Here, Theseus's wedding day has finally arrived and the two sets of Athenian lovers have been paired up, despite Egeus's objections. Still, this seemingly happy ending leaves us a little nervous, if not skeptical. After all, the only reason Demetrius loves Helena is that he's under the spell of the magic love juice.