From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Midsummer Night's Dream Theme of Love

Above all else, A Midsummer Night's Dream explores the nature of romantic love.  Its conclusion?  The pursuit of love has the capacity to make us irrational, foolish idiots. In the play, magic love juice causes characters to fall erratically in and out of love as they chase each other around the woods, and makes a Fairy Queen fall in love with a literal jackass. By literalizing the familiar cliché that "the course of true love never did run smooth," Shakespeare suggests that love really is an obstacle course that turns us all into madmen. Or in the immortal words of Pat Benatar: Love is a battlefield.

Questions About Love

  1. What is the function of Oberon's "love juice" in the play?
  2. Explain how the fairies impact the various romantic relationships in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  3. Discuss how Shakespeare portrays the nature of love in the play.
  4. Why does Titania fall in love with Bottom? 

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Shakespeare's play suggests that we are all fickle and irrational creatures when it comes to love.

The play is sympathetic toward a young person's right to choose a marriage partner based on love.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement