between Theseus and Hippolyta represents ideal, mature love, and contrasts with the other lovers’ relationships.
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazon, is betrothed to Theseus, Athenian duke. Occasionally, they disagree about certain issues,
but due to their mature personalities, they are able to confront their problems, resolve them, and let them go. They understand
the terms of their relationship, and they know their places.
For instance, a major obstacle that these lovers faced was that they led opposing armies to war. Being
of the Amazon tribe, a nation of women warriors whom in
Greek mythology burned off their right breasts in order to use a bow and arrow more successfully, and as a rule, abhorred
male supremacy; Hippolyta’s surrender to Theseus in battle and marriage was more substantial by a tenfold than the petty
trifles of the lovers. Hippolyta’s struggle with her beliefs and her love
may be the reason she seemed to have had cold feet in the beginning. She was
not excited about her wedding, although they stay true to each other throughout the play, and get
married in the end.
Theseus’ is characterized as kind and generous. He must enforce the law, but talks privately with Egeus and Demetrius (I.i.115)
to get them to relent. He also offers Hermia the third option of the nunnery. Although,
Theseus is dominated by pride, he is very proud of his hunting dogs, which he insists to Hippolyta are superior to those she
has seen before. Hippolyta immediately relents by holding her silence (IV.i.110).
In addition, he appreciates the mechanics effort in the play-within-a-play, and the sincerity of the ordinary people. He lets
his imagination turn good people's sincere effort into a good performance. He
does this with such a benevolent air that he seems condescending, and annoying to Hippolyta whom sees the play as it is, utter
foolery, regardless of the effort. It is their wedding feast, and Theseus ends
with at least it passed the time until bed time (V,i,337).
Oberon & Titania:
The strongest love seen in the play is between Oberon, King of the Fairies, and his wife Titania, Queen of the Fairies.
Over the many years that they have known each other, they have formed a strong bond with one another. Even though they
have been together for a long time, in some ways, they still do not fully understand one another. They fight over childish
topics, and resort to immature behavior. For example, Oberon is jealous of the relationship between Titania and her
Indian servant boy, so he puts her under a spell. He puts this potion on her in order to make her appear foolish and
to divert her attention from the servant boy. In doing so, he is able to steal the servant from her and make him his
knight. Additionally, Titania accuses Oberon of being in love with Hippolyta. Oberon replies, "How canst thou
for shame, Titania, glance at my credit with Hippolyta, knowing I know thy love to Theseus?" This goes to show that
they do not fully trust each other, and are jealous of one another. Because of the disorder in their relationship, natural
Hermia & Lysander:
Also, the love of Hermia and Lysander is similar because it is idealistic love. This love evolves from clear understanding,
respect, and emotion. They prove how devoted they truly are by fighting against anyone who opposes their love, even
if it is a father, or powerful ruler.
|Oberon & Titania
|©2004 Peter Lathan