A Midsummer Night's Dream: character motivation and interaction

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: character motivation and interaction

Character Motivations

  • Hermia: Primarily driven by her love for Lysander and an aspiration for independence. Faces conflict with masculine authority embodied in her father, Egeus, and the Duke Theseus.
  • Lysander: Motivated by his profound love for Hermia, catalysing the conflict with Demetrius who also loves Hermia.
  • Helena: Desire to regain Demetrius’s affections dominate her motive. Regardless of rejection, her unwavering loyalty potrays her as either naive or epitome of steadfast love.
  • Demetrius: Initially smitten by Hermia, but a dramatic shift in affections occurs when he falls for Helena under the influence of a potion.
  • Oberon and Titania: Crave for power, especially over the changeling boy, forms their core motivation. Their disputes significantly impact the mortal and natural world, highlighting their prominence and stature.
  • Puck (Robin Goodfellow): A penchant for mischief and chaos among humans fuels Puck. Nevertheless, he also shows undying loyalty to Oberon.
  • Theseus and Hippolyta: Existing as a foil to the other love-distracted characters, their relationship solid and consistent, mirroring their societal dominance. Centered around their upcoming wedding and maintaining order in Athens, their motivations carry weight and influence.

Character Interactions

  • The intertwining spectra of the fairy and human worlds often lead to chaos and confusion. Puck’s erroneous actions further worsens situations, like the inadvertent love of Lysander and Demetrius for Helena.
  • The interactions in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” frequently elucidate the prevailing power dynamics. This is starkly portrayed in Hermia’s exchanges with her father, Egeus, and Duke Theseus, highlighting the limited options women held in choosing their life partners.
  • Much of the conflict revolves around the characters’ love interests including Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena. With constant arguments, deceits, and misconceptions, characters relentlessly strive for their beloved’s affection.
  • Misunderstandings from Puck’s pranks disrupt characters’ interactions, injecting the element of humour. This showcases Shakespeare’s exploration of the “appearance vs reality” theme.
  • The role of group dynamics cannot be ignored. Crucial plot development occurs when a bunch of novice performers (The Mechanicals) are manipulated by the fairies. Their interactions contribute to the comic relief in the play.