Midsummer Night’s Dream Reading Question

How do our emotions influence our perceptions of the world around us? Consider these ideas: How do we act when we’re in love / angry/ecstatic? How do we see the world differently in these states?

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we see many different examples of emotions effecting different story character’s judgment, worldview and perceptions. A good example of this is when Oberon and Titania are arguing over the changeling boy. We can see how they are very upset with each other and are possibly even letting their emotions destroy their relationship in these two textual examples, starting with Oberon saying: “Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania. (2, 1, 60), then Titania responds “What, jealous Oberon!” Here we see a very toxic relationship between Oberon and Titania, that exists mainly because of the way that emotions have clouded their view.

Another example of emotions clouding our perception from the book was when Helena told Demetrius about Hermia and Lysander’s plan to run away from Athens. “I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight” (1, 1, 246) and “Then to the woods will he to-morrow night” (1, 1, 247). Helena did this because she was hoping to get some affection from Demetrius, but in reality, she was betraying her best friend, and her lover, just so that she would be able to try and win over Demetrius’s love, in a plan that would probably not work. It was a very selfish mood and one that she probably wouldn’t have made if her emotions weren’t affecting her.

As we can see from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, emotions can have a massive effect on the way we see the world. Under the influence of emotions, people begin to do irrational things and start to forget about common sense. It is key for us to be able to control our emotions because as soon as we let our emotions take the wheel, you begin to do some real harm to your own life and the lives of others.

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