Midsummer Night's Dream-- Rationality vs. Irrationality

1127 words 5 pages
Society today encourages rationality in nearly every situation. That being said, irrational behavior is tolerated today as much as it was in the time of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. One does not have to go far to realize this fact – consider the reality television shows today (ex. Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Bachelor, etc.) The reason behind the popularity of these ridiculous shows is quite simple: people find entertainment in watching others make fools out of themselves! Shakespeare was quite aware of this in his writing of Midsummer, with the characterization of Helena, the absurd quarreling between Oberon and Titania, and the foolish love of Hermia and Lysander. Before going any further, perhaps it …show more content…

This is obviously displayed by Hermia’s decision to abandon her father and all of her duties to run away with Lysander. It seems as though Hermia does not even give this decision a second thought - to her, nothing in life is important enough to prevent her from running off with her love. Hermia says, “My good Lysander! I swear to thee…By all the vows that ever men have broke (In number more than ever women spoke),
In that same place thou hast appointed me, Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee.” (Shakespeare 9) Here a connection can also be made with what is perceived as “love” today and its lack of reason. In fact, a movie called Crazy Stupid Love was recently released – the title alone perfectly explains how the media portrays love and marriage. There are countless literary works that exemplify rationality vs. irrationality, but one that nearly everyone is familiar with is Romeo and Juliet. This play shares many similar characteristics with Midsummer, which comes as no surprise as Shakespeare authors both plays. In Romeo and Juliet, two forbidden lovers sneak off together and get married after knowing each other for a mere day. A day! Now, it has been proven that the opinion of a teenager-especially one about the opposite sex-is subject to change over a short period of time. This goes to show how irrational the love that Romeo and Juliet shared truly was; but perhaps that is what attracts