“With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear (3. 2. 97)” Act 3 scene 2 is central to the whole play, its an extract of how the lovers are influenced by the fairy kingdom, by having magic spells put upon them. If you look over the scene you will be able to spot the male lovers attitudes towards their relationships, especially in Lysander’s point of view. The connotations are, he has become a man who is after physical intimacy with her. He seems like a spontaneous man, who is following his feelings.
The significance of this scene and the impression it has on the whole of the play is achieved by Shakespeare’s use of verse forms dramatic impact theses have on the scene. Quote above is spoken by Oberon he has spoken his speech about Helena, emphasizing on her vulnerability and her blindness with love. The connotations of death and youth also comes in as Oberon gives the impression Helena is in danger of killing herself Demetrius also touches on this idea and says, “you do impeach your modesty too much (3. 1. 215)”
This quote is outlining the facts of Hermia and her masochistic approach towards her love. This quote also presents the desperation Helena is experiencing and the confusion Demetrius is going through. He is emphasizing the desperation is becoming too much and she should have some pride in herself and not put herself down as much. However this approach has conversely changed into an unbelievable love during the course of the scene.
Demetrius with the help of the spell put upon his eyes, Woo’s Helena from being the unworthy “spaniel (2.1. 205)” to being compared to God’s “… Venus of the sky… (3. 2. 107)” which seemed at the top of the hierarchy within the Jacobean society. However nice and resolved this concept seems, yet there is more confusion. Lysander is too under a spell which leaves both the men in madly love with Helena. This gives both the girls a chance to be woo’d and loved by both of the men. Hermia before the spell where both Lysander and Demetrius wanted to marry her. And Helena after Pucks accident with the spells.
This idea conjures up a lot of similarities and differences between the two girls, within the play some of which are; how they both at one point of the play, don’t trust each other. ” .. have you stolen my loves heart from him…? (3. 2. 283)” However their differences also come to light as Hermia; is quick to blame for Lysander’s fickleness. Whereas Helena was jealous of Demetrius love towards Hermia but never blamed her. (verse forms and their effect in creating this connotation).
Act 3 scene 2’s impact on the play is huge, it is the dream which took place in act3 sc2, that creates the title ‘midsummer nights dream. ‘ This act is where most of the characters true colours comes to dawn and where the audience is put through a disorder, and disruption by all the ambiguous ‘translations’ taking place in the play. ‘The Athenian lovers are forced to confront the bewildering changes as they transverse the wild, frightening territory of the moonlit forest. ‘ (a rough guide to Shakespeare). The play would no longer be a romantic comedy if act3 sc2 was removed.
Act 3 scene 2 is the key scene to build tension and explain for the disorder created, its also the explanation as to how the rest of the play has evolved and developed in to a happy ending. Where lovers are happily married in contrast to the feminist beginning. (critical position) The play begins with Hermia being forced to marry Demetrius, by Egeus; Hermia’s father they attend before Theseus to resolve the problem. Hermia makes it clear that she will marry none but Lysander. She is under threat of becoming a nun or her death. Hermia and Lysander waste no time and decide to runaway from home on order to be together.
Helena on the other hand loves Demetrius but is aware he wants to marry her best friend Hermia. She decides to tell Demetrius that the two lovers will be running away; only for a gratitude by Demetrius. This leads the four into the woods, where magic and disorder is an everyday element. The woods is where the ‘dream’ takes place, most the play is developed in act3 scene 2. It is also where the fairy kingdom is very intense with the mortals. “Lord what fool these mortals be! (3. 2. 115)” Puck makes this declaration in his amazement at the ludicrous behaviour of the young Athenians.
This quote also conveys the sly comic effect embedded within the play as well as having a significance , on the development of the play because it captures the exaggerated silliness of the lovers behaviours and marks the contrast between human lovers completely absorbed in their emotions and the magical fairies; impish and never too serious. The play ends with all the problems resolved except one; Demetrius is still under a spell. However both girls get what they want and marry their lovers. The fairy kingdom is also sorted and problems resolved and the mechanicals show their production to the upper class and are proud of themselves.
In conclusion act 3 scene 2 is central to the whole play and this matter makes it the most significant scene within the play. The lovers, mechanicals and fairy kingdom, play a part in this act, which also touches on its significance. Shakespeare’s use of verse forms have sometimes led to a comic effect and sometimes portrayed the characters feelings about each other. The reason why so much emphasis has been put on verse forms within the play was because of the lack of technological devices to create mood thus Shakespeare very smartly used verse forms and dramatic devices to create that effect.