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History Headscratchers / AMidsummerNightsDream

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* There are two things to keep in mind, which nobody but me seems to do for some reason. First of all, this potion is from Cupid's arrow. In other words, this play clearly takes place in a world where it's Cupid's romance-inducing arrows that create love in the hearts of humans. So really, he's just fallen in love not by his own choice but by Cupid's magic powers, the way people usually do in the world of this play. It's just administered by Puck and not by Cupid himself.\\
Secondly, from his point of view it is a happy ending. Now, I'm of course not suggesting that you should drug people into loving you--all I'm saying is that from Demetrius's POV, all that's happened is that his affections changed and he now loves a woman who loves him back. There's no indication that it feels any different to him than if the feelings had arose naturally. (And like I said, the presence of Cupid in this play suggests that this is as natural as romantic feelings get in AMND.)





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\n\n* Basically, the entire reason that he wants the child is, as far as I can tell, that Titania considers herself to have a right to the boy. Or Oberon assumes that since he's the man in the relationship, his will must be prioritized.

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[[WMG: Why does Lysander under the spell harbour such horrible ''hatred'' towards Hermia?]]
* If the effect of the spell is to replace his love for Hermia with love for the first person he sees, where on earth did all that hatred come from? He's far more abusive to her than Demetrius was to Helena when she was following him into the wood. Wouldn't it have been enough just to tell Hermia "I don't love you anymore", rather than saying "I ''hate'' you" and showering her with a long stream of vile insults that start crossing over into WhyWouldAnyoneTakeHimBack territory?



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* The 2016 Creator/RussellTDavies film gets around this headscratcher by having Puck de-spell Demetrius during the final dance number... and he kisses Helena anyway of his own free will, showing that he did really love her even without the magic.

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[[WMG: Titania wants to keep and raise the changeling boy to honour her dead friend whose son he is, and Oberon because... he wants a servant. What world is he in to consider his claim on this particular child to be ''anywhere'' near as worthy as Titania's?]]



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*** Plus she knows Lysander well enough to know that he would never hurt Hermia in order to play such a joke on her.




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** Exactly. Likely Oberon will give the kid something to do in his court and promptly forget he exists and Titania would probably have done similar if Oberon hadn't made a conflict of it. The game is what matters, not the result.


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*** True, but the same concept applies. Time passes in fairyland as fast as the fairies want it to. Maybe Oberon didn't want to wait to watch the wedding?



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* Also worth noting is that at the end of the play Demetrius, while still in love with Helena, is behaving far more rationally, suggesting the magical effect has settled down to something more stable. The idea that fairy magic wears off come morning was part of their mythology and Shakespeare even referenced it (albeit with Titania and Oberon noting it doesn't apply to them, being too powerful, but then they weren't doing the spell, Puck was).





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\n* It's worth noting that when under the influence of the spell Lysander expresses a desire that Hermia not come to any harm even as he pursues Helena. Demetrius does no such thing. As such Lysander, even when enthralled, still cares about her suggesting his true feelings are coming through. The "true nature" argument with Demetrius doesn't follow that that would be the effect with everyone.



* When my school did this, the undpoing of the love spell involved a surreal DisneyAcidSequence puppet dance, so that it was unclear whether Demetrius was still under the spell or not, or at least distracted the audience enough so that they didn't notice.

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* When my school did this, the undpoing undoing of the love spell involved a surreal DisneyAcidSequence puppet dance, so that it was unclear whether Demetrius was still under the spell or not, or at least distracted the audience enough so that they didn't notice.

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*** Except Rip met up with ghosts, not fairies.


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** Sometimes older writers didn't always care about continuity issues. Shakespeare is no exception.

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** Not all folklore. According to other folklore, time passes a lot faster in fairyland--think RipVanWinkle.

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** According to folklore, no time at all passes in fairyland.



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* Two points: First, Demetrius may be happy for the wrong reasons, but he's still quite contented with Helena. Second, this arrangement allows the other three to be with their loves without any interference, so it might be that Demetrius's free will was considered a necessary sacrifice to ensure that things turned out right for everyone else. Third, as others have pointed out, he did love Helena at some point and still had a degree of affection for her (at least to the point of not wanting her hurt), so the mental damage should be minimal to nonexistent.




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* He saw Helena and Demetrius and happened to feel sorry for Helena. It seems that this brand of fairy is generally beneficent towards mortals under all the pranks and jokes, and helping Helena cost him only the tiniest spark of effort. Basically, it's roughly equivalent to feeling sorry for some homeless person on the street and giving them a dollar.

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* It all happens in one or two days. Shakespeare wasn't sure how long the events would take when he started writing, and he forgot to edit the beginning when he was done.

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* I think "fairies get involved" probably answers that. Time getting screwy when the fair folk show up is to be expected.

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[[WMG: Somebody explain the timeline of this story.]]
Start of the play: 4 days before the full moon- Hermia is given the choice between marrying Demetrius, consecration as a perpetual virgin, or death.
Next night: 3 days before the full moon- Hermia and Lysander flee under the cover of night to get married, fairies get involved and resolve the mess.
Morning comes: Full moon and Thesus' wedding day. What happened to the other two days?

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