Trust is crucial in order to be in a healthy and successful relationship and without trust, it leads to many problems and further insecurities. In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, forbidden lovers and their two friends leave to the woods at nightfall and are unintentionally put through a series of love spells. The Mechanics, the fairies and the lovers are all connected in a way that each ‘story’ intertwines with each other, in a series of unfortunate events. By examining the relationship between Hermia and Lysander, and the relationship between Demetrius and Helena, I see that in relationships, trusting each other to keep promises and to make decisions is important. Whereas, insecurities play a big role in the obstruction of a relationship.
Hermia and Lysander’s relationship highlights the importance of trusting your partner when making decisions and overall having an unproblematic relationship. For example, when Lysander explains to Hermia that he has a “widow aunt […] of great revenue” who they can stay with in order to escape the Athenian law and be together, Hermia immediately trusts that he knows what he’s doing and promises to “meet with [Lysander]” the next day (1.1, 157-8). Lysander never questioned Hermia when she agreed to run away with him. There is a great deal of pressure placed on Hermia’s shoulders, whether she should obey her father’s wishes, or follow her’s and Lysander’s. Yet Lysander and herself both trust that she is set on her decision and will follow through. Also, when Hermia wakes up from her bad dream, she yells “Help me Lysander” repeatedly (2.2, 144). The first person that Hermia thinks to call when in trouble is Lysander; from this, I can infer that he has helped her numerous times in the past, showing Hermia that he is a trustworthy individual. When two people in a relationship trust each other, it allows for more freedom, happiness and stability because you feel that your partner is always there for you and will not let you down.
Unlike Hermia and Lysander, Demetrius and Helena show us how insecurities negatively affect people’s success in having healthy relationships. When Helena begs Demetrius to fall in love with her, it shows us how she needs validation for herself that she’s good enough by having a partner. Even though she stated before that ‘women are meant to be woo’ed’, Helena is so insecure that she tells Demetrius that the more he rejects and insults her, the more “[she] will fawn on [him]” (2.1, 204). On the other hand, Demetrius explains to Helena that the more she fawns the less he will like her, and that “[he is] sick when [he does] look on [Helena]” (2.1, 212). I infer that one of the reasons that Demetrius does not want to be with her may be because of how insecure she is. Insecurity leads to disastrous results. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the result of Demetrius and Lysander finally loving Helena is her not believing them. This could have resulted in Helena losing three important relationships in her life; Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius. This is all because of Helena’s insecurities and believing herself unworthy of love, even after wanting it for such a long time.
By exploring the relationships present in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we see that trusting your partner brings you closer together, while insecurities often distance us from the ones we love. We can apply this to our lives because relationships play a huge role in the overall happiness and successfulness of your existence. You form relationships with your family, friends, peers and many more people throughout your life, and every relationship somehow shapes you into the person you are, and who you will become. Knowing the makers and breakers of relationships will help every single person because everyone single person is in some kind of relationship. In conclusion, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, provides us with helpful do’s and don’ts when it comes to forming and sustaining relationships. Also, trust can better a relationship while insecurities impede them.
By Chanel Richards