Love pervades this play with confused lovers (Hermia, Demetrius, Helena and Lysander), mature love (Theseus and Hippolyta), fractious love (Oberon and Titania) and imbalanced love (Titania and Bottom).
A Midsummer Night's Dream: AS & A2
Marriage is presented as harmonious, comic or discordant. Theseus and Hippolyta’s marriage might symbolise enslavement, whereas the young lovers marry with ‘joy and mirth’ (V. 1. 28).
Male authority in this play reflects the male-dominated society of the time. However, female characters are portrayed sympathetically; for example, Hermia is assertive and rebellious.
Shakespeare reminds us repeatedly that the performance is an illusion. The play within the play emphasises role of actors as ‘visions’ in a ‘dream’ (V. 1. 415).
We witness transformation in numerous ways; for example, Bottom demonstrates his skills in performing a lion or a lover and later is transformed into an ass.