The Comparison and Contrast of a Midsummer's Night Dream and Gulliver's Travels

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift Pages: 4 (1399 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Transcending through time: Appearances
"Don't judge a book a by its cover". The age old saying is societies way of conveying the message that appearances are deceiving. Despite the motto's presence in our modern culture it existed many centuries ago in these different forms showing up as a major theme in the works Shakespeare and additionally appearing as a theme in Jonathan Swift's satirical book, "Gulliver's Travels".

In Shakespeare's comedy " A Midsummer Night's Dream" the theme "appearances are deceiving" is a main theme throughout the story. Ranging from donkey heads to its subtle use of a character's personality Shakespeare's use of this theme creates a comedy for the ages. The theme is presented early on in the book when one of the main characters, Demetrius is introduced. Hermia, the girl whom he wants is the daughter of an Athenian noble named Eegus. Eegus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius despite the fact that she is having an affair with another man, Lysander. One assumes that he is a nice person because Eegus wants his daughter to marry him. This assumption later is proven wrong by the introduction of Demetrius' past lover, Helena. The audience finds out that in the past they were together and Helena still longs for Demetrius and he rejects her multiple times in an extremely harsh manner. The first appearance of Demetrius is deceiving he is what one can presume that he is a kind soul but as this plot develops his harsh character is revealed more and more. A quote that easily sums up the play's plot line is said by Helena, "Love can transpose to form and dignity/Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind./And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."(Shakespeare 1.1. 239-241) It defines love in this story, Helena's love for Demetrius is blind because he is mean to her but yet she still follows him and loves him. Especially in Hermia and Lysander's case they have true love because they love with their mind and not their eyes. Hermia sees...

Cited: Shakespeare, W. (2003). A Midsummer Night 's Dream. Washington City Press.
Swift, J. (2003). Gulliver 's Travels (Barnes & Noble Classics Series). Barnes and Nobles Classics.
Team, S. E. (2008, November 11). Gulliver 's Travels Society and Class Quotes Page 2. Retrieved January 10, 2013, from
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