In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we see that our emotions often influence our perceptions of the world around us when we feel a certain emotion very strongly and allow it to move from our hearts to blanket our brains. In the story, there are multiple relationships that weave a tangled and intricate web of love, hate, and mischief. The emotions felt by the characters of this story cloud their judgement and project outwards to influence their actions and perception of the world around them. After Egeus asks Theseus to invoke the ancient law that would keep Lysander and Hermia apart, Lysander tells Hermia that they should run away together and meet “In the wood, a league without the town, / Where I did meet thee once with Helena, / To do observance to a morn of May, / There will I stay for thee” (1.1.165-168). Lysander wants to be with Hermia, so much so that he is willing to risk both their safety in the darkness of the woods to be with her. Not only that, but Hermia’s father may come after them, as well as the king himself. This plan was not very thought out, which references Lysander’s spontaneity when it comes to love.
Oberon and Titania are also guilty of succumbing to their emotions. They are rulers of the fairy kingdom and love each other, but Oberon’s jealousy of Titania’s newly acquired changeling outweighed that love. Oberon told Puck “I’ll watch Titania when she is asleep, / And drop the liquor of it in her eyes. / The next thing then she waking looks upon, / Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, / On meddling monkey, or on busy ape, / She shall pursue it with the soul of love:” (2.1.177-182). Oberon was consumed by jealousy for Titania, and despite his love for her wished to put her under a spell that would make her fall in love with a beast. This was not a positive emotion, as Oberon was fixated on one thing and wouldn’t let anything get in his way, not even his queen. Overall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the tale of people who are overcome and driven by their emotions, whether positive or negative.