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Time lapse in the play "Midsummer"

Theseus impatience

At the start of the play, there are only four days remaining to the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Both Theseus and Hippolyta are growing impatient as revealed by their comment. Theseus laments that the hours are moving lazily while Hippolyta observes that

Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; Four nights will quickly dream away the time

The plot of the play revolves around two sets of couples Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius). Lysander comments that the pattern of true love was not as smooth as expected (Gervais 153). The tone of the play is rather lighthearted to give the reader a feeling that everyone is comfortable with the situation. However, this is not the case. Hippolyta and Theseus impatience reveals that the situation is tense as both are eager to get married. Elapse of time also helps solve the complex love affairs present in the play. These are romantic circumstances in which a discrepancy or inequality affects the harmony of a love affair. This is perfectly shown by the asymmetrical kind of love exhibited by the four youthful Athenians. Hermia is in love with Lysander who is in love with Hermia. Helena is in love with Demetrius who is love with Hermia instead of Helena. This creates a situation of imbalance in which two gentlemen love one lady making one woman have many lovers while another does not have. This is all solved by an elapse of time (Gervais 154). After the two sets of couples escape to the forests to buy time, each finds his or her respective and appropriate match.

Time proves the father wrong

It is a matter of both real time and psychological time before it is proved that a father can also be wrong. Just before the wedding between Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Egeus arrives with a complaint concerning his "hardheaded" daughter, Hermia. He comes together with two other Athenian youths, Lysander and Demetrius. Egeus had authorized his daughter to marry Demetrius. Hermia instead preferred to marry Lysander. Egeus wanted Hermia to swear before the Duke that she would wed Demetrius or suffer the penalty of an ancient law ruling that a rebellious daughter shall either be put to death or evicted. After listening to the full complaint, Duke Theseus reminds Hermia of her responsibility to obey her father. Theseus told her that her father was like a god to her. Hermia and Lysander escape to the forest to buy time which at the end proofs successful when Egeus is proved wrong. At daybreak of the first day, Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and others enter the woods to hunt. The sounds of their horns awaken the lovers who had escaped to the forest. For the second time, Egeus demands that her daughter marries Demetrius. This time round Demetrius announces that he is no longer interested in Hermia. He now wants to marry Helena. Theseus is pleased with the results and the turn of events and sanctions the marriage of the two couples to take place together with his own. It is thus a matter of time that Egeus is proved wrong. Elapse of time also ensures that individuals get the right matches for their marriage.

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