Strong and aggressive personalities are great in some cases, such as great leaders, but in certain situations, they have the capability of pushing others away. When leaders have an aggressive personality they tend to force their ideals, opinions and values upon those close to them to make sure that the subordinates feel the same way as they do. In a relationship, however, having an aggressive personality creates the possibility of the relationship falling to ruin. In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream we observe many unparalleled and diverse characters which demonstrate their ideals and opinions on what makes or breaks a good relationship. By analysing the relationship of Hermia and Lysander, along with the father-daughter relationship between Egeus and Hermia, we can infer that those in relationships must be willing to see eye to eye and make sacrifices for one another, as well, they should not force one’s opinions, values or ideals upon one another.
Lysander and Hermia’s relationship demonstrates the vitality of making sacrifices for one another to demonstrate one’s love and show how much they value each other, along with taking into consideration how one’s sacrifice will affect each other and themselves. Hermia is willing to “grow, so live, so die, my lord, ere [she] will yield [her] virgin patent up unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke [her] soul consent not give sovereignty” (1.1 75-85) for her relationship with Lysander to show everyone how much she is willing to give up, and how much she values their relationship. All she wants is to be able to marry the man she chose, so later after their discussion with the King, Lysander proposes the idea of going to see his aunt, “a dowager of great revenue, and she hath no child[…] and to that place the Sharp Athenian law cannot pursue us” (1.1 155-165). Lysander is willing to run away with Hermia to demonstrate how much he loves her and so they can get married; Hermia is also willing to leave her family and life behind and live on the run and this shows how much she loves Lysander. This proves that sacrifices and seeing eye to eye towards the big goal because Lysander and Hermia both sacrifice something towards their relationship and it is what holds them together throughout this entire play.
In contrast to Lysander and Hermia’s relationship, Egeus and Hermia’s relationship advises us that forcing one’s opinions, ideals or values upon one another will only push those we care for away from us. Hermia just wants her father, Egeus, to be compassionate and see what she sees in Lysander. When she says, “I would my father look’d but with my eyes” (1.1 55-60), she is saying that he needs to walk in her shoes, so she can prove to her father that Lysander is a good and worthy man to let her marry. Egeus, rather than listening and taking into consideration his daughter’s request, instead forces his opinions and values upon his daughter and takes this issue to the king, who enforces the law of Athens and says that Egeus is correct. Egeus knew this from the beginning and in the end by forcing his ideals upon his daughter it is what brought this destruction to his relationship with his daughter Hermia. This shows that by forcing your ideals and values about anything upon someone will come across as aggressive and self-centred and this will push others away from you.
By examing the relationships in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, of those who make and break a good relationship, we can infer that sacrifices for another person’s sake and seeing eye to eye helps our bonds and relationships with other grow, while forcing others to see and feel what you want them to see and feel pushes will only end in you pushing others further and further away from you. With this knowledge, we will be able to prevent many broken relationships as well as know how to sustain a good relationship. Working together, making sacrifices demonstrates your love and your value for one another, strengthening our bonds and relationships with those close to us.