Our next installment of the Shakespeare Relationship Stats series belongs to Hermia and Lysander from A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Lysander: star-crossed lover
Hermia: rebellious daughter
Lysander: young nobleman
Hermia: daughter of Egeus
Lysander: “I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
As well possess’d; my love is more than his;
My fortunes every way as fairly rank’d,
If not with vantage, as Demetrius’;
And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
I am beloved of beauteous Hermia:
Why should not I then prosecute my right?” Lysander’s opinion, Act 1, Scene 1
Hermia: “Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue’s sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd’s ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching: O, were favour so,
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue’s sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I’d give to be to you translated.
O, teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius’ heart.” Helena’s opinion, Act 1 Scene 1
What they wanted from this relationship
“A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me then,
Steal forth thy father’s house to-morrow night;
And 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.” Act 1, Scene 1
“My good Lysander!
I swear to thee, by Cupid’s strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus’ doves,
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
And by that fire which burn’d the Carthage queen,
When the false Troyan under sail was seen,
By all the vows that ever men have broke,
In number more than ever women spoke,
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.” Act 1, Scene 1
Top 3 bumps on the way to true love
1. Demetrius’s love for Hermia poses a problem when Egeus chooses him as suitor for Hermia, despite her wishes to marry Lysander.
2. In response to Hermia’s refusal to marry Demetrius, Egeus invokes an ancient Athenian law whereby a daughter must marry the suitor chosen by her father, or else face death.
3. Lysander, falling victim to a miscast love spell on the eve of his elopement to Hermia, falls in love with Helena when she wakes him.
Happily ever after
When the love spell is removed from Lysander, he declares his love for Hermia. As Demetrius loves Helena, Theseus overrules Egeus’ request to invoke the Athenian law, and arranges a group wedding!
Will it last?
Hermia’s love is withstanding, even when she believes Lysander has fallen for Helena. Once the spell is removed from Lysander, he declares that he loves Hermia. As long as no other misdirected love spells are cast, I think this one will continue to be happily ever after.