How do our emotions influence our perceptions of the world around us?Consider these ideas: How do we act when we’re in love / angry/ecstatic? How do we see the world differently in these states?
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, we learn that there are many effects that our emotions have on others, with our behaviour changing depending on what emotions we express. We see that a lot of the lovers actions are crazy and based purely on their love for each other. Helena provides an example of these crazy actions, when, after Hermia tells Helena that she is planning to run away with Lysander, Helena immediately tells Demetrius of Hermia’s plan, because she is in love with him, and believes that this could help put her in Demetrius’ favour. Helena’s love for Demetrius forces her to turn on her friends, which shows us how blinding love can be. If Helena had not been under the influence of love, she would have realized how terrible telling Demetrius would be for her relationships with Hermia and Lysander. Egeus shows us how anger can affect our decisions when he is talking to Theseus about who his daughter, Hermia, should marry. He says, very angrily, “As she is mine, I may dispose of her, which shall be either to this gentleman (Demetrius) or to her death” (1.1 42-44). Egeus is angry that Hermia wants to instead marry Lysander, and he gets so frusturated that he calls upon an ancient Athenian law to try to prevent her from marrying Lysander. Egeus is so angry, that he is willing to kill his daughter just to stop her from marrying the man she loves. Generally, a father would not be willing to kill his daughter, but Egeus is so blinded by his anger that he is willing to. We have the final decision over our actions, but A Midsummer Night’s Dream teaches us that our emotions can play a big role in these decisions and how we interpret the actions around us.