The course of true love never did run smooth.
 William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1601). copy citation

Author William Shakespeare
Source A Midsummer Night's Dream
Topic love romance trouble
Date 1601
Language English
Reference A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act I, Scene 1
Note Written between 1590 and 1597 Lysander line


HERMIA. Belike for want of rain, which I could well Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.
LYSANDER. Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history, The course of true love never did run smooth. But either it was different in blood— HERMIA. O cross! Too high to be enthrall'd to low.
LYSANDER. Or else misgraffèd in respect of years— HERMIA. O spite! Too old to be engag'd to young.” source

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master These words are said by Lysander to Hermia at the very beginning of the play. Lysander and Hermia are in love, but Hermia’s father would prefer his daughter to marry Demetrius. Lysander tries to convince Hermia that many obstacles can make true love very difficult. He then lists all the problems that may be encountered such as age difference or social difference. Here, Shakespeare makes an ironical comment on arranged marriage.
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