Their love can not be accepted by society, because the family has to approve it first. In this sense love is impossible and tragic. When lovers meet they can experience only "momentany" and momentary passions. Their encounters are short and painful, because they can not fully dedicate each other to the moment of pleasure. They are afraid that they might be seen or caught. That is why their union is "Swift as a shadow, short as any dream".
Love is the primary idea around which the play is built up and throughout the scenes we audience is presented with different forms of love. Love is arbitrary and irrational. Compassion and kindness can also inflame passions.
Where does this passage stand in the meaning of the whole scene 1 from Act 1. Lysander and Hermia are in love. However, her father Egeus is planning to marry his daughter to Demetrius and is very angry that she refuses. During scene 1 Lysander is trying to convince the public that he deserves Hermia and is equal to Demetrious. What is more he has true feelings to Hermia, whereas Demetrious had a recent affair with Helena. Regardless of his, Helena's tormented by love too, because Demetrious is indifferent to her. And in powerless attempt to win his love, Helena tells him about Hermia's and Demetrious plan to escape from Athens. Unfortunately, the more Helena loves Demetrious, the more he despises her. Love is unexplainable, because there is no reason why Demetrious should not love Helena.
If Hermia chooses Lysander she will be punished, just like he describes "War, death, or sickness did lay siege to" true love. At the end of the scene Lysander tries to explain to Hermia that all lovers reach to such moment in their lives, and that this is the only possible course for the true love they have for each other. In Lysander's monologue he is prolific in metaphors to express the nature of love - it is "swift" it is fleeting like the "shadow" it is evanescent as a dream, it is quick as a flash of lighting in a midsummer night. The brevity of love described by Lysander forms the overall feeling that love can not be everlasting when lovers hide their emotions. The course of true love never runs smoothly. Class differences and family bonds "did lay siege to it". Even when love is mutual and is based on sympathy, it often meets the family disapproval.
The memories and flashes of love "unfolds" and displays where is the heaven, blissful state and where is the bitter reality. The lovers can not be left alone, they have to be punished for their disobedience. From the background knowledge, love and law are opposed in the play - whether to obey the law and marry the one that your family prefers, or to flee and die for the one you love. Love and law are juxtaposed throughout the play, as well as the motifs of choice, freedom and social values. After the brevity of experiencing their