May 23 2017

The will of man is by his reason sway’d.

Tonight please reread Act II, scene ii of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and then paraphrase and analyze the following lines, which Lysander speaks to Helena.   Consider not only what they mean literally but also what they might have to do with a theme of the play.

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

The will of man is by his reason sway’d;
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Things growing are not ripe until their season
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
And touching now the point of human skill,
Reason becomes the marshal to my will
And leads me to your eyes, where I o’erlook
Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.
MND blog #3


Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Posted May 23, 2017 by equinson in category Midsummer Night's Dream

30 thoughts on “The will of man is by his reason sway’d.

  1. Toa Neil

    The will of man is by his reason sway’d;
    And reason says you are the worthier maid.
    Things growing are not ripe until their season
    So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
    And touching now the point of human skill,
    Reason becomes the marshal to my will
    And leads me to your eyes, where I o’erlook
    Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.

    This line means that Lysander was irrational to love Hermia. However, now he can see he was wrong and should love Helena.

    Reply
  2. ilyssal

    The will of man is reasoned by his influence.
    And reason says you are the more worthy maid.
    What gros will not be ripe until its season comes
    So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
    And touching now the point of human skill,
    Reason becomes the marshal to my will
    And leads me to your eyes, where I now see
    Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.

    In his speech, Lysander is trying to convey how unfit he was to love Hermia. Through his own eyes, he can see he is meant to love Helena instead. Feelings change as do people and relationships, and it was time for a change in Lysander’s love life, or at least he is convinced to believe so.

    Reply
  3. tarika1

    The will of man is by his reason;
    And my reason says you are the one.
    Fruits are not ripe until their season
    But I am ripe now;
    And touching is now the point of humans,
    Reason is leading me to do this,
    And leads me to look into your eyes;
    Love’s stories are written in love’s richest book.

    In this scene, Lysander, under the influence of the love potion, is confessing his love for Helena. He says he is doing this because of reason and not his will. This contributes the theme of love. When readers are introduced to the characters, they are in a love problem. Now, Lysander likes Helena and it makes the love problem even worse. Because of the love potion, Lysander likes Helena, Helena likes Demetrius, Demetrius likes Hermia, and Hermia likes Lysander. This shows the comedic genius of Shakespeare’s comedy plays.

    Reply
  4. charlottes

    “The will of a man is reasoned by his beliefs
    And my reasons say you are more worthy of my love
    Things that grow are not ripe until harvest season
    So I, being young, are now ripe and can reason
    And reaching this point of adult skill
    Reason becomes the guide to my will
    And shows me your eyes, where I lookover
    The love stories written in Love’s ancient book”

    These lines were spoken by Lysander when he wakes up and experiences the love potion. He is now in love with Helena and expressing how much he loves her and why. He states that from moments before, he and his love have grown and now he realizes he is meant to be with Helena. It relates to the play in its entirety because it is about realizing that you love someone else, which could happen with the three other lovers. This also creates problems with the overall plot because now all four lovers have a person of interest but they all love someone else. Lysander loves Helena, Helena loves Demetrius, Demetrius loves Hermia and Hermia loves Lysander!

    Reply
    1. christophert3

      I like your interpretation of what the theme to Lysander’s speech is. It is, like you say, a main idea of the play, because it turns out, if what I think is going to be the couples, that only Demetrius’ love will be unchanged. I must say though, how sad for Hermia to have been left by one who she thought loved her. Then, when she realizes she’s been dumped for Helena, it will be even sadder since it is not really even how he feels, but the cause of the love potion.

      Reply
  5. faithw

    The will of man is swayed by his reason
    Reason says that you are worthier than Hermia
    Plants growing don’t ripen until their season
    As I am a young man, my reason has not been ripe until now.
    And now I reached the peak of my human skill
    Reasons will tell me what to do
    And it guides me to your eyes, where I see love stories in love’s greatest book

    In Lysander’s speech, he declares his newfound love for Helena. Lysander says that he loves Helena because of reason, but the readers know his feelings of affection are a result of the potion that Puck places on his eyes. He tells Helena that she is fairer and more worthy of his love than Hermia ever was. Helena thinks Lysander is mocking her and becomes offended.
    Lysander’s new admiration of Helena transforms the love triangle that was set in the beginning of the play, to a love square. Hermia, Helena, Demetrius, and Lysander all dote on a character who does not love them back.

    Reply
  6. avae1

    The will of man is influenced by his reason,
    And my reason tells me you are worthier than Hermia.
    Growing things are not ready until their time:
    And I now, being young, it is my time to access reason.
    I am at the highest point of my human skill,
    Reason provides guidance for my will
    And it leads me to your eyes, where I look and discover
    Love’s greatest stories in love’s richest book.

    In these lines spoken by Lysander, he confesses his love for Helena. From Lysander’s interpretation, his attraction to Helena is a result of his newfound maturity. He believes he is a new man that can make cautious decisions by reasoning. When in reality, the love potion dropped in his eyes is completely influencing his adoration for Helena. This brings up a possible theme in the play, which is influence from true reason or desire. Helena also conveyed this kind of emotion with her infatuation for Demetrius. She has displayed some jealous remarks regarding Hermia and her life. This could be influenced by her desire for Demetrius, because if she looked at the situation with more reason and less lack of her own love, she might be more understanding of Hermia’s perspective. Helena’s envy could be eliminated if she just considered Hermia’s place without her irrational thinking. In this scene, Lysander claims that his will as a man is less impulsive. This allows him to act with more examination and reason. Lysander is blinded by the influence of the love potion and has now run off and left his former lover, Hermia, behind because of it. This is no longer just a love triangle, but a love square which provides even more complication.

    Reply
  7. caias1

    A man’s will is shaped by reason,
    And reason tells me that you are the better woman
    Until harvest season, things that grow are not ripe
    As a young man, my reason had not yet ripened
    It is touching the point of human skill;
    My reason has ripened,
    And it guides me to look into your eyes, Where I can see all off the world’s love stories

    Under the love potion from Puck, Lysander is confessing his love to Helena. He is telling her that his reason had never been “ripe” enough to understand, but now it is guiding him to her. It relates to the love cycle in the play. Helena loves Demetrius, Demetrius loves Hermia, Hermia loves Lysander, and Lysander loves Hermia. This new complication in the cycle throws a wrench in Hermia and Lysander’s love for each other.

    Reply
  8. Rebecca F

    What a man wants, is moved by reason;
    And reason says that you are the better lady.
    Growing things are not ripe until it is their season
    So I, because I was young, had not ripened enough to reason until now;
    And reaching now, the height of human skill,
    Reason becomes the highest power over my wants
    And leads me to your eyes, where I look over and see
    Stories of love written in love’s richest book.

    After Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius and administers the love potion to the wrong person, Lysander opens his eyes to see Helena, and immediately falls in love. He then professes said love to Helena who believes that he is mocking her for her shortcomings. This speech seems to be the beginning of it all, with the love triangle becoming a “love square”. Things have gone wrong and it can only continue to do so, snowballing and growing momentum. The reader gets a sense of foreboding and knows that nothing good can follow.

    Reply
    1. francescaa

      I agree. Everything seems to have a snowball effect. Once fight leads to another, and that one leads to another and soon enough the mortal world and the fairy world will be a disaster.

      Reply
  9. christophert3

    What a man wants is decided by his reason;
    And my reason says you are the better lady(better than Hermia)
    People aren’t fully developed until they’re finished growing
    So I, having not fully developed until now;
    And now being able to reason well,
    reason now commands my will
    and leads me to look into your eyes, where I see
    Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.

    This is the general idea of Lysander’s speech to Helena. I believe the lesson that one is supposed to learn from this is that one shouldn’t love until they are old enough because they’re too impulsive and don’t think about their actions. We learned this during that OLWEUS lesson with the girl who did research to understand what caused cyberbullying. As a result of our impulsiveness and not thinking things over, early relationships past that of friend often don’t last long. This is what I think the lesson of Lysander’s speech to Helena is.

    Reply
  10. francescaa

    A man’s thoughts change his fate
    And my mind says that you (Helena), are more worthy that Hermia
    When people are young they are still learning
    It takes time for the young to grow,
    And I just became ready
    Now achieving the greatest point of judgement
    Reason will now dictate the way I live my life
    And reason leads me to you, where I see
    Potential for love at its finest

    In Lysander’s speech he expressed his new found love for Helena, a complete plot twist in the story. It is crazy how one plant is going to cause an already complicated story to become even more complex. The only healthy relationship that was happening was the one of Hermia and Lysander, the only two people who loved each other equally. However, now that Lysander has fallen in love with Helena, the “love square” is in shambles.
    This speech definitely demonstrates the theme that love is always a bit messy, but in the end it all works out. In the play things just got extremely messy, but after all it is a comedy, and as Ms. Quinson said, everyone gets married. I suppose this idea can go for Romeo and Juliet as well. Their relationship was very rocky because they were from enemy houses, but in the end they were together. (Even though it wasn’t the happiest of endings). After realizing two of Shakespeare’s plays have love related themes, I think that Shakespeare believes he is quite a scholar in the field of love.

    Reply
  11. ivanl

    The will of a man is swayed by his reason
    And reason says that you are the worthier maid
    Fruit is not ripe until it’s season
    And I am young, so there is no reason to bother with me
    I am just now reaching a new skill
    Reason wills me now
    And it leads me to you
    The richest love, in the richest books

    Here, Lysander explains his new undying love for Helena. This contributes to the play by adding more conflict between the characters. They all love someone that does not love them back. More suspense will come out of this, and by the end, everyone will have resolved and be married because this is a comedy.

    Reply
  12. arihantp1

    A man’s actions are influenced by his reason
    And my reason says that you are the fairer maid
    Things that grow do not ripe until their season comes
    So, I being young once, am now ripe
    And touching is now the purpose of humans
    Reason dictates my actions
    And it leads me to your eyes in which I read
    Love’s finest stories in its best book

    Lysander is clearly in love with Helena from this paragraph. He is under the effects of a love potion, and is irrational chasing her. Lysander states how his logic and reason is telling him that he loves Helena, even though he is being persuaded by a potion. This contributes to the overall theme, in which the already confusing love tangle, becomes even messier with Lysander now loving Helena.

    Reply
    1. eshap

      I agree, the problem arouses now when Hermia’s father finds out that Lysander is no longer in love with her. He can have his daughter do as he persisted in the first place, marry Demetrius. The four lovers do not know the cause of Lysander’s infatuation, being unable to have him return to his original state.

      Reply
  13. alexo

    The will of a man is decided by his reasoning;
    and my reasoning says you are the worthier maid.
    Things that are growing are not ripe until harvesting season,
    And now that I am grown, it is time for me to act with reason,
    I am now reaching the point of human skill,
    Reason will decide the way I live.
    And reason leads me to your eyes,
    And I see love’s stories written in love’s richest books.

    Lysander, who has just fallen madly in love with Helena due to a love potion, explains his reasoning for loving Helena so suddenly in this quote. When you look at it from the perspective of Lysander, who doesn’t know what had happened, what he had said makes perfect sense. he is using reason to decide the way he lives his life, including love. now, in class, we talked about the point of how love wasn’t decided on reason, but how it was just a feeling. Lysander doesn’t have the choice of loving simply who he loves the most out of feeling due to the potion. When we look at it from our perspective, we simply see a man who is trying to justify a sudden love for a woman, a love that wouldn’t make sense to him without reasoning.

    Reply
  14. briannag3

    What a man chooses to do is changed with reason;
    And reason says that you are the better woman.
    People are still growing when they are young
    And I was young up until this point;
    Now I have reason,
    And reason is what guides me
    Which leads me to fall in love with you
    A love story in love’s purest book.

    In Lysander’s speech he is telling Helena that he no longer loves Hermia. He explains that he was “young” until he saw her and now he has reason. Going on to tell her that reason is why he fell in love with her.

    Reply
  15. margauxc

    A man’s free will is shaped by logic,
    And it’s logic which asserts that you are the maid worthy of my love.
    Until the time comes, most things do not ripen
    And until now, have I been young and my reason not ripened
    Now I am able to function at my prime;
    Logic has now surpassed my desires,
    And guides me to your eyes, where I may find
    All of Love’s stories in one single book.

    Lysander’s confession essentially conveys tones of passion and fervor- raw emotion which is often reserved for starry-eyed lovers. Lysander’s words somewhat beg for Helena to pardon his earlier youthful state of mind and his phrases tend to be reminiscent of Romeo’s monologue after he first saw Juliet at Capulet’s feast. Lysander’s attempt to woo Helena features several uses of imagery- comparing the mind of a youth to a fruit which has not yet ripened. When Lysander remarks how a man’s desires are tempered by logic, he is, essentially- in a certain perspective, stating that youths are more susceptible to naivety and rash behavior than men are. In this way, the audience can see Shakespeare reflecting over the immaturity and the dangers of a youthful mind.

    Reply
  16. willowm

    A man’s desire is swayed by his reason.
    And reason says you are the worthier woman.
    Things are not ripe until harvest season,
    And being young before now, I did not act with reason;
    Now that I have matured,
    Reason will guide me
    And reason leads me to your eyes, in which I see
    Love stories written in love’s richest book.

    Lysander’s speech to Helena was spoken just after he was given nectar that would make him fall in love with the first living thing he saw, which was Helena. Helena questioned his sincerity because very recently he was in love with Hermia. He explains that he has grown up and his decision was made with reason. This foreshadows lots of trouble because now every character is in love with someone that doesn’t love them back. I think that the theme of deception is present in this speech. Lysander thinks he is acting with reason when we know he is under a spell.

    Reply
  17. cameronl3

    The will of man is reasoned by his beliefs
    And my reason says you are worthier for my love
    So I, being young, am now ripe and can reason
    And reaching this point as an adult
    Reason becomes my guide
    And brings me your eyes, where I overlook
    Romances written in love’s richest book.

    Lysander speaks these words after he has woken up, and been given the liquor from the flower. The first person that he lays his eyes on, is a nearby Helena. Helena was upset at Lysander, for she truly believed he was mocking her. He explains that this is definitely not a joke, and just that he has changed. He does not understand what he is saying to her, due to the fact he has the “love at first sight” nectar. This foreshadows lots of problems for the future of the play, as this can affect Lysander’s other relationships. As we are the only people who understand his reason for this mistake, no other character in the play does, which shows many problems will occur.

    Reply
  18. marinas1

    The will of a man is often persuaded by his rationality.,
    And this cognitive thinking labels you as the worthier maid.
    Things that grow do not fully ripen until it is the correct time to do so;
    Thus, until this very moment, I have been ignorant, and my logic had not yet ripened
    I am only now reaching the peak of my skill (in regards to judgement),
    Reason becomes the guider to my desire
    And this escorts me to your eyes, where I had previously overlooked
    Love’s tales, all combined into one love-filled book.

    In this excerpt, Lysander is claiming that he has not yet reached his focal point of reasoning yet, and that is why he had not fallen in love with Helena earlier. Although he may think this to be true, we all knwow that this lament is completely ironic. Lysander is declaring that reason is what lead him to suddenly become infatuated with Helena, while we as readers all know that this affection is solely attributed to the love potion he was given accidently. Therefore, his “reason” is actually no more than a few drops of nectar from a flower. In addition, this excerpt is ironic for yet another reason. Love has nothing to do with reason, even though Lysander claims it to be so. No one loves due to logic or rationality. Love is unconditional: you love someone unreservedly. Therefore, what Lysander is declaring is completely wrong.

    These ironic claims demonstrate just how chaotic and imprudent love is sometimes. Both Lysander and Hermia display their affections to their loved ones in monologues. They beg for the love of the person thy admire and say why they want to be with their loved ones. In these laments, it does seem, frankly, kind of foolish. Saying those things will not get someone to love them back. Yet, these characters continue to be persistent, even if they are rejected time and time again. That idea leads to yet another description of love: tenacious. As Helena and Lysander continue to follow the people they love, never relenting from their goals of reciprocation, Romeo and Juliet had done something related to this. Even when they knew their love was forbidden by their parents, they continued to meet, and even got married whilst their third meeting. They would not stop their pilgrimages of love. Even if love may be chaotic and (sometimes) explainably witless, it is also seen as unrelenting, and their is certaintly some beauty to that duality.

    Reply
  19. maddy

    The desires of a man are determined by his rationale;
    And by logic, you are deemed worthier of my endearments than Hermia is.
    Crops are not ripe for harvesting until the season is suitable
    Similarly, on behalf of my youth, it is now that my reasoning has ripened;
    Now that I have reached my long-awaited state of clarity,
    My desires are swayed more by my logic than previously
    And my logic is advising me to gaze into your eyes,
    Where I envision all of Love’s tales of romances.

    These lines are purposed to convey the theme of irony. Lysander believes that he has become enamored by Helena due to a sudden acquisition of rationale. However, readers are knowledgeable that Lysander is in love with Helena due to the magical nectar he has consumed. Shakespeare included these lines to show how Lysander and Helena would respond to this situation while being unknowing of its true cause.

    The love conflict has become further convoluted due to the comedy’s progression. Lysander has become smitten with Helena, yet Helena still loves Demetrius. Demetrius remains in love with Hermia, and Hermia’s love for Lysander is unchanged. Due to Lysander no longer loving Hermia in return, this conflict is now a love rectangle rather than its previous form of a love triangle. This love rectangle has developed into a series of furthermore complex, unrequited love. It can be foreshadowed that this complicated love rectangle will not end well for anyone, and that Shakespeare will continue to illuminate this fate with comedy.

    Reply
  20. eshap

    The will of the man is convinced by reason.
    And reason seems to think of you as the worthier maid.
    Things that grow do not ripen until they are ready to be shown;
    I have been young and innocent up until this moment, when my logic was still not ripe.
    I am now at the height of skills in judgement,
    Reason becomes the guide to lead my longing in the right direction
    And shows me the beauty of your eyes, which I have overlooked at first
    Love’s stories, in a book full of love.

    In this excerpt, Lysander gives an explanation of why he chose Hermia over Helena at first. He claims that it all had to do with reason. His reason needed to reach its highest point before he could realize that Helena was actually the one he was in love with. Being to young, Lysander didn’t understand right from wrong at times, and now he knows that Helena is the one he should  be with. Saying that love is caused by reason is false. Usually, love is caused by a great surge of feelings, not by which maid is worthier. In this case, Lysander’s love is caused the magic flower. It is only because of the flower that Lysander looks a Helena differently. Without it, Helena would continue to chase after Demetrius, and Lysander and Hermia would still be together. The flower also is a symbol of ignorance. Lysander says that reasons causes love, however,  sometimes it is ignorance. Often, two people fall in love because they think they should for a higher status, or if one is more beautiful than the other, the lover will keep jumping around. These people don’t actually know what real love is, staying ignorant.

    The characters in this play have shown to change what they want quite quickly. In this scene alone, Helena and Lysander have completely flipped their ideas of love. Helena had claimed to Demetrius that women should not be the ones to woo, for that is a man’s job. However, when Lysander comes along, bringing his love for her, she refuses it, for fear of mockery. Helena was looking for love all this time with Demetrius, but when presented the chance with Lysander, she chooses to stay on her own. Lysander, who was once in love with Hermia, had fallen in love with Helena due to the magic flower. When he was in love with Hermia, Lysander had been in love out of his true feelings. However, he claims to be in love with Helena out of reason, and not what he actually feels.

    Reply
    1. alekhya

      I agree with you Esha when you say that love is not guided by reason but a great surge of emotions. Often when picking who it is they love people do not take the time to contemplate and compare them with other maids to see if the woman is truly the best.

      Reply
  21. alekhya

    The will of man is persuaded by his reason.
    And my reasoning says you are the better maid.
    Growing things are not ready until their season,
    So I, being young, was not yet guided by reason.
    But now I have reached the height of my judgement skills,
    Reason has become the guider of my will,
    And leads me to your eyes, where I see.
    Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.

    Here Lysander speaks under the influence of a love-inducing drug that has led him to fall madly in love with Helena. When he proclaims his undying love to Helena she claims that he is mocking her as he has always loved Hermia. To explain to Helena why he hadn’t always loved her he says that in the past he had not been guided by logic, leading to his unreasonable choice to spend time with Hermia. He claims that he is now at the height of his reasoning and judgement skills and has come to realize that Helena is a far better choice.

    To exemplify how misleading Lysander’s vision of love is, one may just observe the love of Romeo and Juliet. In their love story it is clear that neither of their decisions were guided by reason, as the logical thing to do would be not to marry the daughter of your family’s worst enemy. But that is not the way the story goes, as love, especially that of young people, is not guided by reason.

    Reply
  22. Kat

    “The will of man is by his reason sway’d;
    And reason says you are the worthier maid.
    Things growing are not ripe until their season
    So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
    And touching now the point of human skill,
    Reason becomes the marshal to my will
    And leads me to your eyes, where I o’erlook
    Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.”

    In this section Lysander is trying to justify his new found interest in Helena. He says that he no longer loves Hermia because it was irrational to love anyone but Helena in his eyes. Lysander says that the reason for his love for Helena is reason itself. He says that this is the only logical avenue would be for him to forget Hermia and love Helena. Up until now Lysander says that he has not been reasonable in love. He did not see Helena’s beauty until now, and now he believes that Helena is the maid worthiest for his affections.

    Reply
  23. George

    The will of man is by his reason sway’d;
    And reason says you are the worthier maid.
    Things growing are not ripe until their season
    So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
    And touching now the point of human skill,
    Reason becomes the marshal to my will
    And leads me to your eyes, where I overlook
    Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.

    This speech from Lysander is surprising only to the characters in the play and not to us. We know that someone made a mistake and now he was single handedly messed up everything love wise. Everyone love everyone else. This will cause tensions between everyone to escalate to a boiling point for no real reason beside love. This speech only supports my claim by making Lysander love Helena

    Reply
  24. laurena2

    The will of man is influenced by reason
    And my reason tells me you are the more worthy maid
    Things are not ripe until their season
    But I am ripe now
    And touching now the point of human skill
    Reason is guiding me to do this
    And leads me to your eyes that i am looking at
    Loves stories are written in love’s richest book

    In his speech (under the love potion), Lysander is proclaiming his love for Helena. Lysander explains how loving anybody other than Helena is impossible, because he is meant for Helena. Because of the potion, Lysander is unable to realize that he is really in love with Hermia, and Helena is not the one for him.

    Reply
  25. adam

    The decision of a man is influenced by belief Readon says that you are worthy
    Buds do not bloom until their time
    Since I was young I have not bloomed enough
    And now being able to reason
    reason controls my decisions
    And leads me towards you
    Rich love in Richest of books.

    Lysander’s speech is proclaiming his newfound love in Helena. He says that reason has brought him here and there is no one more worthier than she. It would be logical for him to drop Hermia and pursue Helena. But, readers know he is under the potion and falls in love with who he sees first. So, helena was puzzled and was confused how he had switched interest so quickly. This may lead to many interesting occurrences in the future of the play and complexity between characters.

    Reply
  26. Tyler Newby

    The will of man is by his reason;
    And reason says you are the best maid.
    Things growing are not ripe until the right season
    So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
    And touching now the point of human skill,
    Reason becomes the guard of my will
    And leads me to you, where I find
    My love for you.
     
    In this speech, Lysander is claiming that he was not meant to love Hermia. He says that he now knows that he is meant to love Helena, and does just that. Lysander is convinced that he is supposed to love Helena.

    Reply

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