May 31 2017

Why do fools fall in love?

Well, we are coming to the end of our study of Shakespeare and it’s time to finally figure out why people fall in love. Tonight, read the excerpt by Professor R.W. Dent below.  Then, listen to and view the video of “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.  Finally, write your own response based on your understanding of Shakespeare, the song, the critic, and your life.

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English, and don’t forget to respond to at least one other classmate’s response in this thread.

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream the origin of love never lies in reason. Love may be consistent with reason—e.g., Lysander is undeniably “a wor­thy gentleman”—and a healthy imagination, although influenced by love, will not glaringly rebel against reason. But as Hermia initially indicates, her choice is dictated not by her judgment but by her “eyes,” by the vision of Lysander as her love-dictated imagination reports it. As Helena says at the close of this same introductory scene, love sees with that part of the mind that has no taste of judgment. Essentially this is as true for Hermia as for the others, although her choice conflicts with parental authority rather than with sound evaluation of her beloved’s merits.

Dent, R. W. “Imagination in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”Shakespeare 400. Ed. James G. McManaway.New York: Holt, 1964.

MND blog #7

Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Posted May 31, 2017 by equinson in category Shakespeare

33 thoughts on “Why do fools fall in love?

  1. Toa Neil

    Why do people fall in love? That is an interesting question. There may be many reasons people “fall in love”. One reason is because genetics make people fall in love to produce children and keep the human race going. Another is because the people can trust and understand each other.

  2. tarika1

    The question “why do fools fall in love?” can be answered in many ways. I think this statement is false because anyone can fall in love. Like Hermia says, “love sees with that part of the mind that has no taste of judgment”, which means she believes in true love. This quote means when one is in love, they do not see the flaws in one person, like the Petrarchan lover complex. This statement could also be said by someone who has been hurt by love and is questioning why people in try to love.

  3. charlottes

    The question “Why do fools fall in love?” has many answers, depending on your opinions and beliefs. One reason is that people do not see the flaws in people and just fall head over heels in love, like the Petrarchan lover and Romeo. When you first see someone and don’t see any problems with them and fall in love, you can instantly assume they have no flaws. This is the starting point of the Petrarchan love story. Another reason may be that the human brain was made to love. If there wasn’t love, no one would have kids and where would the human race be today? Would there even be one? The simple explanation is that fools fall in love to make the future happen and continue the human race. In conclusion, fools fall in love for many reasons. It just depends where your standpoint is with love.

  4. faithw

    There is no exact reason why people fall in love. Shakespeare supports this idea in his play “ A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The love juice proves Shakespeare’s thoughts because a magic potion causing characters to fall head over heals in love is simply irrational. The song, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, also explains the concept that love and reason don’t always get along. The lyrics in the song contained many rhetorical questions such as “Why do fools fall in love?” and “Why do birds sing so gay?”. In fact, the title of the song was a question that the listeners never learned the answer to. Even the critic, Professor R.W. Dent, stated “love never lies in reason.” He also said “love sees with that part of the mind that has no taste of judgement.” In my opinion, love is a very complicated subject. I agree with Shakespeare that the origins of love are a mystery. There are many factors that cause one to fall in love with another, including genetics.

  5. alexo

    There is an obvious reason why people stay in love: genetics. We are programmed to want to mate, programmed to have kids. What I don’t quite understand is why we stay together. After sex has been had, after the kids have been raised, there is no clear reason why the couple stays together. In the end, it is a question that has just as many answers as the meaning of life: none. Love is truly just something a human emotion. Although this doesn’t quite answer the question, the reason that we fall in love is because we’re human.

    1. christophert3

      Alex. I must say that your answer is very…scientific. But I must disagree. We do not love simply cause we’re human. It is an emotion shared by all beings and it simply is how we think. That is my belief. We long for one that we love and, I guess, feels the same way.

  6. christophert3

    “Why fools fall in love?” is the same as asking “Why do people fall in love?” The answer is really just that people are inclined, just like all other beings, to find someone that completes them and makes them happy with their simple presence. But what is love? I believe that love is that force which makes someone feel happy when around someone. Love is also not just based on an outer appearance, but mostly on how you feel about the person’s personality. Basically, if everyone were blind, the person you felt happy when around would be the one you fell in love with. Thus, people fall in love because they want to. They don’t have to. There are many people in the world who live without having a mate or partner. It’s just that people often do. They have a life long companion who is loved more than anyone else. Those who are in love have a connection like no other.

    1. avae1

      I completely agree, Chris. Love is intended to create a happy bond between people, and is not solely based on appearance or beauty. Rather, that would be lust. Although there are still some people who never really find “love”, but can find a companionship all the same.

  7. sofiad1

    People fall in love for many reasons. From a medical standpoint, ou falls in love because of a chemical reaction in your brain that gives you this fuzzy feeling. From an emotional standpoint, it simply happens. In the song, it is the same as birds singing. In another song, (Only Us from Dear Evan Hansen, I reccomend you listen to it and then listen to the whole soundtrack, it is only an hour and a half) Evan and Zoe fall in love after he gets close to their family after the death of her brother. A lot of the time, love will stem from a previous relationship. The critic says that love stems from imagination. He is saying that your mind conjures up the idea of love. He also points out that your imagination also tells you who to fall in love with.

    1. francescaa

      The idea of love coming from ones imagination is a very interesting idea, especially since Puck questions reality vs fantasy in his last speech. Is it possible that love is a dream?

  8. avae1

    The question, “Why do fools fall in love” can have many answers or no answers at all, a true explanation is unknown. Usually when someone hears “love” they immediately think of a happy couple that may be spending their life together. Although this image is completely accurate, love is not limited to that idea. Love can be characterized as affection and happiness between people. Therefore one can also fall into a platonic love, which is considered more of love-like companionship but happiness all the same. Whether someone is in a romantic relationship or loves their friends, it is all to achieve that similar feeling of content and enjoyment when around others. In the song, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, that question and the lyric, “Why does the rain fall from up above?” are compared. This implies that the inquiries are of similar responses, simply, they just do. In our world love is expected and often achieved among people. So no one can truly explain it, yet they pursue it anyway. Fools and people are all the same, they all fall in love without a definite motive or understanding. However, once someone has fallen in love, it is difficult not to be full of contentment.

  9. francescaa

    I think there are many variables that affect what one thinks makes “fools” fall in love.The environment you were raised it definitely plays a role in your beliefs when it comes to love. For example, the affection your parents and grandparents have for one and other can sculpt what you are looking for in a partner. The person you fall in love with often has the qualities that you believe are necessary to have a good relationship, and you often model this based upon the relationships you have seen. However, some people fall in love by losing their logic and just going out there. I suppose that this idea appeals to the young and crazy type because they might not want their relationship to resemble the ones of their parents. Also, if you don’t have a particular characteristic you are looking for in a partner, what is holding you back? There are so many reasons why one would fall in love, and to name them all would be impossible. Although all relationships might start a different way, they should all end in happiness.

  10. caias1

    There is not really a clear reason as to why people fall in love. Scientifically, people fall in love to reproduce, but it may be for a totally different reason emotionally. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, many of the love triangles were created from flower juice. It caused the person whose eyes were anointed to fall in love with the first thing they saw. It made the whole love aspect of the play confusing, because no one seemed to really know who they were in love with. The love triangles made you question why they were “in love” with each other, much like the song by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers. In the song, the question “Why do fools fall in love?” constantly comes up. He is always asking why people fall in love to begin with. After reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, readers begin to forget why the four lovers loved each other in the first place.

  11. marinas1

    “Why do fools fall in love?” is a loaded question. In Professor R.W. Dent’s excerpt, he says that Hermia does not fall in love with Lysander beaches of his worthiness, but because of her eyes, which, in this case, have more of a say than reason or logic ever did. This in itself says a lot about love. Love has absolutely nothing to do with reason (although Lysander ironically says the opposite when he falls in love with Helena due to a love potion). It is a connection you may feel with another person, and that person could be anyone on this planet. No one thinks and “weighs their options” before falling in love with someone else. In nearly every case, no one can help it. For example, in a book I have recently read, “The Kite Runner”, the main character falls in love with a girl and repeatedly goes to see her, even when he shouldn’t. The same can be said for “Romeo and Juliet”, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and continue their relationship, even though it is against their parents’ consent. In this way, most people fall in love without any reasoning whatsoever, letting their eyes trump their logic.

    The mentioning of eyes reminds my of the saying “love at first sight”. This, applied to Professor R.W. Dent’s analysis of Hermia falling in love with Lysander, makes an incredible amount of sense. From a romantic perspective, everyone falls in love without thinking about it; they just have to see the other person to know. However, this certainly can not be applied to every single situation. In “Pride and Prejudice”, it takes the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, quite some time to fall in love with Mr. Darcy, her (eventual) significant other.

    Additionally, one portion of the song “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” was quite riveting as well. The lyrics state “why does my heart skip a crazy beat for I know it will reach defeat”, clearly questioning why our hearts skip a beat even though it will eventually stop completely. The same can be said about love. Why do we love, for, in the end, either divorce or death will part one from another? This, frankly, is an utterly depressing thing to think about, although it may be completely true. However, repeating what has been said before, we fall in love not thinking about the future and all it has in store. Anyway, does it really matter if death or hate part you? If one feels so strongly about another person at a certain time, can one not revel in the pure idea of that love, and have that be completely okay? In the end, then, everyone is not, in fact, a fool for falling in love, but an optimist, smiling in the face of on outcome that may not be all too jubilant.

  12. willowm

    The question itself is complex because there is not one correct answer. I believe that people fall in love seeking someone that makes them happy. However, this idea of love is sometimes clouded. In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” it was obvious that the love resulting from the potion was not sincere. In the song “Why Do fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers she questions, as implied by the title, why people fall in love. She says “Love is a losing game and love can be a shame.” She also says “Why does my heart skip a crazy beat when I know it will reach defeat.”
    This song addresses the point made by Professor R.W. Dent that “love never lies in reason.”

    1. eshap

      I agree, the love sparked from the potion was not real. It only made the person affected by it think they were in love, and that too, by reason. Lysander had claimed to have fallen in love due to reason, however, that is not how a person should be in love. Hermia saw Lysander as her love in her mind, and that is why she loves him.

  13. arihantp1

    Love is a deep feeling of affection. It is a chain of chemicals in our brain that urges us to breed. According to Shakespeare, love can be a confusing mess, as seen in Midsummer NIght’s Dream. A love square had occurred between Hermia, Helena, Demetrius, and Lysander. Shakespeare also had shown people fall in love with their eyes and not their mind. In “Romeo and Juliet,” Friar Lawrence lectures Romeo on how he quickly changed his love interest based on looks. Shakespeare claims people fall in love by how attractive they are, while in reality he wants young people to fall in love not by looks, but by what they have to offer, as he shows in his plays.

  14. margauxc

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that lovers are, essentially and perpetually, fools. Love is a double-edged sword of sorts… a nebulous, euphoric adventure which draws us forth like a moth to a flame. In love, the hand of cards dealt may not be as auspicious as the hand of the person sitting next to you; And so, it is because of that, will love seem to be much easier for the incisive daredevil and much more precarious for the starry-eyed dreamer.

    An intricate weaving of elements is trodden upon throughout most of Shakespeare’s works. The four Athenian lovers of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” depict both the folly and mirth which follows love. However, the two star-crossed lovers of Verona epitomize the tragedy and mortality which inevitably follows love. Together, both plays reveal both the benefits and tradeoffs of tender attachment. Yet, if the risks of love are as substantial as they are portrayed to be, why do fools rush in? Or, as inquired by the great Frankie Lymon, “Why do fools fall in love?” Is it the desperation to turn straw into gold? Perhaps it might be the hymn of adventure which drones over our judgement- urging for us to hunt for love’s treasures? The impulse to take a sad song and make it better?

    According to Professor R.W. Dent, “the origin of love never lies in reason.” Lack of better judgment is fundamentally at fault- (not to mention the worship of ideals, which further fuels the instinctual aspects of love). Scientifically, once could say that the amygdala (which is responsible for the reaction of certain stimuli), the hippocampus (which deals with the regulation of emotions), dopamine, and the prefrontal cortex (which is responsible for the development of decision making skills) are all at fault in regards towards what makes us fall in love.

  15. ilyssal

    Why do fools fall in love you may ask? The question may be simple, but the answer for sure is not. In regular life, the explanation may seem complex, but in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, love is based off of a potion and magic. The special flower that has been struck with cupid’s arrow is what makes love possible in Shakespeare’s play. It is the deciding factor for who falls in love with who. The serum instantly acts as a drug to make the person who it has been applied to fall in love with the first thing they see after being induced. Thoughts of cupid and the magic of love make me question, what is the true purpose of love if it is planned. Love should be something that happens spontaneously, not the way it occurred in the play.

  16. maddy

    Love is an emotion stemmed from the animalistic instinct to procreate. This is why it is a societal expectation. Although love is merely a man-made concept purposed to encourage reproduction, there are a variety of reasons for loving someone. Oftentimes, love is felt due to the fear of being lonesome or discontent. Society perpetuates that without romantic love, one will experience these emotions; thus not being able to live a truly complete life. Additionally, it is true that one may feel love due to the romantic admiration of another’s presence and qualities. Love is a very complex, multifaceted emotion. There are many answers to the inquiry of why humans feel love.

  17. laurena2

    “Why do fools fall in love?” This is a question that has been around for many years. Like many other questions, there is no particular answer to this one. True love is an emotion that is uncontrollable. Love is a natural instinct among all animals. We all are here to love and mate, which is where the instinct to love comes from. Most of the time, it is extremely difficult to channel our emotions. Therefore, it is merely impossible to answer the question “Why do fools fall in love?”

  18. Georgeoverall

    People fall in love in the most peculiar ways. This is because humans are the most irrational creatures on the planet. In turn love is very irrational as well. You can see this very well in both a midsummernights dream and Romeo and Juliet. If they were rational their love would be directed at the person that it was supposed to be at. Juliet at Paris, Lysander at Helena, and Demetrius at Hermia. Notwithstanding the overall outcomes of the story their love was very irrational and in a way selfish. If Juliet had loved Paris she would have spared herself, Romeo, Paris, Mercuito, and Tybalt. In turn if the lovers had loved who they needed tp the whole conflit of the story could have been avoided. People that love are a victim of chance and not circumstance. This makes people irrational and selfish because then they start to only worry about their love and not anyone else. Disregarding live, others love, and the fate of households.

  19. eshap

    “Why do people fall in love?” There are many reasons why a person may fall in love, such as personality, or looks, and maybe even logic. For people to have a chance of falling in love is lucky. Some people never have the chance, for their marriages are arranged. They may eventually love one another, but it wasn’t the reason they are together. Their parents pushed them together out of logic and reason, what might be best for the family. People in love have their own reasons for being together.

    In Professor R.W. Dent’s excerpt, he gives his opinion on what he thinks will make someone fall in love. He puts down the idea of reason, claiming that even though Lysander was a worthy gentleman, Hermia does not choose him for that reason. Instead, she falls in love with him through her eyes. Professor Dent claims that a person falls in love with someone when they see them how their mind imagined their love to be. According to Professor Dent, Hermia’s imagination of who her love would look like caused her to fall for Lysander. Professor Dent puts down the idea that reason is the cause for love, since that is not always the case. For someone to fall in love due to reason must mean that it is not truly love that made them fall for someone. Only when all thoughts of reason are pushed aside can a person fall in love with someone.

    Throughout the song, there was a repetition of the lyrics, “Why do fools fall in love?”, since that is name of the song. What is interesting about this line is that the artist used the word “fools” instead of “people”. The word “fools” could have been chosen to show that only fools would not know that falling in love can cause heartaches. One set of lyrics that stood out to me was, “Love is a losing game and love can be a shame.” Fools who fall in love, not knowing the consequences if it turns out wrong, commit themselves, only to find out that something went wrong. They find out that their love will not last, making them fools for falling in the first place. It only takes one person to make a mistake in love, and the other person loses the one they love. That person feels foolish for falling in love, almost ashamed that they didn’t see what might happen. In addition, a person may be foolish for being in love since the other might not feel the same way. For example, Romeo had fallen in love deeply with Rosaline, however she did not love him in return. He was a fool for not realizing that their love could never work if only one person was in love. Furthermore, Romeo should have known that his love with Juliet would not have worked. Being from two different houses, who have such a deep hate for each other, should have been a sign that something could go wrong. It was their ignorance to the situation that ended up getting them killed.

    1. alekhya

      Well Esha. I guess that’s the power of love. A force that can turn sensible, intelligent people into ignorant fools.

      Romeo and Juliet fell in love with each other knowing the consequences; the chances of them being killed. So one may say that this decision named them as fools.

      Or that it is a sign of how strong the power of love is.

  20. Rebecca F

    While I do not consider myself an expert, I believe that there are two main reasons for why people fall in love.
    The first is to produce offspring. Even in today’s changing society, it can be considered shameful when a person fails to marry and have children. While I acknowledge that this is a heteronormative and cynical worldview, it still exists. I think that we also feel a need to start a family, an intrinsic instinct which dates back to the Stone ages, when life revolved around a human’s baser needs. While this may be a reason why people fall in love, it better explains why people lust.
    The second reason, less cynical reason, for why I believe that people fall in love is because they wish to be less lonely. When people truly fall in love, it should be because they have a connection and a deep bond with each other. As John Steinbeck says, “We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — ‘Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought,'”. People are social creatures and were not meant to be lonely, a sentiment that is found even in the Bible. We make friends with whom we can relate. So when we find that person who truly understands us, we fall in love with them. Not for what they look like, but for who they are.
    When Helena falls in love with Lysander, she says that she falls in love with him not though reason and careful judgement but with her eyes. She did not systematically catalogue the cons and pros of being with Lysander or make a chart listing his attributes. She fell in love unreasonably, with a coincidently decent man.
    Hermia falls in love much the same way. She loves Demetrius despite what he says or does. Even when he threatens her with bodily harm and repeatedly tells Hermia to leave him alone, she continues to pie after him. She loves him despite the fact that she may be better off with someone else, defying all reason and logic.
    As I’m fairly certain someone had said, love is a fickle thing. It is mad and refuses to conform to rationale. While we can try to define why people fall in love, quoting philosophers and conducting extensive experiments, it’s unreasonable, that crazy little thing called love.

  21. ivanl

    “Why do fools fall in love?” This is a question with many possible answers. Some may claim to be attracted to someone by their good looks or personality. Others may say that love is erratic and random, and I would say Shakespeare sees it this way. As seen with the four lovers, their love is very easily altered with a love potion. They are initially attracted to one another because of good looks, for the eyes dictate their love choices. As for Romeo, he was in love with Rosaline in the beginning of the play, and just like that, when he saw Juliet, lost all interest in Rosaline and started pursuing Juliet. As for the song, it also seems to think that love is random. Throughtout the song, the lyrics “Why do fools fall in love?” are said over and over. The singer seems to believe that these “fools” just so happen to fall in love, in the same way rain falls from above.

  22. alekhya

    As the song goes, “Why do birds sing so gay and lovers await the break of day, why do they fall in love?” The question of why people fall in love will never have a right answer and is as illusive a question as to why birds sing so brightly. Professor R.W. Dent believes that love does not lie in reason but a love-powered imagination. To prove his point he uses Hermia’s love for Lysander as an example. Hermia claims that she does not love Lysander because he is logically a better option than Demetrius, but because he fits what she has always imagined to be her true love. She has determined this through her eyes, as she asks her father to look at the situation through her eyes; the eyes that love Lysander. “I would my father looked but with my eyes.”

    I do believe that Shakespeare is trying to tell us that love is unpredictable and that it cannot be controlled. As Rebecca Finney said in her blog that humans are lonesome creatures, when they do find the one who drives out all of their loneliness and makes them feel like are complete and whole; they will do anything to protect that. When people fall in love they feel that they have found their perfect other half as represented by Romeo and Juliet. Upon meeting Juliet and Romeo seem to have been awoken from a deep slumber and are so in sync with each other that for both of them it seems to good to be true. I guess what Shakespeare is trying to say about love is that even as the world changes love will always be the same, in the way it is so empowering and will drive people to their own ends. That people will always yearn for that person who completes them.

  23. briannag3

    The question of why people fall in love is a question with multiple answers. I believe that love is a feeling of attraction to someone. An attraction so strong that you need them in your life and talking to them makes you happy. However, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this is not the case on most occasions. Love in this play is based on potions and magic and most of it is fake. The fact that the love created by the flower shows how fake it is, because you can’t just get tid of real love that easily. Loving someone else is something that you can almost never get rid of, because in my eyes love is the most powerful emotion. It drives people to do things, like shown in “Romeo and Juliet”. In the end of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” I liked the fact that they were all happily married, but there was always something on my mind. I couldn’t really enjoy their happy lives because I knew the “love” Demetrius had for Helena was fake. His love for her was all because of a magic love potion that could still be reversed. And the fact that it can be taken away at the blink of an eye shows exponentially more how fake it is! Loving someone in real life is very different from how Shakespeare makes it out to be in this play because in the play love is flimsy, and can be changed, removed, created by will. That isn’t how it works in the real world. Love is a powerful emotion that can’t just be forgotten and thrown away, or created in a day. Love is something you feel, and you know when you love someone because it’s such a strong feeling that you can’t shake it. It’s something that sticks with you forever.

  24. Tyler Newby

    “Why do fools fall in love?” This question has been around for a very long time but does not have a simple answer. One could say that humans fall in love because of the way their brains are programmed, that humans fall in love to mate and reproduce. However, this does not answer the emotional aspect of love. It was mentioned many times in the book that love comes from the part of the brain that understands no judgement. For humans love is not just an instinct, but an emotion. Many people fall in love with someone for no particular reason, but they are attached to them emotionally.

  25. Kat

    I think the answer to the question “Why do fools fall in love?” is obvious. Fools fall in and out of love so that they can be in and out of love. Love is an event. To be in love is to be happy, but also worried, and full of content. When fools are out of love it their goal is to find new love. I think that the real question is “why do humans fall in love?”. I think that this is different from asking why fools fall in love. If we say fools then that is the reason they fall in love because they are fools. Because they are fools they are making a mistaking and falling in love. That’s why I think that is an easy question because it seems somewhat biased. I think that by saying fools we are implying that love is bad and anyone who is in love is stupid. I do not think this true. I think that love is often stupid, and just a game we all play. However I think that love is also an important part of life because it contributes towards are happiness. I think that is why many people say that love is our goal in life. To give love to others and to be loved by others is what makes life great.

  26. adam

    Love is infinite. There is no clear-cut reason for Fools falling in love. There are many types of love. The person who beautiful and believe you love. There is the person you don’t really know but somehow have feelings for them. Reproduction is not the only reason for emotional love. Instincts and impulse. Fools however to not only attract to other fools, but to normals as well. Opposites attract, and fools are capable of love with someone who is not a fool. But, fools may fall in love with eachother because their impulses change too quickly and they do not know when they are making the right choice or not. So, when two fools are in love they may not be truly committed and their relationship may fluctuate more than others .


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