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The Love-in-idleness was originally a white flower, struck by one of Cupidâ€™s arrows, which turned it purple and gave it its magic love potion. This love potion, when dripped into someone elseâ€™s eyes, causes the individual to romantically fall madly in love with the next person at their first sight. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare uses this flower as a plot device to introduce the comical disturbance and chaos of love, but also to highlight the irrationality of romantic love and eventually to restore all romances that are present in the play.Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell: It fell upon a little western flower, Before, milk-white, now purple with love's wound, And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
© Shelley Aakjaer 2013
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