Written during the Elizabethan era where gender roles played an important part in society and relationships, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare portrays the interaction between both sexes, and the women’s response to the expectation of such norms. Although the characters: Hippolyta, Hermia, Helena, and Titania, are portrayed as objects (both sexual and material) contingent upon their male lovers, they are also given empowerment.
During the Elizabethan Era, and present throughout MND, both men and women were expected to act according to the roles set upon them by their society. Men were dominant and superior in society, politics and intellect (Master’s). They often held high positions of authority in both domestic and social…show more content… He is referring to the war against her people, the Amazons, and taking her as a trophy in honor of his victory. She is now objectified as his possession and must marry the man that slaughtered her people without questioning or going against his wishes, for his authority in both society and law prohibit her to do so. The domineering relationship between subjugate and submission is a governing factor within the comedic realm of Athens. The theme of “Erotic desire and martial conquest are collapsed into one another in the Duke 's language.”(Rieger 73). However, Shakespeare gives her character sly control over her husband when she reinforces that Theseus await their marriage celebration (even though he has the authority to change the date of the wedding).
Female objectification is not only present in their relationships with a partner but with their parents as well. During Elizabethan Era it was customary for a women’s parents to arrange her marriage with an adequate suitor in order to uphold the family’s riches and social status. As seen in Hermia’s case, her father, Ageus, promises her to Demetrious. However, upon her refusal Egeus brings her before Theseus, duke of Athens, and demands that she comply to his wishes or answer to Athenian law stating that “…she is mine, [and] I may dispose of her,”(I.i.42), she is his possession for he created her and therefore owns her. Although she rejects his commands, Egeus has no regards for his daughter’s decisions because he “…cannot