Gender Lens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare is a brilliant play that shows elements of romance, comedy, and magic. The play takes place in Athens, Greece in ancient times, when men and women had specific roles, jobs, and rules applying to their gender. For example, women were not allowed to perform in plays, when men were. There were also stereotypes of men and women, such as men being stronger, and women being prettier. These rules and stereotypes affect A Midsummer Night’s Dream in many ways. Gender’s rules, stereotypes, and roles are apparent in A Midsummer Night’s Dream because of it’s time period, and its culture. A Midsummer Night’s Dream shows many examples of how gender affects a relationship. For example, In these times, women were not allowed to love anyone, unless they were married. But, men were allowed to do whatever each one wanted when it came to relationships. This was seen throughout the play when Helena was betrayed by Demetrius and was presumed “damaged goods”. Helena was humiliated and looked at in a negative way, and Demetrius was not affected by the event. This shows how gender affects the rules and way of life in the play. Helena stated: You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. We cannot fight for love, as men may do. We should be woo’d and were not made to woo (2.1.243-246).
This quote implies that Helena is aware of how women do not have the same opportunities and freedom to fight as men do, and that
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