Male Dominance in a Midsummer's Night Dream

1304 Words Feb 6th, 2013 6 Pages
To what extent is Shakespeare trying portray male dominance over the female characters, in A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
Almost in every play of Shakespeare we can see the dominance of males over women. In his plays women have no right to say what they think or what they want. They are always expected to be faithful to their fathers and husbands. They don’t have any freedom about their lives. However we know that this attitude of men against women in Shakespeare’s plays is a reflection of Renaissance society.
We can see the most remarkable examples of male dominance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play opens with a tragic event. Hermia who is in love with Lysander is forced to marry with Demetrius because of her father’s wish. According
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Women in this play see themselves as weak once they are married or once they have sworn their love to a man. Hippolyta, the warrior Queen, seems deflated with the fact that Theseus has captured her and wants to marry her. When Theseus proudly talks about how he had taken her by war, and how he couldn 't wait to get married, her only reply is that the days will pass by quick, demonstrating a lack of enthusiasm. Throughout the play, she doesn 't say much, and her opinion or preference is also not asked for, despite the fact that she, in her own right, is of extreme importance and influence.
Helena is shown as a faithful lover, but her dedication is at times, irritating. Helena chases Demetrius relentlessly, despite his cruel treatment of her. She appears, not mad at Demetrius for leaving her; but rather she blames herself for not being attractive enough.
When Lysander and Demetrius turn their affection towards Helena, she begins to think they are mocking her. This presents to the audience her lack of self-esteem. "And will you rent our ancient love asunder, to join with men in scorning your poor friend? It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly: Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it, though I alone do feel the injury"
Hermia and Helena are best friends and Helena explains their relationship as having two bodies but sharing one heart, ‘ Like to a double cherry, seeming parted, but yet an union in partition, two lovely berries moulded on one stem’. But
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