The 1500’s were a turbulent time for women. Throughout history, women were perceived as second-class citizens to men, and that the man dominates society. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare adds to this by creating female characters that further cement stereotypes. Even though Shakespeare creates emphasis on the stereotypes of females, he stresses the bond of womanhood. This bond is broken as soon as men and love come into the picture. The most important female characters in the play are Hippolyta, Titania, Hermia, and Helena. They started out as strong role models and “evened out” over the course of the play. William Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night’s Dream highlights patriarchal thinking and how female bonds can be broken,
Many people have the opportunity to unfollow and to look away from what society expects from a person; people often tend to misunderstand the importance of liberty. Can people love who they desire within any setting? How does society shape one’s character? Love has been omnipresent, transcending time and space for millennia, and individuals in always find their own love whether it will be a man or a women or even an “ass”. Love, a very powerful emotion, manifests itself in one’s feelings towards them or something. Society has a huge impact on this though, society will make one show different feelings to someone. Romantic love can threaten societal structure since love causes women to defy men, and in a patriarchal society, this cannot
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.
Shakespeare may be the most known playwright of all time, however, you may be surprised at how many unfair stereotypes this very famous writer incorporated into his plays. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy play written by William Shakespeare in the late 1500s that portrays events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to the extravagant Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons. Such events included Demetrius jilting Helena at the altar and falling in love with Helena’s rival instead, Hermia. However, Hermia is in love with Lysander, not a disdainful youth known as Demetrius. According to feminist theory, the theory that focuses on gender inequality. A Midsummer Night’s Dream would not be considered a feminist empowerment play because throughout the play Shakespeare portrays women as timid/easily frightened. He shows men having more power than women, and perpetuates the unfair stereotype that all women must act a certain way.
Women have a specific role throughout the Elizabethan society and are known as inferior. In Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Nights Dream, women are told how to act by men, that reveals superiority towards men. This is portrayed by the characters-Hermia, Helena, and Titiana throughout the play. These characters were represented as powerless and blind because they fail to receive what they what and are told what to do countless amounts by the men in the play. Women's’ inferiority in the play makes it impossible for them to achieve true happiness attributable to the superiority the men in the play believe they have.
The advantage a man has in an argument against a woman is undeniable; however, that does not mean the woman is completely powerless in the situation. In William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, male characters clearly command the stage with such dominance that their voices and power seem to be more important than the females; nevertheless, in certain scenes, the females hold their own with their actions and words. In the middle of Act 1 scene, 1 Egeus rushes on stage making a commotion about how his daughter Hermia will not marry the man he chose for her to marry, but Hermia’s courage to speak up for her rights shows that women have power too. When Theseus hears Egeus’s problem, he is automatically on his side because he is male,
At the time, Lysander and Hermia were completely smitten with each other. But her father Egeus disapproved of their relation and wishes for Hermia to marry Demetrius. He comes to Theseus with these concerns and uses his Athenian rights to chose the man his daughter wed. Disrespecting his daughter’s feelings and clearly biased against Lysander, Egeus went so far as to dishonor him before the duke and force Hermia into a position where she must follow his wishes, die or become a nun. Hermia refuses every option, but their love is clearly disrupted with this great obstacle. In contrast to Egeus’ claims of Lysander’s trickery, Hermia and Lysander are clearly devoted to each other. Hermia clings onto their love and Lysander comforts her in a manner that gives him the reputation of a romantic. Before concluding, “So quick bright things come to confusion”, he says that “The course of true love never did run smooth” (Shakespeare, P15). Love brings happiness, it nourishes the soul and completes one’s heart, but it can fall short just as easily and bring about even greater hate. Another example of this involves the Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of fairies respectively. They start off as a separate layer in this play and though their fondness for each other isn’t described as thoroughly, their conflict stands
The forest in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is used as a green space, a place where the social norms don’t apply. At the time of writing, Shakespearean England was ruled by a female monarch, Queen Elizabeth the 1st who was only the 2nd queen of England in their own right. This power held by a woman at the time was not the norm, women were subservient of men.
William Shakespeare wrote the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, sometime in the 1590's. The play, a romantic comedy, portrays the adventures of four young lovers, an amateur actor's group, their interactions with a Duke and Duchess, and with fairies in a moonlit forest. Although Shakespeare used certain themes in this play to portray Greek aspects, the reflection of Elizabethan England is dominant in several different ways. Shakespeare's use of fairies, the way women are treated, and the use of a class system in this play are all perfect examples of how very Elizabethan this beloved tale actually is.
Love is a term used daily in one’s life. Many categorize love in many forms. These forms differ from one-another such as the difference between love for food and love for one’s spouse. However, in the play; “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, love takes different forms than the ones experienced in reality. One can classify the different types of love used in this play into three different categories; true love, love produced by cupid’s flower, and the state of lust.
Shakespeare's works have persistently influenced humanity for the past four hundred years. Quotations from his plays are used in many other works of literature and some common phrases have even become integrated into the English language. Most high schoolers have been unsuccessful in avoidance of him and college students are rarely afforded the luxury of choice when it comes to studying the bard. Many aspects of Shakespeare's works have been researched but one of the most popular topics since the 1960s has been the portrayal of women in Shakespeare's tragedies, comedies, histories and sonnets.
In Midsummer Night 's Dream, the story starts with Theseus, duke of Athens, engaged to Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. While preparing for their wedding, Theseus is confronted by Egeus, who brings criticism about his daughter Hermia, who refuses his wishes to marry Demetrius, for she is in love with Lysander. Egeus demands that either Hermia respects his wishes or be punished by the Athenian law. While Hermia is in love with Lysander and vice versa, Demetrius is in love with Hermia and ignores Helena, Hermia 's childhood friend, unrequited love.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes place in Athens where the the Duke Theseus and the Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta are set to get married. Following this we see the fruition of two more plots of love, Helena, Lysander, Demetrius, and Hermia and the king and queen of the fairies Oberon and Titania. The plot I am going to focus on will be that of the four lovers, the complication and the conflict that they’re love causes. The conflict begins when “Take time to pause, and by the next new moon—the sealing day betwixt my love and me
He needs her too, so he wins the boy for himself to make her feel inferior. In other words, Titania gave up something that she loved to make her husband happy. This is seen in everyday life, women give up their wants to make their men happy. Titania's sacrifice for Oberon cost her to lose both her Indian boy and his mother, her women lover. When men don't make women happy, they turn to their friends for what they need, whatever it may be. (Scott 370-373) Male domination not only exists between husband and wife, but also between father and daughter. Theseus will not allow Hermia to marry Lysander. Theseus wants her to marry Demetrius. Egeus, a ruler, will force Hermia to become a nun unless she marries Demetrius. In retaliation to his demands, Lysander and Hermia run away together. Hermia is scolded by Egeus for being in love with the man she chooses. This suggests that men cause women to feel forced and obligated to do as they say. (Scott 373) Another example of male domination is the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta. Theseus' first wife was frail and yielding, and he divorced her. Hippolyta has been a warrior, and Theseus' victory over her makes her unable to resist. By conquering the female warrior and marrying her, he fulfills his need for the exclusive love of a woman while satisfying his homoerotic desires. Close bonding fulfills this homoerotic desire with a male companion, such as Demetrius and
Shakespeare and the members of the Elizabethan era would be appalled at the freedoms women experience today. The docility of Elizabethan women is almost a forgotten way of life. What we see throughout Shakespeare’s plays is an insight into the female character as perceived by Elizabethan culture. Shakespeare’s female characters reflect the Elizabethan era’s image of women; they were to be virtuous and obedient and those that were not were portrayed as undesirable and even evil.