Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream is An Elizabethan Era Play with a Greek Twist

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An Elizabethan Era Play with a Greek Twist 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. The Elizabethan era was approximately 1558-1603. During this period …show more content…
Shakespeare infuses his own ideals into his fairy characters in order to make them a bit more Shakespearean. He keeps the Elizabethan ideals of beauty and nature, and makes his fairies small and with wings. Shakespeare?s use of fairies in his play proved to be a popular move amongst not only those in Elizabethan England, but readers since. In Shakespeare?s play, numerous examples were given as to how the women are treated like second class citizens. Those examples are concurrent with the Elizabethan time period pertaining to the rules of dating and marriage, respect for elders, and obedience to figures of authority. Children were the property of their parents, and gave them the respect that a servant might give to his master. This was a time when male domination was the norm. In this patriarchal society, women had very little, if any, choice in whom their husbands were to be. In order for families to benefit, marriages were arranged. Shakespeare demonstrates this in the relationships between the dominant Theseus, Egeus, and Oberon and the characters they attempt to control. Egeus demands that his daughter, Hermia, must either marry Demetrius or answer to Athenian law. Theseus orders that if Hermia does not marry his son, she will face death or be sent to a nunnery. Oberon, the king of fairies, after arguing with his Titania over an Indian boy, decides that he will disregard her wants and attempt to control her without
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