William Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night 's Dream Essay

1257 Words6 Pages
William Shakespeare’s use of simile in A Midsummer Night’s Dream explicitly expressed hierarchy, power, and male dominance, which all contributes to shaping the relationships between many of his characters. This theme is echoed throughout the play as Shakespeare demonstrates the differences between male and female characters. In the opening scene, Hermia refuses to follow her father’s orders to marry Demetrius and instead, demands to stay with Lysander. To act on the situation, Egeus appeals to the duke, Theseus, to force his daughter to marry Demetrius. Turning to Hermia, Theseus then tells her: What say you, Hermia? Be advised fair maid. To you your father should be as a god, One that composed your beauties, yea, and one To whom you are but as a form in wax, By him imprinted, and within his power To leave the figure or disfigure it. Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. (Shakespeare 1.1.46-52) The simile being observed here compares Egeus, the father of Hermia, to a god. In this sense, a god is a very strong figure. The play is set in Athenian times when Greek gods were heavily portrayed, so this reference holds supremacy in its meaning. Shakespeare’s utilization of simile not only presents the problem at hand, but also works to outline an underlying theme of power while revealing how the characters seem to view each other. The use of simile early on in the play successfully shapes how influential Theseus appears to be above the other characters due to the hierarchical
Get Access