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Of course, a lot of this comes from the era that Shakespeare was writing in an as Carmen Stephen says; ‘The plays of Shakespeare can be used as a window upon Renaissance society.While Theseus is very controlling over Hippolyta, he does treat her well in the sense that he gives her a grand wedding and treats her well in light of the fact that she is in some ways a prisoner.“She is her father’s possession, “a form in wax” and “by him imprinted but within his power”, which means that she is neither allowed to develop her own interests nor to speak her mind.
Theseus is depicted as your typical great, strong male leader.
Extremely wise and powerful, he is looked up to by all of his subjects.
Even in the face of this however, Hermia decides to speak her mind stating, “So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will my virgin patent up. 79-82) “This shows that Hermia is not willing to fulfil her role as the loving daughter who is shaped by her father and follows his orders regardless of their consequences. 58-61) This shows what effects the masculine dominance that society supports still has on a very strong woman for her time.
Unto his lordship,whose unwished yoke, my soul consents not to give sovereignty. ” Without this decision, A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be a very short and boring play, as Hermia would marry Lysander, the plot wouldn’t be able to develop, and we would have no more drama to write interesting analysis on. Although she knows disobeying her father is what will truly make her happy, the pressures of society still leave her with a sense of guilt.
Next we see a new form of male dominance, that of a father over his daughter.
Hermia is just your average young girl who has fallen head over heals in love with a boy.
Egeus has already chosen a man named Demetrius whom he wants Hermia to marry. Male Dominance And Female Oppression in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Egeus states that, “As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman.
“Hippolyta I wooed thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key, With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling. i.16-19) What Theseus doesn’t realize is that Hippolyta is a oppressed captive, unhappily but respectively remaining silent in his presence.
Theseus’s inability to realize that Hippolyta isn’t happy to be his wife shows the masculine superiority complex that has oppressed woman for years and years, unwilling to take second and think of the possibility that woman may not desire to be controlled by men.