Gender in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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The comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream used to be authored in 1595 or 1596 by William Shakespeare. It depicts the happenings surrounding the marriage of Theseus to the previous queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. It is obvious that gender war in Midsummer Night’s Dream does not appear to be the only comedian disorder in the description of the comedy. This is detected as a result of scenes and events that are foundations of comedian disorder like authoritative, status and stereotypes as well as personality relationships conflicts. This paper will focus on the dynamics of control and power between male & woman relationships in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While taking into consideration couples like Theseus / Hippolyta, Oberon / Titania, or the four Athenian lovers.

One of the depictions of gender and control is the conflict between Titania and Oberon. Titania is a defiant woman who does not give in to the wishes of her powerful husband. Oberon states “Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy lord?” (Shakespeare, 67) that imposes the impression that her wife Tatania must obey him and not be brazen as well as sarcastic. Titania responds to Oberon “Then I must be thy lady. But I know, when thou hast stolen away from Fairyland, and in the shape of Corin sat all day, laying on pipes of corn and versing love to amorous Phillida.” (Shakespeare, 68) in a tone of allegation condemning Oberon of not being faithful to her. Titania being a woman she is exercising power besides makes herself nearly equal to Oberon in their hither and thither arguments, though this offends Oberon since Tatania have a duty to be passive as well as submissive concerning his behaviors. Therefore, Oberon resolves to disgrace her to attain what he wants.

An element of a comical syndrome in the description of the comedy is the notion of men being powerful than their women. In addition, the theme of a man taking control over a woman has been covered in the relationship between Theseus and Hippolyta. Theseus says that he has “wooed thee with my sword, and won thy love doing thee injuries” (Shakespeare, 70) it does not matter if it is constructed from violent or textual content, it states the concept of men having the force and power to subdue as well as overpower women. As the queen of Amazons, Hippolyta indicates how this idea is strong since she could be a strong and powerful warrior herself. The father of Hermias has total power over her since she is merely a young woman. The fact that old men are the only people who held the great, authoritative positions in Athens also emphasizes the concept that men and the old rule the society (Wiegmann, 34).

Lysander’s advances cause comic disorder as they explore the idea of letting the characters’ sexuality free in the forest. This is funny to a male and female Elizabethan audience as Lysanders attempts to sleep with Hermia are quickly shunned by a prim Hermia who quickly guesses his hidden meanings. Another couple to cause comic disorder in the exposition are Helena and Demetrius, due to Helenas utter lust and adoration for Demetrius. This shows gender role reversal as Helena should be a lady who is wooed and pursued. An example of this being “We cannot fight for love as men may do. We should be wooed and were not made to woo” (Shakespeare, 72). Helena admits that she is consciously gendered role reversing, however, she will continue to do so until Demetrius loves her. This is comic as it shows how she attempts to seduce Demetrius fail time and time again and she uses very comic language to express her desperation for Demetrius to return her feelings (Wiegmann, 38).

In conclusion, it is true that Gender conflict is the central part of a comical syndrome in the elucidation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The conflicts between Egeus and Hermia, Oberon and Titania, Helena and Demetrius, Theseus and Hermia & Lysander and Hermia are all to do with issues between men and woman. These issues mainly being sexuality, power, and rights. Gender conflict is founded on the cultural beliefs that a number of societies have established regarding the roles women, as well as men, play in those societies. More conflict focuses on stereotypes as well as if dissimilar genders obey those stereotypes, therefore in A Midsummer Night’s Dreams, gender conflict is definitely something that appears a lot in the exposition

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. "A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ed." Harold F. Brooks (London: Methuen, 1979) 2 (1979)

Wiegmann, Mira. The Staging and Transformation of Gender Archetypes in A Midsummer Night's Dream, M. Butterfly, and A Kiss of the Spider Woman. No. 18. Edwin Mellen Press, 2003.

July 24, 2021

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