Women in a Midsummer Night's Dream

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Just as society and human-beings in general, the female gender is incredibly diverse. Some people depict women as soft, powerless, naïve, and somewhat “inferior” to men. While I don’t necessarily agree with those assumptions, Shakespeare is known for writing plays that often exaggerate those traits. But, it seems as if he avoided gaining comfort within that specific style of writing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, deciding to give the female characters a bit of superiority. This sense of power (by Hermia & Helena for example) was often shown through determination and rebelliousness. Hermia has a very independent personality and seems to do what she feels is right for her. Her love for Lysander was too strong to abide by the commands of her father, Egeus, who wanted her to marry Demetrius instead. Egeus and Hermia both brought their reason-of-dispute to the Duke for guidance who then denied Hermia’s relationship requests as well. She, of course, disobeyed and continued to reach out for her desired love anyway. This is incredibly remarkable because Hermia refused to let the restrictions in her society “hold her down” and drag her from what she thought would deliver her happiness. Helena is also a fine example of a female, shaped by the hand of Shakespeare, who didn’t fit the past “naïve, weak, and inferior” criteria that he once lumped his female characters into. Helena was treated like a worthless, meaningless dog by Demetrius. But, these foul actions didn’t halt Helena or keep her from getting what she had set out to achieve. Demetrius’ love was her prime focus and she didn’t plan to quit trying to grasp a hold upon it. She was also a strong-willed woman with a dedicated attitude. How are these two women similar? They’re both independent, strong, superior, and full of determination. It’s clear that if there’s something that they want, they will put every ounce of their heart and soul into achieving it. They effortlessly defy the “norm” created for females. In...
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