Theseus and Hippolyta

Topics: Love, Romance, Romance novel, Romeo and Juliet / Pages: 3 (647 words) / Published: Jan 17th, 2014
Claudia Radu
26.03.2012

The Significance of Hippolyta and Theseus

Hippolyta and Theseus are two of the main characters of the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare, where the two are engaged to each other. Even though they are both fairly absent during the play and only appear in each other’s presence, they bring great significance during the play. Hippolyta, queen of the amazons, represents power and authority. Theseus is the heroic duke of Athens who “wooed” Hippolyta with his sword and symbolizes order and power. Both characters are appear mainly at the begging and at the end of the play, raptured from the dream like events in the forest.

Hippolyta and Theseus represent one of the many types of couples that are presented throughout the play. They represent a couple that battles each other for power, trying to dominate each other. Hippolyta contributes to the play in Act V, where she stands up to her fiancé, Theseus. After listening to the story the Athenian’s tell about the night before in the forest, Theseus and Hippolyta disagree upon whether or not the tale was true. During the Elizabethan age, it was common practice for the wife to be more of a silent partner, having no business to stand up to men and argue with them. Shakespeare portrays and extreme case, where Hippolyta is the queen of the amazons, descending from a long line of warrior, strong women, who protected the men.

Even though Hippolyta has a forceful nature, Theseus falls in love with her due to her feminine charm and grace. Theseus is completely smitten with her and quickly becomes the object of his affection. The fact that Theseus puts his weapon down, the object that gave him authority over her, and marries her represents the fact that he eventually surrenders his power to her. By the end of the play, Hippolyta gains even more power than she had in the beginning. She is not only the queen of the amazons, but also becomes the duchess of Athens.

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