RWW/ D period
Women Powerless in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy by William Shakespeare that takes place in Athens, Greece and in the forest where chaos unfolds on four lovers: Hermia, Lysander, Helena, and Demetrius. In these relationships the men are in power, belittling the women. Also, in the forest chaos happens between the fairies, King Oberon and Queen Titania, because he puts a potion on her and other in which the men are in control of the society they are in. An example of patriarchy is in the relationships between Theseus and Hippolyta, Lysander and Hermia, and Demetrius and Helena when the men take control. Throughout the play the men have power over the women, as seen through the situations of Helena, Hermia, and Hippolyta. Helena is one of the three women who are treated poorly. She is in love with her old boyfriend, Demetrius, but he is in love with Hermia. Since he does not love Helena, he is mean to her as shown when he says, “For I am sick when I do look on thee.” (I.i.219) Oberon sees Helena being mistreated by Demetrius, and then he sends Puck to put a potion on Demetrius to make him woo her. Evidently he believes she is hopeless. By accident Puck puts the love potion on Lysander because he thought Lysander was Demetrius. As a result, Lysander and Demetrius fight over her as if she is a trophy, but she is a person with feelings they are making a mockery of her. Lastly, her marriage with Demetrius is not real because Oberon left the potion on Demetrius meaning that he is not really in love with Helena. Although it is not a natural marriage, Helena enjoys the “love.” The help of a man created the “marriage.” Another woman in this situation is Hermia, right away, her father, Egeus, controls her life. He wants her to marry Demetrius but she is in love with Lysander. Her father demands Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to apply the Athenian law which states a daughter must marry the...
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