Shakespeare: Writing Assignment 2
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The women in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream are dominant and strong willed, completely different from women’s role during his lifetime. In this play and in others, Shakespeare wrote his women to be unlike the women of his time. This leads me to ask, did he deliberately write these women to be independent because he felt that this is how they should be treated in every day life?
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the first example of this strong female type is Hermia. Even though she is a woman, she is ignoring her father’s command to marry Demetrius and is planning on running away with Lysander. During Shakespeare’s time, the male was the head of household, so for a woman to disobey her father’s ruling was rare. In the play, her father, Egeus, takes her to the duke, Theseus, to set her straight. However, even after hearing the duke’s ruling, Hermia still plans on running away with Lysander. Mixed into this whole affair is yet another strong female presence, Helena. Helena is in love with Demetrius, and betraying Hermia’s trust in her, tells him of Hermia’s plan to run away in the vain hopes that it would regain his love. These actions show a strong will and independence to gain what she wants. In Elizabethan England, women were considered of lower station than men and therefore their wants most often went unfulfilled.
So often, when books or plays get made into movies, the whole story is butchered, and the final outcome is uninteresting. This is not the case for A Midsummer-Night?s Dream. The movie A Midsummer-Night?s Dream was extremely well acted out , and had an entertaining plot that kept its viewers intrigued. Its plot was fun and dream-like that kept its viewers entertained. The story line and critical ...
As the four entangled lovers retreat into the forest, the story introduces yet another powerful female figure in Titania, the queen of the fairies. She stands up to her husband, the king, during the debate over possession of the boy that was given to Titania. Not only does the fairy queen refuse her husband the right to take the boy from her, but she also voices her opinion of his former love to Hippolyta. She is a stubborn character and also acts rashly, when it comes to her magic-infused love for Bottom.
There is an argument to be made, however, that these characters have forceful personalities, but that it has no effect on their situation or status within the play, as was possibly the case with women during Shakespeare’s lifetime. The men of the play shuffle the women through relationships through the use of manipulation and magic. Helena is a good example of this with her chasing of Demetrius. It is clear that he has no interest in her and that his love is for Hermia, however she continues to pursue his love any which way she can, despite how he treats her. If so inclined, Helena could be used as an example of the “proper” way to handle women.
There is no way to truly know what Shakespeare’s intention was when writing his plays. We can infer from his plays and guess what his views were on topics like racism and equal rights for women based on how he wrote his characters, yet without building a time machine and going back to interview him, we will never actually know the intentions behind his writing.