Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare shows examples of the roles assigned to men and women inthe society.
Some of its themes embody the objectifying of women that submit tomale power and dominance over them, forcing them to follow males’ orders and doas they are told. One of the exciting things in the play is how it shows thecontinuously fluctuating relationship between men and woman and how love andtrust between them are not everlasting and that men usually become theauthority figures at some point. There are similarities to the relationships wehave today in our society to what is shown in the play. Throughout the play, men maintainedtheir control over women in various ways including violence. An example of thisin the play lies in how Egues preferred to have his daughter Hermia die than todisobey him and follow her own heart and be responsible for her actions.
Hermiafell in love with Lysander and wanted to marry him, but Egues did not approveof Lysander and wanted his daughter to marry another man he liked and approvedof without giving any consideration to Hermia’s feelings or desires. Because ofthis, Egeus went into the forest to ask for help from Theseus, :”I beg theancient privilege of Athens: As she is mine, I may dispose of her, which shallbe either to this gentleman or to her death, according to our law immediatelyprovided in that case (1.1.5-9)”. Egues’ actions show that he thought of hisdaughter as a female who is insensible and unable to make proper judgments onher own despite the fact that the man of his choice as a husband for her wasmere because he liked the man, not for his ability to bring her happiness.
InShakespeare’s play though, Helena took the role of a man, which brought mixedfeelings of humor and sympathy to the audience that knew how oppressed womenwere in that era but also understood the main idea of Shakespeare who tried topromote equity between both genders through this part of the play. Despite thefact that women are more powerful today than they were then, they will never betreated equally or be valued as they should. Part of this is due tostereotyping or the fact that in our genes we believe women are not as high oras worthy as men are.