Accepting Decisions In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, women are rewarded for accepting the decisions of others and repressing their own desires. This is a conscious choice on his behalf, as all of the female characters initially make their own decisions and then are punished into letting others make decisions for them. For example, Hermia, Helena, Titania, and Hippolyta are all disobedient women in some degree. Hermia’s refusal to accept any decision other than her own regarding her marriage, Helena’s redirected love for Demetrius and revealing the elopement, Titania’s determination to care for her adopted son, and Hippolyta’s mythological history are all sources of their condemnation by the men attempting to control them. All are forced to suffer in some way, until Helena, Titania, and Hippolyta succumb to the pressure to repress their pursuance of their desiderata. Hermia insists upon deciding for herself whom she will marry. Hermia’s father, Egeus, actively strips his daughter of her choice of husband: “I beg the ancient privilege of Athens, / As she is mine, I may dispose of her: / Which shall be either to this gentleman [Demetrius] /…show more content…
Of the only fourteen times she speaks in this play, none of them indicate unhappiness or angst regarding the impending marriage. She hints at some vague sadness in the very beginning of the play: “And then the moon, like to a silver bow / Now bent in heaven, shall behold the night / Of our solemnities” (1.1.10). Shakespeare’s choice to not give her any lines indicating discomfort reinforce the idea that women are rewarded for accepting the decisions of others and repressing their own desires. He deliberately suppresses aspects of her character that have been implied with her character’s mythological roots, and replaces them with a character supportive of his message regarding female choice in A Midsummer Night’s
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