Figurative Language In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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In the first Act of A Midsummer Night's Dream, main characters are introduced in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the play. Egeus' first speech, found on lines 23 to 46, is a perfect example of this; through his speech themes of domination and control, and his accusatory themes, he affirms the accepted positions of power of his time. Language and grammar used here all give the reader an important first impression. Starting with the first line, Egeus states "Full of vexation come I". By placing the phrase "full of vexation" first, the vexation — vexation over the disobedience of his daughter — is emphasized. Such disobedience would be vexing due to its disobedience to the great chain of being, which demands obedience to fathers. A need for order is reasserted in the second line with the use of highly possessive phrases such as "my child" and "my daughter". Egeus uses the possessive ‘my' frequently, and always to establish a chain of command. This is most often seen when Egeus uses phrases such as "my child" (line 24, 28, 30), "my daughter" (line 24). These statements place Egeus above his daughter, commanding respect and, more pertinently, obedience from her. However, Egeus also frequently uses the phrase "my…show more content…
Despite placing the blame for this situation on Lysander, saying that it was with cunning that he "flinch'd my daughter's heart, turn'd her obedience...to stubborn harshness"(line 37,38) and that he "bewitched the bosom of my child" (line 28), Egeus does not suggest that any punishment should be put forth for Lysander for interfering with the planned marriage. This could be that because Lysander is not part of Egeus' family, Egeus does not have control over Lysander; it could also be that Egeus believes that a truly obedient daughter would follow her father's command regardless of any other person's

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