Gender Roles In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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“And though she be but little, she is fierce” -William Shakespeare. In today’s day and age, one of the greatest topics of debate is gender roles. It is evident everywhere, from cyberspace to the streets of home, from online petitions to marches across the country such as the Women’s March. Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan Era of England, where Queen Elizabeth I, the virgin queen ruled. At that time in history, the status quo and social norm was simple. Patriarchy was the predominant force as men were regarded as superior to women, both in society as well as the relationship scene. Shakespeare attempted to change this perception through his multiple works of literature. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare uses the theme of gender roles to express the idea that the status quo and social norm in the Elizabethan era can be challenged through courtship, father-daughter relationships, and wedlock. The play commences with the courtship of multiple individuals.

First, Shakespeare challenged the policies of the day was through examining the role of courtship using the single women of the play, Helena and Hermia. One way was through the belief that women should have the right to reject men. Hermia says: “I do entreat your grace to pardon me/I know not by what power I am made bold/Nor how it may concern my modesty In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;/But I beseech your grace that I may know/The worst that may befall me in this case/If I refuse to wed

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