Patriarchal Role In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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During the 16th century in which William Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream was written, all roles, even those of women, were performed by men since women were not allowed to act. During that period, there was superiority of men over women, the society had a patriarchal structure and women were restricted to the private sphere. Αll these features of this particular period, are potrayed throughout the play by conlficts that occur between individuals of the opposite sex. But, the writer implies that the play is not purely patriarchal considering the fact that the female characters in it strongly resist to the demands of the male ones. Not accidentally, the play is set in ancient Athens where, according to the Athenian law, a woman has to marry the one that her father picked for her. From the very beginning of the play, Egeus begs "the ancient privilege of Athens" (1.1.41) to dispose his daughter Hermia as he sees fit and if she disobey, she will be executed (Chamberlain, 28). This clearly indicates that the society of the time was a patriarchal one. Hermia is treated as an object by her father. Theseus comes to…show more content…
But on the other hand, the decision for the approval of these weddings was taken by a man, Theseus. In the end, even though this is the decision of a man, and with the help of another man, that is Oberon, who both have a form authority as kings, yet it is not their own power that made this situation end up as it is, but that of magic and of love (since "the bolt of Cupid [. . . ] / [. . . ] fell upon [the] little western flower (2.1.165 -
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