What Are Gender Roles In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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The idea of gender roles in society has been carried throughout many years. Gender roles bind a certain gender to live up to an expectation or image that society has created throughout centuries. In the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Hermia fights her father for the right to choose her own spouse. Theseus, Duke of Athens is forced to marry a woman he defeated in battle and now the King and Queen of Fairies are at battle with each other. This creates a battle of the sexes so intense that it disturbs the natural world. Men are usually expected to be more aggressive while women are to remain passive and calm, however Shakespeare shows us that this is not always the case when it comes to romance. Shakespeare reveals his theme through his characters by mocking the social standards created against them. Shakespeare also does this by having his characters go against the norms that are set and expected to follow. One of the ways Shakespeare reveals his theme is by having his characters mock social standards. One of the main conflicts within the story is love and wanting to be able to…show more content…
Helena is in love with Demetrius even though she knows that he does not love her back, yet she still continues to fight for him. “Fie, Demetrius! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. We cannot fight for love, as men may do. We should be wooed and were not made to woo.” (2.1.245-249) Here, Helena is pointing out that although it isn’t socially acceptable for women when it comes to love, she really doesn’t care. By doing this, Helena reveals the double standard when it comes to men and women. She also raises an interesting question. Why is it OK for women to “fight for love”, but it isn’t OK for women to do the same? Usually women are to remain passive and allow the men to be aggressive. Shakespeare uses Helena to show that this is not always the case when it comes down to love and

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