Male Domination in A MIdsummer Nights Dream
For many centuries women have been oppressed, and treated like second-class citizens.
Over the years, women have earned more rights and have been recognized as equals to men.
Although they have earned many things, there are still some signs of them being oppressed
by societies that are still mainly dominated by men. The period when Queen Elizabeth was
ruling over England was no different. She was a big supporter of William Shakespeare and
his acting company. William Shakespeare was one of the first feminist writers. William
Shakespeare wrote the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The women in the play have no power
and there is nothing they can do. The men use their power to control the women and almost
mess up many people’s lives. In the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William
Shakespeare, male domination is displayed in the relationships, Theseus winning Hippolyta,
Egeus controlling Hermia, and Oberon tricking Titania.
Theseus won Hippolyta in battle and doesn’t care about her feelings. Theseus is the Duke
of Athens and is the governing power of all the humans in the play. Hippolyta was the
Queen of the Amazons, but was then conquered by Theseus and his army.
“Hippolyta I wooed thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.” (1.1.16-19)
Theseus won her in death and destruction but will marry her with joy and happiness.
Hippolyta is now going to marry Theseus against her will. Theseus is in love with
Hippolyta and is convinced she loves him. Hippolyta is upset that she was taken away from
her old way of living and is now dreading the day when Theseus and her are married. “Four
days will quickly become immersed in night./ Four nights will quickly dream away the time”
(1.1.7-11). Hippolyta thinks that everything is moving too fast and wants time to think
about the marriage. To Theseus Hippolyta is a prize that he won in battle and she is his
to control. Hippolyta was pulled from her life as Queen of the Amazons, one that she
probably ruled and had say of what she did. Hippolyta is now forced into a life where she
has no say over one thing that happens to her. She is now going to be controlled by a man
and have no power whatsoever. Although Hippolyta was a woman of great power, she is now
reduced to a possession, and is owned by a man who can do with whatever he wants.
Egeus is controlling his daughter, Hermia, and would rather see her die than go against
what he wants. Hermia and Lysander are in love, and want to be married. Egeus doesn’t
approve of Lysander, and wants to make Hermia marry the man he approves of. Egeus doesn’t