Free Research Paper on A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Elizabethan Era: Male and Female relationships compared to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:
William Shakespeare made a great contribution into the world literature and his works are popular irrespective of time.
The Elizabethan era is considered the golden age of the Renaissance. The play presents the intricate plot with Greek characters, and characters that represent typical English folklore and typical English craftsmen. Shakespeare aimed to show the peculiarities of the Elizabethan epoch and the impossibility of treating women the way they were treated in the society in that time, the relations between male and female characters concerning marriage and love. Author tried to show women’s nature and their desire to take decisions independently.
William Shakespeare, one of the most brilliant authors in the world, went down in the history of English literature as a classic, whose awesome plays touch upon eternally important subjects. Being written in the 16th century, his plays are performed repeatedly, and every epoch presents its perception of Shakespeare plays. Though in many of his plays William Shakespeare covered topics that were very acute in his time, people are fascinated by the characters and events throughout many centuries.
Shakespeare lived and created in the Elizabethan era that is considered the flowering of English Renaissance. The epoch had its own peculiarities and contentious issues like the women’s status in the society, their duty to obey men etc.
It is evident that being written in the Elizabethan era Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” touches upon the relations between men and women. The play presents the intricate plot with Greek characters, such as Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, Hermia, and characters that represent typical English folklore (Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mote) and typical English craftsmen (Peter Quince, Robin Starveling, Tom Snout). Thus, on the one hand the play is set in England but on the other hand these are the Greek mythological characters that are involved into all conflicts.
To my mind, Shakespeare aimed to show the impossibility of treating women the way they were treated in the society in that time. In the Elizabethan era women were considered to be born only for marriage but they did not have any choice even in that sphere. Most marriages were contracted regarding financial perspectives of the future family. Sometimes marriages were just a good bargain of two heads of family, and if men had the opportunity to choose, women had to be mute. Besides, they were deprived of any rights, they had to submit to men and if they dared to resist, it was considered anti-religious.
William Shakespeare tried to show that women want to be independent and free, they have their own opinion that should be taken into account. Reading the play, we face the queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, who has been conquered by Theseus and that is why she has to marry him. However, she is eager to marry Theseus and treats him with respect. The brave and independent woman is conquered but in this case her views upon future coincide with those of her conqueror, Theseus. On the example of Hermia, we see another case when the choice of Hermia’s father, Egeus, does not meet Hermia’s wish to marry Lysander. She has no choice and no other way than to run away from those who try to subdue her. Shakespeare shows how men try to control women’s life, but their orders can not break the women’s strong will.
To conclude, if to compare the relations between men and women shown in the play and the relations in reality, we can say that the relationship of characters in the play was very characteristic for the society of that epoch.
Nevertheless, the author tried to show women’s nature and their desire to take decisions independently. Shakespeare drew readers’ attention to the one-sided treatment of women and perhaps made their contemporaries think over this topic.
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