A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a comedy of Athenian origin. The entire set up consisting of a captivating atmosphere makes the tale to be a remarkable one. This set up is suitable for romantic adventures as it provides the right atmosphere as well as favorable scenes for love escapades. Nonetheless, Shakespeare’s works are never to be judged from their face value. For instance, in the case of this romantic tale, he hypothesizes a very contemptuous understanding about love.

The book, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” ends up being an interpretation of the secrets of adoration. It further reveals how the lovers are ashamed because of their actions, particularly in the incidences that involve the youthful characters. In this tale, a lover is brought out as an indecisive individual who constantly alters his or her decisions (Shakespeare 34).

It also highlights love as a sensation that never lasts forever. Consequently, the tale proposes that love is not a deep and compassionate feeling but rather a harsh sentiment that brings pain to those who get into it. This notion is highlighted throughout the tale and in the long run, the conception of real affection is stained with uncertainty. It is seen as something that can change from its intended course. Generally, love is brought out as a terrifying and harsh sentiment.

Oppressive Laws

According to the laws set in Athens, a woman is not entitled to posses anything, including her body. However, she was expected to listen, and adhere to whatever their male counterparts directed them to do. With regard to Athenian laws, a father was given the mandate to choose a husband for his daughter. Consequently, a girl was expected to marry the selected man without questioning. In case she declined his father’s choice, the consequences were very severe as death was part of it.

In this society, a woman could not contribute to anything that affected the society. Furthermore, they could not even decide anything for themselves. Men dominated the society while women were used as objects of love and procreation. Even though the women married the men their father’s chose for them, their situation never improved in any way.

The women were hopeless as they could not even make choices that would improve their lives. The lack of voice among the women made their men to be fully in charge of everything, including their lives. Athenian regulations empowered a father to sentence his child to death in case she refused to adhere to whatever he directed her to do.

The daughter of Theseus, Herima, declines to marry Demterius, his father’s choice as her groom. As a reaction to her decision, Herima’s father threatens to exterminate her if she did not accept his choice. This whole idea is ridiculous since it is out of this world that a father would kill his daughter for refusing to marry a man he had chosen for her (Shakespeare 67). This episode substantiates how these Athenian laws oppressed women in this society.

Women’s Position

The women in this tale play ‘second-fiddle’ roles. For instance, Oberon and Titania, King and Queen respectively, were thought to be wielding similar powers. Nonetheless, Oberon manages to accomplish his desires and emerges as the ultimate ruler of the Kingdom. There existed no equal treatment of the sexes in this tale.

In addition, women were never given leadership roles. In fact, women were manipulated into marriages. For instance, Puck puts a love concoction in Demetreuis’ as well as Lysander’s eyes in order to compel them to fall in love with each other. He does this with full knowledge about Helena’s intentions. Helena loved Demetrious but he did not care about her.

Helena puts a lot of effort to make him think about her love for him. She utilizes convincing words and constantly praises him. However, Demetrius is not bothered by this and he persistently drives her away. This is shown in the manner in which he addresses her. He advices her, “Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit; for I am sick when I do look on thee” (Shakespeare 82). This statement emphasizes on the women’s inability to choose their own husbands.


From the tale, it is evident that Hermia and Lysander, as a couple, are much better and smarter as compared to the union of Demetrius and Helena as a couple. I believe that Hermia is more conservative and has a conformist character as compared to Helena. This is because Helena is not presented in a similar way as Hermia. At various instances, Helena was totally out of control. This brings out her masculinity character that makes her to stand out from the rest of the women in this tale, particularly Hermia.

The author has evidently managed to express the themes of oppression and inequality in this tale. As much as the tale is thought to a comic one, the events that place in this tale are not funny. The manner in which women are treated is not amusing at all. The existing laws were intended to oppress the women and the less fortunate in this tale. Generally, the tale addresses the injustices that existed in this society.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. New York, NY: Norton & Company, 2002. Print

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