Comedic Intent In A Midsummer Night's Dream Penrith High School Essay

1024 words - 5 pages

Gender Inequality in a Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gender inequality is effectively explored through Shakespeare’s use of comedy because it is conveyed and challenged from the start to the end of the play. In a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare uses comedy to effectively enhance and explore gender inequality in the beginning of the play to bring forward different opinions and unknown ideas without being considered offensive. He does this by using farce comedy through Hermia’s exaggerated choice of words: “So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke my soul consents not to give sovereignty.” The main messages that Shakespeare deliberately intended to deliver are that men and women are equal, they should have equal rights, men are not dominant and that women should have more say in their lives, challenging the issue of gender inequality. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses different types of comedy such as slapstick, rom-com, satire, high, low and farce. He does this to ease the harshness of the mood, relieving tension and distracting the audience from serious political issues. It also makes it easier for the audience to watch, understand and to enjoy and absorb the message of the story.
Shakespeare lightly introduces gender inequality in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as soon as the play begins when Theseus advises Hermia that her father should be as god and was the one that composed her beauties. This shows that men were revered as being worth more than women and having the utmost authority and control, in this case love, over them. It is also mainly present when Egeus (Hermia’s Father) does not allow her to marry Lysander, her lover, as Egeus believes that he doesn’t possess the qualities desired by the Victorian society, and instead marry his preferred suitor Demetrius, who is worthy of Hermia’s marriage. He displays romantic comedy in this display to ease the mood of the scene, and relieve tension from the audience. Egeus is advantaged in this situation as he is her father and is a male and has the free will to decide who Hermia marries. Hermia is the most disadvantaged as she is a young female who is powerless and has no say in her love life. This is followed by Lysander as he cannot marry Hermia whom he loves as he doesn’t have Egeus’ blessing and is thought of as unworthy. Demetrius has similar power to Egeus in the sense that he can marry whoever he wants to. Helena is in a bit of a different situation to Demetrius because she can’t marry who she wants to because they love with someone else. Egeus is also sided with Theseus, the king, who also shares the same beliefs as him. Shakespeare however strongly displays the key idea when Hermia and Lysander plan to escape to his auntie’s place in the forest, displaying a lack of obedience to her father and absence of acceptance that men are the authority. The impact of the key idea as it is introduced, greatly affects the...

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