Patriarchy in Midsummer Night Dream

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Sally Nguyen English 12 Mrs. Heather Carreiro December 1st, 2014 Patriarchy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream In the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare illustrates the idea of patriarchy through characters like Theseus, Egeus and also in the fairy world through Oberon; this play shows what male domination is and what difference between genders in late of 16th century. The idea of patriarchy appears between relationships like marry couples, lovers or family, however there aren’t many choices available for women in general and specifically for women roles in this play. The play begins with the conversation between Hippolyta and Theseus about the wedding night. When Theseus pointed out, Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword And when thy love doing thee injuries. But I will wed thee in another key, With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling. (Act I, scene i, lines 16-19) With Theseus's impatient for his wedding, he demonstrates how a wife must listen to her husband and how she is his right. Theseus may win over a fight with Hippolyta, but for her love, he will do the same thing to gain that love of her. As the law in late 16th century, everything belongs to a wife, also belongs to the husband, however, they not yet marriage, but Theseus shows a strong male domination over Hippolyta. Patriarchy not only shows in commitment relationship like marriage, but also takes place in family relationship like father and daughter. When Egeus angry declares his right over Hermia and strongly denies her love for Lysander, As she is mine, I may dispose of her- Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death - according to our law Immediately provided in that case. (Act I, scene i, lines 40-44) Like Theseus in the first part of the play, Egeus illustrates a model of a father, who wants to gain every rights of his daughter. He points out the idea of
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