The Absence Of Hermia And Helena

1495 words - 6 pages

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream contains values and laws of a time where fathers, and men in general, hold a lot of power over women. Hermia and Helena are used as tools to enhance the power of the role of the father and masculinity in the world Shakespeare has created. At the start of the play Helena and Hermia are both popular characters, speaking frequently and constantly at the center of attention. Once the events in the greenwood take place, Helena and Hermia’s role is diminished and their voices are hardly heard in the remaining two acts of the play. This shift of focus displays how Hermia and Helena are symbolizations of the impact of the role of men on a woman’s life, and it rejuvenates love as being more important than the law underneath the non-swaying idea of the patriarchal set-up that is displayed. Beyond this, their absence at the end of the play depicts the dream-like quality Shakespeare is depicting, swaying the notion of reality and magic through the events that take place in the greenwood.
The role of Hermia and her situation with Lysander and Demetrius displays the first major significance surrounding the role of men in Shakespeare’s play. Hermia is completely in love with Lysander, and her father is aware of this. However, Egeus doesn’t blame Hermia for her own behavior and disobedience towards him. He says, “This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child. Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, and interchanged love tokens with my child” (1.1.28-30). Egeus takes away Hermia’s responsibility for her own actions, and denotes her to an object which Lysander can control, and essentially blames Lysander for her actions. Shakespeare portrays love like this at the beginning enhancing the lack of control that Hermia has, and also the power of male dominance and the way it was believed to captivate women.
Theseus continues to symbolize the way that other men view Hermia, and is complacent about the way that people view the beauty of women. Theseus tells Hermia, “To you your father should be as a god, one that composed your beauties” (1.1.48-49). Theseus is telling Hermia to do what her father says because he is the one who has made her beautiful, but he does not at all address the role her mother would have also had in making her beautiful, revealing underlying sexism in this time of Shakespeare’s play. He also discusses the law with Egeus that will force Hermia to either die or become a nun if she doesn’t listen to her father.
Even the male lovers enhance this law, and believe that they have a “right” to Hermia, rather than respecting Hermia’s choice. Demetrius doesn’t care that Hermia doesn’t actually love him, but he tells Lysander he has more of a right to her. “Relent, sweet Hermia--And, Lysander, yield thy crazed title to my certain right” (1.1.93-94). Shakespeare displays this aspect of that time period rather than behavior purposely acted by the male characters. This is important because...

Find Another Essay On The Absence of Hermia and Helena

The Absence of Something Important Essay

784 words - 4 pages The discussion of loss is something that can sometimes be hard to talk about face to face. Different people deal with loss in different ways. Emily Bronte and Thomas Hardy both like to write poems or short stories to express their feelings towards their loss. Remembrance by Emily Bronte is about the loss of her loved one and her feelings about whether she should sit around longer or go out and get her life going. The Darkling Thrush by Thomas

The absence of truth leads to

2496 words - 10 pages ; / Old fools are babes again, and must be used / With checks as flatteries, when they are abused" (I, iii, 13-21). She treats him like a child and shows irreverence for his needs and dignity. His daughters' statements of love are false and bring about turmoil. He banishes his only faithful daughter, and with the absence of this element of truth, chaos subsequently occurs. His blindness causes a state of disorder. The truth of his eldest daughters

The Absence of a Loved One

997 words - 4 pages through hoops to help me prosper, and people that would be by my side throughout every obstacle in my life that tries to drag me down. One of those people is my brother, Jacob. Throughout this essay I will describe the leaps and bounds that I have been through with my brother that has made me into the person I am today. My life isn’t a fairytale, and I don’t try and act like it is, but if I were to pick the best family to be born into I would

Father Absence and the developement of the male self through Freud and Chodorow's theories

1943 words - 8 pages the father in the development of the masculine self. The effects on the relationship with the mother will be affected as well as later life relationships with other females. The absence of a father will completely alter the way a male will emotionally experience his self and the world around him. It will also consider the effects of the development of the self with the father being absent at different stages of the Oedipal and pre-Oedipal

Revelation and Rebirth in Helena Viramonte's The Moths

1012 words - 4 pages Revelation and Rebirth in Helena Viramonte's The Moths     The famous phrase "looks may be deceiving" strongly pertains to Helena Viramontes's short story, "The Moths." The story, instead of focusing the creatures in the title, is actually about a young girl who comes of age as she is faced with the deterioration and death of her grandmother. Even though the title, "The Moths," seems to have no relevance at the beginning, these creatures

The Absence of Morality in King Leopold's Ghost and in the Congo Today

1301 words - 5 pages royalties. Stanley also wrote other books about his adventures in the Congo after the one in which he found Livingstone. This is how the exploitation began. It would continue when King Leopold of Belgium would hire Stanley to travel along the Congo and discover the territory in the name of Belgium and develop the territory into a colony which was his dream ever since he had heard of Stanley's expedition.King Leopold was a leader who was very intelligent

The Influence of Absence: Achieving Presence through Absence in DH Lawrence's "Odour of the Chrysanthemums"

883 words - 4 pages In the short story "Odour of Chrysanthemums," D.H. Lawrence effectively and continually employs a technique of keeping certain entities absent from his story to convey their looming presence and definite importance. Lawrence's omission of Walter, a vastly crucial character, best demonstrates the author's ability and effectiveness in creating presence through absence. Through this method, Lawrence creates a sense of tension and anticipation

The Absence of Inequality in the State of Nature and the True Nature of the Savage Man

1315 words - 6 pages Our artificial faculties have made us weak, a weakness that is inherently unnatural. Rousseau asserts, that in order for us to understand man in the state of nature, we must evaluate, and critique the savage man, the man as he exists and survives in the state of nature. Rousseau’s theory of the natural state of man is evidence that he does not agree with the concept of the state of nature as it is theorized by Hobbs; as the state of war

Essay on Wharton's Ethan Frome: Absence of Light and Life

939 words - 4 pages Absence of Light and Life in Ethan Frome Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton is set in Starkfield, a small community plagued by harsh winters that seem to ebb away at life. In this town lives Ethan Frome, a crippled man who seems to be the physical embodiment of mortal suffering. An new arrival to the town, is drawn by Ethan. He is compelled to uncover the story behind the enigmatic man. What he discovers is a tragic tale of human suffering, an

Absence of Heroes and Villains in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1316 words - 5 pages Absence of Heroes and Villains in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Frankenstein is a gothic novel which was published in the 19th century, and was written by Mary Shelley. In the 19th century the most popular types of novels were horror. This novel was an early example of a thriller. One of the main reasons why Mary Shelley wrote a book about science, horror and

The Absence of Fertility in T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"

2645 words - 11 pages evident. The tree and thus, nature, is void of life and will not bear fertile seeds. Subsequently, it cannot offer protection from the sun and a solution to the growing wasteland. Water is an element which is essential for life and its absence, described by the narrator, indicates no hope for regeneration. The possibility for rebirth is further thwarted in the speaker's memories of a past romance. In contrast to the previous images of a barren desert

Similar Essays

Casting Actors To Play Helena And Hermia From William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

4182 words - 17 pages Casting Actors to Play Helena and Hermia from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream examines the theme of love in all its aspects. When Act one scene One opens we are at the court of Duke Theseus and he is swearing his undying love for Hippolyta so at the very start we are introduced to love and its deep emotional impact. The declaration of love between the Ducal pair is shortened by

Helena Of The True Cross Essay

751 words - 4 pages Helena, written by the renowned author Evelyn Waugh, is a descriptive, imaginative take on the stories or legends of Helena, the finder of the true cross of Jesus Christ. Not very many people read Helena today, and it is not listed in the canon of Waugh’s greatest works. The book was published in 1950, as his sole historical novel, and has been described by some to be lacking the usual biting satire that Waugh Is known for. However, he often

The Absence Of Love Essay

1378 words - 6 pages The Absence of Love The term “I love” has been used to describe materialistic items such as “I love my IPhone”, “I love my car”, “I love my computer” and none of these things are items that people actually love, but more used to help get them through their daily lives invoking this sense of love. The writing of the modernism period has paralleled this transformation of love from a symbolic and romantic longing for a certain person to this word

The Absence Of Humanity In The Crucible And Macbeth

2027 words - 8 pages above humanity, they become bitter and accusing, they begin to lose their grip on reality and they create chaos and war. When a character strips themselves of his or her humanity for the sake of ideology, all that is left is the ability to accuse. In the plays Macbeth and The Crucible, there are characters so obsessed with accusing others that it eventually pushes those individuals to believe that there are people out to “corrupt” their