Acts 1& 2 Men vs Women

         In Acts 1 and 2 in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream,  it was man vs woman in opinions about how they view the world. I the beginning of act 1, Theseus and Hippolyta are talking about their nuptial hour and Theseus says how he “wooed” Hippolyta , the Queen of the Amazons. Theseus captured her in his military conquest, that doesn’t seem like wooing to me.  Theseus and Egeus make statements that make men seem more powerful than women, when in this time period that is not true. Women are just as strong willed as men are and are smarter than what some men may think. i.e Hippolyta and Titania)
           Egeus does not want his daughter Hermia to love Lysander. Egeeus want Hermia to marry and to love Demetrius, who is Hermia’s suitor. Egeus complains to the Duke about his defiant daughter, and the man who “bewitched her. ” It is said by law if she defies her father’s wishes it is execution. Today if a daughter defied her father and wanted to make her own choice on who to love , she wouldn’t  be executed for it. Parents will try to lead their children down the right path and they should embrace what ever their child’s decision may be. On the other hand, I still believe in the commandment ” honor thy mother and father” I sort of agree with Theseus’s decision to tell Hermia to make her choice of either listening to her father or becoming a nun.

    The main point in the argument between Titania and Oberon is over the young Changeling boy, who is really and Indian prince. Oberon is jealous of Titania and how she treat the boy with motherly affection. Oberon wants the boy so he can be Oberon’s  squire and not some “mamma’s boy”.  He sends his puck to find a flower that has the juice to put a love spell on Titania , and another “creature”. Puck puts the juice in Lysander’s eyes and then causes more trouble. 

    The artisans, have to put on a brief play in front of the Duke and Duchess on their wedding day.   In preparing for the play the artisans show their immaturity an not acting as an adult man would. Especially Nick Bottom, he wants to play every role in their brief play. He also misinterprets words. Flute is to play Thisbe which is a woman’s role and he simply shows his immaturity because he doesn’t want to act as that part simply because its a female character.

           After defying her father Hermia has run off into the woods with Lysander. Helena is lovestruck by Demetrius, he does not love her and is in pursuit of finding Hermia. Helena is pouring her heart out to him trying to prove her love for him. Puck comes along finding Lysander asleep and drops the juice in his eyes. when he awakes he sees Helena and is lovestruck by her beauty. He says he does not love Hermia.
    I have learned from reading Acts 1&2 ,  men and women are very different in  strength, intelligence and in rank. and never defy your parents wishes. Also never trust a puck to do the job right.


3 thoughts on “Acts 1& 2 Men vs Women

  1. Amanda Wolfer

    Great post! I'd like to comment on the argument between Oberon and Titania. As discussed in class, it may be possible that Oberon wants "custody" of the boy because he wants to turn him into a knight, something more masculine. Titania may in fact be feminizing him which nowadays is acceptable in society. But, I feel as if Titania is more capable of proper care. It will be interesting to see the progression of this argument throughout the play.

  2. Kelsey Maher

    I agree on your interpretation of how Theseus did not seem to woo Hippolyta as he would have us believe. I also think that Theseus's decision to tell Hermia to choose between death or becoming a nun were the rules set in place by society at this time, and as duke, he was simply carrying his duties. These restrictions placed on female at this time ultimately returns to an act of male power over women. The fact that a familial dispute, such as the refusal of a daughter to marry whomever her father chooses, was brought to the attention of the Duke of Athens shows how shocking it truly was for a woman to defy the orders of a man. I like your ending comments!

  3. Cyrus Mulready

    I like your consideration of Thisbe in here as a "woman," too, Hannah. That's very insightful! I'd be interested in hearing more about what might tie together these various representations of women. Is there something we can point to in the play that unifies the differences between men and women in this play?


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