Modernism In A Midsummer Night's Dream

Decent Essays
The vast majority of people today would not only consider the societal standards of the 16th century old-fashioned but also foolish and even cruel. Shakespeare is in agreement agreed with these modern-day views when he wrote A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Act 3, Scene 2, he speaks through Puck when the fairy says, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” (3.2.115). Shakespeare considered aspects of his society as foolish and wished to inspire change by presenting these situations to his audience. In the play, Shakespeare shows the loss of dignity one may experience when infatuated with someone through Helena and Demetrius’ dynamic. In addition, he brings light to the issue of fathers considering their daughters as property with the dispute …show more content…
Fathers owned their daughters and made the decisions for them. If a woman was to speak against, act against, or love against their father’s will, hethat man could destroy his property by killing her. While A Midsummer Night’s Dream is was a Shakespearean comedy, in which there is always a happy ending entailed for the characters, Hermia’s triumph over her father was an intentional detail added by Shakespeare. He did not agree with the archaic concept of father’s deciding their daughter’s love and he believed the notion of Athenian Law to be ridiculous. Shakespeare wrote constantly about love and appeared to be a passionate person, as was reflected in his writing. He found it foolish that one human would be able to take away another’s freedom and to choose who they loved. This same disdain for Athenian Law and the nature of father-daughter relationships at the time is illustrated by Hermia when she expresses: “Oh, hell, to choose love by another’s eyes!” (1.1.140). Although she dealt with numerous obstacles on her path to true love, Shakespeare ensured that she would overcome Egeus’ threat to kill her, and in return, marry Lysander. Therefore, when Theseus overrules Egeus’ wish to execute Athenian Law on Hermia, Shakespeare is voicing his own belief that fathers choosing their daughtersn's husband was …show more content…
Puck viewed the mortals as fools and this was true within the play, and to Shakespeare himself. He believed that humans were fools for losing control over themselves after falling hopelessly in love, allowing fathers to treat their daughters as property, being boastful, and not being able to separate illusion from reality. As an individual observing from outside the society, the fairy Puck finds the dilemmas the humans endure to be silly and amusing, which is a reflection how Shakespeare felt during his

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends. (5.1 409-424) It is interesting how he says that he is just an “honest” Puck but caused all of these human conflicts and lying it was an accident. Puck is saying that if offending anyone, then this is just a dream. He is referring to the audience who knew what Shakespeare’s reason to write this play. His reason goes to mocking lovers that fall in love first sight by the “magic”.…

    • 2039 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She still loves him, yet he is acting as if what they once had meant absolutely nothing to him. The only reason that Hamlet is treating Ophelia this way is because of the act he is putting on in order to fulfill his revenge. If Claudius would not have murdered the King, Hamlet would not be acting insane and Ophelia would not feel worthless. Literary scholar, David Bevington, describes the confrontation between the two, “Ophelia, ignorant of the murder, cannot fathom the sudden and vindictive hostility of one who had professed love to her ‘In honorable fashion’. Passively becoming part of a scheme designed, as far as she can tell, to help Hamlet recover wits, Ophelia instead loses her own,” (20).…

    • 1990 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s play was considered it to be an erotic and violent piece of literature because of the relationships shown throughout, including Titania and Oberon, Helena and Demetrius, and Hermia and Lysander. Every king wants to find his queen, but that is not always the case in literature. Some may say these lovers have a wonderful relationship, but the way Oberon treats Titania shows that it is anything but perfect. This king has major jealousy issues and not only is that a problem for her, but for her son as well. Oberon quickly becomes jealous that Titania is giving all her attention to…

    • 1025 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In 1.1.27, Egeus goes on to explain, "This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child." He continues in 1.1.32 and says, "And stol'n the impression of her fantasy" (Bevington, 2014, p. 47). This is where he is saying Lysander has brainwashed Hermia. Often parents show their love in ways such as being overly protective and can act irrational when the child goes against the parent's wishes. In conclusion, Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, demonstrates how passionate love can change emotions and cause one to risk everything as seen in Hermia and Lysander.…

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    For the majority of the play, Hamlet feels that the wedding between Gertrude and Claudius was a betrayal to him and his father. His anger and frustration that he feels for Gertrude soon starts to affect his relationship with Ophelia because he no longer has any faith in women as he takes on a misogynist perspective. Hamlet unfortunately takes advantage of Ophelia’s obedience toward men as he starts taunting her with cruel words to degrade her mentally. “Get thee to a nunnery, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them” (III.i.137-140).…

    • 1233 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet's Madness

    • 981 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Hamlet knows he can get away with asking people strange things while pretending to be mad. Meanwhile, Ophelia’s madness is entirely different. Ophelia’s madness is not her choice; it’s the result of the stress and grief she is put under after the death of her father. Furthermore, some readers also believe Hamlet is another cause of Ophelia’s madness. Before of the lost of King Hamlet, Ophelia and Hamlet were boyfriend and girlfriend.…

    • 981 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Presumably, he still loves Ophelia despite his abhorrence at his mother's actions and his extension of this frailty to all womankind. Hamlet's madness allows him to fascinate the audience with his outbursts that would not be feasible, plausible or realistic from the mouth of a man presumed sane, putting curses on and disowning Ophelia: ‘Go to, I’ll no more on ’t. It hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages’ [meaning Come on, I won’t stand for it anymore. It’s driven me crazy.…

    • 1640 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Oedipus Complex In Hamlet

    • 1089 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Hamlet, a play written by Shakespeare, is based on the classic idea of revenge, tragedy, and the underlying dedication and ambition behind the act of deceit. Hamlet is the main character who displays the aspects of human nature. He is undergoing an inner debate on whether or not he wants to kill Claudius who is now not only his uncle, but also the king after his father’s death by getting together with Hamlet’s mother. The audience understands his frustration with his mother and uncle’s actions, but one theory suggests that Hamlet is longing for revenge against his uncle only because he wants to be romantically involved with his mother. His yearning to be with his mother romantically is also known as the oedipus complex.…

    • 1089 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Young men’s love then lies/ Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” (Shakespeare II, iii 66-68). Then, Friar changes his advice after learning Juliet is a Capulet. He no longer cares how marriage could hurt Romeo and Juliet or their families. Instead, the Friar is obsessed with the glory he will receive when the feud resolves, and says, “In one respect I’ll thy assistant be,/ For this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households' rancor to pure love.” (Shakespeare II, ii 90-92). This selfish decision creates a domino effect leading up to their deaths.…

    • 928 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hamlet Sanity Analysis

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Claudius began to pick up on the fact that some of Hamlet’s actions seemed exaggerated. Polonius just thought Hamlet was love sick over his daughter, until Hamlet dumped her. The eloquent usage of Hamlet’s vocabulary greatly differs from the normal viewpoint of someone with a fractured mind, but it conveys that Hamlet’s mind is in peak condition. He explains to Horatio, his best friend, and Gertrude, his mother, that he is not crazy, but just a plot to achieve his goal of vengeance,scene: “It is not madness that I have uttered. Bring me to the test,and I the matter will reword, which madness would gambol from.” Also, he only acts “crazy” around specific characters like Claudius and Polonius.…

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays