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Gender Lens In Midsummer Nights Dream

734 words - 3 pages

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are many traces of lenses. The lens that I chose to explain is the gender lens. Since this is a long time ago, women weren’t treated the same as men. Women were treated as items, as property. Men were the rulers of everything, they made the big choices. Hermia was treated as property that Demetrius wanted, even though Lysander already “owned” and Egeus (Hermia’s father) was lending out to people. It seems like a sexist world back then.
Let’s first talk about Helena and Demetrius. Helena is “damaged goods” because of Demetrius. Demetrius is still a perfectly fine match for anyone. The girls in Athens at this time are disrespected and only seen as items that one can own. In the play, it says “Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex/We cannot fight for love as men may do. (2.1.244-245) In the play, since men are well-respected, they can do whatever they want and not have to pay the consequences. Since Helena has the “broken seal”, she is not respected, and no boy wants her. Yet, Demetrius is the same way, except that nobody cares whether or not he is damaged goods or not. In the play, it says “I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,.../…..because she is something lower than myself. (3.2.308..313) Because Helena thinks that the gentlemen are mocking her, she is talking about how Hermia is lower than her. At least, that’s what it seems to be saying. For line 313, it is talking kind of about levels. About how the men are at the top (it doesn’t specifically say that) and how then it’s Helena (even though she’s damaged goods, she still has two men), and then Hermia. It’s a tired idea, that men are better than women. Yet, at least in this case with Helena and Demetrius, it can teach you a few lessons about love and respect.
Now, let’s talk about Hermia and Lysander. This couples don’t really belittle each other, except for when Lysander loves Helena. During that period, Lysander spits insults at Hermia. Otherwise, they are at the same level, with Hermia a little higher because she’s wealthier. Even though they love each other, there are still...

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