Exerting the type of power that is influenced by malicious intentions can cause one to make decisions that are not beneficial to others. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is written within a time period and setting that favors men instead of woman. In other words, men have all the authority to control the events that occur in their own lives as well as the lives of others whom are considered insignificant. The plot displays the catalysts that ignite many characters’ desire for control that is misused by higher status people. Shakespeare’s use of characterization demonstrates how the wanting of control causes the characters to act irrationally through the misuse of power. Shakespeare’s use of ...view middle of the document...
Further, Egeus desperately wants to control Hermia as though she is an object. His desire for complete control is fulfilled by the validation from the law of Athens. The word, privilege implies that Egeus deserves the right to control Hermia. She is automatically labeled as an object by society. She can be disposed as though she is an object because of how society gives Egeus the power to do what he pleases. The word, death indicates that Hermia is disposable in the eyes of Egeus and in Athens. Her worth based on the Athenian society is extremely diminished in comparison to her men in their society. The setting somewhat grants to Egeus the power to control. In fact, the setting adds to the desire for control that is given only to the men. In addition, the time contributes to the assumption that men are more powerful and superior to women because women were regarded as inadequate and objectified by society. Another instance in which women are recognized as property to be owned is when Theseus claims Hippolyta as a prize of his time in war:
Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with sword,
And won thy love doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling. (I.i. 17-20)
The lines mentioned earlier show Theseus boasting about winning Hippolyta in a war. His use of the word, won implies that that Hippolyta is merely an object to be had. She is not regarded as a human being. The use of the words, sword and won imply that Theseus feels as though he can earn her through fighting for her as though she is some land to be taken over for personal gain. Again, Hippolyta is depicted as being won as though she is property. Hence, Theseus has the ability to control her because of the setting’s views towards gender roles. The setting reflects how delegation of power is structured.
Although the time period affects each character’s fate, the use of plot also relates to the desire for control that impacts his or her fate. Since Oberon wants Titania to be submissive, he devises a plan to manipulate her:
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes;
The next thing then she waking looks upon,
Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
She shall pursue it with the soul of love. (II .i. 183-185)
Furthermore, the lines earlier shows Oberon’s plan to control and submit Titania to his will. His plan to make her fall in love with animals by using a potion indicates that he wants to embarrass Titania. He wants to use his power to manipulate her feelings. He craves the control that he did not have earlier in the play when Titania did what she wanted to do. Therefore, his desire to gain control results in the changing of Titania’s fate. Titania’s actions are based on Oberon’s power. Likewise, Oberon gains satisfaction by executing his plan which empowers him and gives authority. Further, not only does Oberon make plans to control Titania, but he also becomes the cause of the conflict among...