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In A Midsummer NightГўв‚¬в„ўs Dream, Shakespeare portrays the difficulties of love and, in particular, the weakness and vulnerability of the female characters in their relationships. They have little influence in deciding who they will marry, and the marriages and relationships that they are involved in are strongly male-dominated. The power of men and weakness of women are seen through the characters of Hippolyta, Hermia, Titania, and Helena, and the relationships that they are in.
The first female character that Shakespeare portrays as weak is Hippolyta. Hippolyta is married to Thesus, who Гўв‚¬Е“wooed [her] with [his] sword, / And won [her] love doing [her] injuriesГўв‚¬Вќ (Act I, Scene I, lines 16-17). She is not married to Thesus out of love, but instead seems to be his possession. She has lost much of her fighting spirit since the commencement of her relationship with Thesus, and he often ignores her opinions. For example,
at the end of the play, when Thesus is choosing which play is to be performed at their wedding ceremony, Hippolyta states that perhaps he has not made the best choice. When Thesus ignores this statement, Hippolyta does not protest again. It is obvious that their relationship is very male-dominated, and Hippolyta has become a very weak character as a result of her relationship with Thesus.
Another male-dominated relationship is that between Hermia and Lysander. The two seem to be a happy couple and have a strong, loving relationship. However, HermiaГўв‚¬в„ўs desire to be with Lysander strongly goes against her fatherГўв‚¬в„ўs, EgeusГўв‚¬в„ўs, wishes. Egeus wishes for Hermia to marry Demetrius. Hermia has little effect on trying to influence her father to allow her to be with Lysander. Egeus expresses that Hermia has no choice in this matter; he is her property, and the laws declare that he can do as he wishes with her. Egeus claims that if Hermia does not adhere to his wishes, she will be sentenced to de