Hippolyta In A Midsummer Night's Dream

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The development of Hippolyta and Titania, two of the strongest females in the play, is almost mirrored; Hippolyta is a former amazon warrior woman (or ‘the bouncing amazonian’ as Titania refers to her), conquered by Theseus and brought back to Athens so Theseus can marry her ‘ With pomp, with triumph and with revelling’. She paraded around as a trophy and proof of Theseus’ power and strength. Hippolyta is introduced to the play as meek and submissive, her former power repressed by Theseus who ‘wooed thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries’ a constant reminder to Hippolyta of his virile and masculine persona. Titania however is shown as strong and in control when introduced in Act 2, Scene 1, refusing to give the changeling …show more content…
Some critics, such as Amanda Mabillard, argue that Shakespeare was a humanist and wanted characters to be judged not by gender but by characteristics and actions. A Midsummer Night’s Dream challenges this idea by relying heavily on portraying and mocking gender stereotypes of the Elizabethan Era to add comedic strands and to flesh out the complex relationships in the play, making it a significant theme to explore. At the time of queen elizabeths rain, protestant leaders such as John Knox were spreading messages that indicated the attitude towards women at the time, saying that ‘Women in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man.’. Knox also refused to accept a Womans natural right to rule and as a result of this was banned from setting foot on english soil by Elizabeth- As the play was written to be a court performance, performed at the beginning of the 1600s just before the Queens death, the context in which the play was performed indicates the subtle ridicule of female subservience in the