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In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, do the woods represent freedom from the...

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hollis12 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 13, 2013 at 3:25 PM via web

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In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, do the woods represent freedom from the patriarchal power that exists in Athens? 

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Some may argue that the forest does represent freedom from the reaches of the patriarchal power of Athens, which includes Theseus and Hermia's father; but remember, too, that Oberon is ruler in the forest. Yes, Titania is queen of the fairies, but it is her husband who dominates in the forest and achieves the goals he sets forth to achieve. Luckily, for Hermia and Helena's desires, Oberon is sympathetic to their dilemmas and uses his magical resources to set right what was wrong in their lives. On the other hand, Titania is not as lucky as the human girls and Oberon plays a mean joke on her in order to distract her long enough to get the little boy away from her. That doesn't sound like freedom from patriarchal power there.

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