Is Hermia from A Midsummer Night's Dream right to disobey her father's commands? Why?

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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I personally believe Hermia is right to disobey her father's commands, as doing so constitutes a rebellion against oppressive patriarchal laws. In the world of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Athenian law maintains that fathers can choose their daughters' husbands and punish them harshly for disobeying their commands. Egeus, Hermia's father, wants his daughter to marry Demetrius, and refuses to understand she's actually in love with Lysander. By mandating his daughter marry who he wants her to marry, Egeus totally disregards Hermia's feelings and well-being. Indeed, Egeus treats Hermia as if she is property, as he believes he has the right to "give" her to any man he wants. This idea is clearly an example of an oppressive patriarchy at work, so Hermia's decision to disobey her father and follow her heart is clearly the right course of action.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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