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Comparative Study Of Text And Context: A Midsummer Night's Dream

1095 words - 5 pages

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has, over time, remained a timeless text, presenting ideas that can be found relevant to all societies. Through his discussion of the turmoil created by unrequited love, and his representation of father-daughter relationships, Shakespeare has explored themes, and created circumstances, that people across all eras can easily identify with. Shakespeare’s construction of a typical ‘happily-ever-after’ ending has also allowed him to fabricate a text which has been, and still is, popular with many people throughout the ages. His presentation of ageless issues within society, and the way in which he presents them, has allowed Shakespeare to manufacture a ...view middle of the document...

Shakespeare’s portrayal of a theme that will forever be a part of society, assisted by the emotional connection he develops with the audience, has allowed him to create a text which will continue to be found relevant to all audiences. It is a text, which seems, will never reach its use by date.

Through his representation of the father-daughter relationship between Egeus and Helena, Shakespeare has created yet another scenario that his audience is able to associate with. Over time the notion that a father has ownership – or at least dominance – over his daughter, though it has been considerably diluted, has not completely dissipated. Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the dominance Egeus has over Hermia is clearly depicted when he approaches Theseus in relation to his daughter’s refusal to marry Demetrius. Disgusted with his daughter’s disobedience, Egeus makes the comment, “As she is mine, I shall dispose of her; which shall be either to this gentleman, or to her death”. Through Egeus’ metaphorical vow to ‘dispose’ of his daughter as he chooses, Shakespeare is able to emphasis Egeus’ dominance and protectiveness as a father. The social acceptability of the dominance Egeus asserts is also made apparent when, with a tone of warning, Theseus says to Hermia, “Be advis’d fair maid. To you, your father should be as a god”. However, the defensive attitude Egeus holds in regards to Hermia is not that different from the typical conception of a father in today’s society. Within Junger’s film, 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), a typical modern day father is presented. His protective qualities are highlighted through the rule he devises which bans his daughters from having boyfriends. The similarities between Shakespeare’s father of ancient Athens, and Junger’s father of the 1990s, clearly depict the notion that father-daughter relationships have not changed a great deal over time. With this in mind it becomes apparent that the father presented in A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be one that many women, in both the past and today’s society, would be able to see their own father through. By creating a text which has been found to be relevant to generation after generation, Shakespeare has undoubtedly composed a text without a date of...

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