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Social Classes From “Midsummer Night’S Dream” By Shakespeare

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"The course of true love never did run smooth."(Robinson, 2005). This quote is certainly true because in our world and in the Midsummer Night Dreams world love is chosen by the ones who are in a higher social rank. It is therefore necessary to realize that A Midsummer Night's Dream is really a play about finding oneself in order to be free of the authoritative conflicts (Smith, 2008). In the play, the course of love is complicated even further by the magical creatures that intervene in the affairs of the human characters, as the government does with citizen’s life (Robinson, 2005). Midsummer Night Dream, by William Shakespeare, is a drama that tells a story of lovers and how their lives are decided by others who have more power. In the play there is a clear division of kingdoms: the human and the fairy kingdom. Theseus and Hippolyta are the rulers of the “human world” and Oberon and Titania are the fairy king and queen. The lovers are Hermia-Lysander and Helena-Demetrious. This research will be about how the division of power in the play compares with the social classes of today: high, middle and low class.

Talking about high class, which is represented by Theseus-Hippolyta (human) and Oberon-Titania (fairys), we can say that it shows the power of two different worlds. The fairy world is more powerful than the human world because of the super natural abilities they have, like disappearing and using magical formulas to control feelings. The human world is controlled by the laws. It is clearly shown when Egeus, father of Hermia, states:

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“as she is mine, I may dispose of her: which shall be either to this gentleman or to her death, according to our law immediately provided in that case” (Shakespeare, 2002). Theseus agreed with this law since he is the one who establish it. Theseus is a man of power as Frank Sidgwick say in his analogue for a Midsummer Night Dreams “Theseus and Hercules were thus second cousins” which gave him heritage power. The social powers of the drama compares with the ones in our society directly. In case of the law that gives your parents the power to decide with whom you will get married in the real world its true but just until you are legal (21 years old) (Herrera, 96-05) . The power Theseus has is equivalent to the power a president or a governor has with the difference that ours can’t have such a dramatic law as killing for love. But they pretty much decide what is good for the citizens, or at least that’s what we think.

Continuing with social classes it follows the middle class which is represented by the lovers: Hermia-Lysander and Helena-Demetrious. These humans are not powerful but yet not servants. They just want to be happy and have a normal life like we all, in the real world, want. Hermia loves Lysander, so as he, but Helena loves Demetrious even thou he loves Hermia and doesn’t want anything to do with her. Love is sure a complicated thing but it’s the same feeling in every country even in the dramas. Hermia and Lysander suffered from the abuse of power of the king; because he didn’t let them get married making them go away. That happens every day to the middle and low classes in the real world; the abuse of power. The difference between the middle and low class is that in some occasions the middle class can command the low class but the low class has to receive all the commands from the upper classes. We can see this in the every day life, especially in jobs.

As we have said the fairy world represents not only the power of Oberon-Titania but it has another special character: the fairies. The fairies represent the low class, “they follow Titania with care and a little bit of pity because she used to be a great queen but

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now she is falling”



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