The battle of the sexes


Table of Contents

The play A Midsummer’s Night Dream authored by Shakespeare displays different aspect that can be applied to improving human interactions. Particularly, the relationship between the two sexes is presented both in the fairly and the mortal worlds. Notably, both plots display efforts by men to control women across different dimensions. The battle of sexes as preened in the play gives the extent of animosity between the two genders and equally presents the various methods used to gain superiority and power (Brown, 2015). The author uses distinct mediums to ensure that the audience relates the events in the play with real-life experiences. For instance, Oberon jealousness to Titiana having a new friendship and Helena’s willpower to have Demetrius adore her as she adores him, are used to inflicting different feelings in the text. As such, this research will concentrate on the theme of the battle of sexes in the play and the various methods used by the characters.

The play commences with Theseus, the Duke of Athens making preparations on marrying Hippolyta who was the queen of amazons. The ceremony is expected to be attended by large crowds and is expected to entail a four-day festival full of entertainment (De Sousa, 2016). Many of the events in the play revolve around the extent of love among the characters that drive them in doing actions that make them popular in different perspectives.

The first instance of the battle of the two sexes is seen when Oberon meets Titiana, and they are involved in discussing on who should have custody of their child. Notably, the level of affection of Titiana on the child triggers jealousy in Oberon who had neglected his family and engaged in sexual affairs with other women including Hippolyta and Philida. Although the child’s father is one of Titianas worshipers, Oberon is still interested in availing the real events of her life. The author also tries to link the animosity between the two sexes with the change in weather as Oberon argues that the challenge could be terminated if he was allowed to have the teenager as his henchmen (262). To his surprise, Titiana declines his offer stating that her child was not for sale.

Oberon is engaged in different efforts that aim at winning Titianas love back, but all do not bear any fruit. Interestingly, the author approaches the situation from a different perspective that shows the gap between the two characters (Greenblatt & Cohen, 2015). Instead of making Titiana love him again using the romantic objects including flowers or undivided attention, he intends to make her love the next object she comes across. However, Titiana chooses not to obey her king and to do whatever it takes to frustrate any efforts he puts (Brown, 2015). The events unfolding between the two characters can be compared to the modern situation where a couple may be fighting for possession of a child. However, as presented in the play, the use of magical flowers as used in ancient times cannot be applied in any dimension in the modern world (262).

Similarly, Helena who has affection for  Demetrius tells him that Hermia is escaping with Lysander and hopes that he will increase his attention towards her and even love her more. However, her plans do not succeed as Demetrius flees from her and cursing her saying that he does not have any affection for her (262). Determined and full of desperation, Helena goes after her love saying she will not give up no matter the level of cruelty that she might experience from him. The event portrays the courage and determination in Helena since she has resorted stopping at nothing until he gets Demetrius’ love. Furthermore, Helena links the cause of all her troubles with the beauty of Hermia that is described in scene 2 act 2. Undoubtedly, the level of animosity between the characters in this act can also apply in the modern world where one may have high levels of affection to another individual who does not value them at all. Equally, Titiana displays high levels of dissatisfaction and hatred to the other women in Oberon’s life and is furious that he was not faithful to her and decides to disregard any of his orders as techniques of getting back to him.


Overcoming the situation facing the characters in the play requires an understanding of the principles and interest of the other party. For instance, Helena undergoes so much difficulty in trying to prove to Demetrius that she loves him and would do anything to make him happy but he is of a contrary opinion (Greenblatt & Cohen, 2015). By using the different characters in the play, the author displays various morals values throughout the text. Moreover, many of them are blinded by love and engage in activities that define their principles and those of the community. Oberon, for example, wants to gain possession of the Titianas child as a way of expressing his affection to her and bringing her back to his life.

Titiana, on the other hand, is jealous of the other women in Oberon’s life and equally, decides to defy any order that her king gives her (De Sousa, 2016). To combat the challenges facing the characters, different techniques can be applied including apologizing, engaging in dialogues and mediation. Dialogue enables both parties to understand the various interests they have and the course of the conflict. Resultantly, the engagements between the parties will allow solving the problem and employment of limited resources. Consequently, at the end of the play, Oberon realizes the mistakes he had made and tried to fix every gap he created.

Paradox of Love

In most of Shakespeare plays, he tries to display his intellectual interest by placing both the characters and audience in a state of mystery, uncertainty, and doubt. Further, by using this method that allows the coexistence of different and opposite phenomenon’s such as beliefs, opinions, and truths enhance the use of paradox to question the knowledge gender and love aspects in the society. Love is often perceived as the most comfortable thing for human beings are capable of accomplishing as presented by Shakespeare. However, this rarely happens as it requires the utilization of both emotional and physical resources. For a human being to have faith that she has substantial beauty and is equally lovable is not a temporary feeling that requires protective mechanisms that guard the fragile heart. From the play, Titina and Oberon love each other but are engaged in events that aim at diminishing their values and harming their partners. In essence, love does not hurt or cause harm, but the two characters aim at ensuring that the other party does not succeed in anything they do. Moreover, Helena is very desperate for Demetrius’ love, but he is not interested in any effort she puts.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Brown, M. (2015). A Journey in Magic and Realism Performing the Role of Titania from William Shakespeare’s” A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Doctoral dissertation, West Virginia University).
  2. De Sousa, G. U. (2016). Shakespeare’s cross-cultural encounters. Springer.
  3. Greenblatt, S., & Cohen, W. (Eds.). (2015). the Norton Shakespeare: Third International Student Edition. WW Norton & Company.
Related topics
More samples
Related Essays