Gender strategies refer to a literary strategy and a manner of analyzing literary works. As a strategy, gender strategies pertain to the infusion of differing gender expectations and roles given a patriarchal social context. Men hold a higher position relative to women. This also extends to hints of feminism with literary works showing the efforts made by women to attain defy the patriarchal system and achieve equal status with men or women characters placed in positions of power. As an analytical tool, gender strategies refer to the differentiation between masculine and feminine character traits.
The differences in the perspectives of men and women develop with the influence of culture. This also considers the way that the image of women in the literary work captures the difficulties in living in a patriarchal society and the challenges to attain equality. Another line of analysis is by expanding literary themes beyond the male and female to consider the homosexual perspective represented by literary works. (Meyer, 2002) Gender strategies worked in the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Shakespeare, 1997). Patriarchal belief and male dominance is one defining theme of the play.
Egeus used the law compelling daughters to marry the man chosen by their fathers with refusal punishable by death to force Hermia, his daughter, to marry Demetrius, the man that Egeus wants his daughter to marry. There was also a hint of feminism, with Hermia defying her father and the law by eloping with Lysander. Titania, the queen of the fairies, also holds an equal position with Oberon, the king of fairies by refusing to agree to make her Indian changeling a knight of Oberon. In analyzing the play, the patriarchy experienced by the characters reflects on the Athenian culture that gives men higher status than women do.
The male characters, Egeus and Oberon, make the decision and enforce these decisions on the women characters. The women characters, Hermia and even the fairy queen Titania, suffered difficulties in resisting the dominant male characters. References Meyer, M. (2002). The Bedford introduction to literature (6th ed. ). New York: St. Martin’s Press. Shakespeare, W. (1997). A midsummer night’s dream. In G. Blakemore-Evans & J. J. M. Tobin (Eds. ), The riverside Shakespeare (pp. 256-283). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
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