Event Title

The Amazonian Queen: Marriage as a Weapon of the Patriarchy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Fike, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of English

Location

DIGS 221

Start Date

20-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to explore the connections between the fictional queens Hippolyta and Titania and Queen Elizabeth I, and to build upon these connections to understand the effect that these characters have on Shakespeare’s modern female audience. I build upon the idea of Hippolyta’s “process of domestication” put forward by Kathryn Schwarz in “Tragical Mirth: Framing Shakespeare’s Hippolyta” and the eternal nature of the legacy of queens as told by Susan Frye in “Spectres of Female Sovereignty in Shakespeare’s Plays” in order to give new meaning to the life of Elizabeth I as told by Alison Weir. Queen Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream acts as a symbol of the masculine drive to conquer and diminish powerful women through marriage, a situation that is directly connected to the struggles of Queen Elizabeth I regarding marriage, autonomy, and authority. Queen Hippolyta can be seen as an Elizabeth who marries and submits to her husband, while Queen Titania can be seen as an Elizabeth who tries, and fails, to retain her autonomy and power after marriage. The result of these connections is a further understanding of not only Queen Elizabeth I, but also of the power that men hold in marriage and sex, even in our modern society, as seen by the recent prominence of #metoo and the outing of a variety of rapists and harassers in Hollywood.

Course Assignment

ENGL 305 – Fike

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Apr 20th, 1:00 PM

The Amazonian Queen: Marriage as a Weapon of the Patriarchy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

DIGS 221

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to explore the connections between the fictional queens Hippolyta and Titania and Queen Elizabeth I, and to build upon these connections to understand the effect that these characters have on Shakespeare’s modern female audience. I build upon the idea of Hippolyta’s “process of domestication” put forward by Kathryn Schwarz in “Tragical Mirth: Framing Shakespeare’s Hippolyta” and the eternal nature of the legacy of queens as told by Susan Frye in “Spectres of Female Sovereignty in Shakespeare’s Plays” in order to give new meaning to the life of Elizabeth I as told by Alison Weir. Queen Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream acts as a symbol of the masculine drive to conquer and diminish powerful women through marriage, a situation that is directly connected to the struggles of Queen Elizabeth I regarding marriage, autonomy, and authority. Queen Hippolyta can be seen as an Elizabeth who marries and submits to her husband, while Queen Titania can be seen as an Elizabeth who tries, and fails, to retain her autonomy and power after marriage. The result of these connections is a further understanding of not only Queen Elizabeth I, but also of the power that men hold in marriage and sex, even in our modern society, as seen by the recent prominence of #metoo and the outing of a variety of rapists and harassers in Hollywood.