class notes March 14

Characters of Athenian Court: Ulterior Motives

  • Theseus: sleep with Hippolyta, show her Athens is civilized, retain his own power
  • Hippolyta: retain/establish her power, withhold her body, avoid being used, maintain her previous culture
  • Egeus: retain patriarchal power, appeals to "ancient" laws
  • Hermia: establish precedent for marrying for love, power of younger generation, feminist
  • Lysander: same as Hermia besides feminist, make Demetrius look undesirable
  • Helena: forcing Demetrius to love her
  • Demetrius: appeals to ancient laws

Court vs. Woods
Court: laws, oppression, reason
Woods: freedom, anarchy, uncivilized, danger

Why the setting of the woods for tradesmen?
-simple, rude, crude speech
-speaking in prose, not rhyming> lower class
different then speech in court> speaking in verse/lyruc