Shakespeare’s female characters tend towards rebellion and Hermia, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is the perfect example.
Though an ancient Athenian law dictates that she is subject to her father’s whims and demands, she refuses to acquiesce to his desire that she marry Demetrius, despite the fact that she is faced with death or life as a nun.
Instead, she and the man she is in love with (Lysander) plan to run away to a place where all the old rules don’t apply. She is brave enough to face the consequences should she be caught, and firm in her conviction that their live is worth the risk.
When a bumbling Puck mistakenly puts a potion on Lysander’s eyes that will make him fall in love with another woman, Hermia holds fast to her heart.
A woman who can hold her own against the the oppressive patriarchy, Hermia remains one of my favorite Shakespearean characters!