"The Revenge of Women"
"It is the fate of all women that we must do what we are told," Hermia said resignedly to her best friend Helena who had not expected to hear surrender in her words.
"Is it? You can't mean that Hermia. Just last night, Lysander mentioned Demetrius' unhappiness to me. While Demetrius is grateful for your acts of submission in public, he can't understand why you defy him at every private moment. Surely, you must understand a man has needs." To a stranger, Helena's words might have sounded sympathetic, but to her friend's knowing ear, it was irony laced with enjoyment.
Hermia and Helena had decided to meet by the statue of Athena to have a picnic. It was one sculpted by the only female artist in the city. It was set not too far from the woods, but not too close to the city gates. Athena was a source of inspiration—and much needed at the moment.
Hermia and Helena did not have happy marriages. They were forced to marry the men they did not love: Hermia to Demetrius and Helena to Lysander. It all started two years ago when Hermia was forced by her father, Egeus, to marry Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander tried to escape Athens, but, unfortunately, the plan was unsuccessful. Hermia was a life-loving woman back then. Death is not preferable to a loveless marriage, and she believed she could find a way to tolerate even Demetrius. But how she hated the fact that he manage to wormed his way into her father's heart. How she hated his fickle heart, loving Helena one moment, and dumping her for another in the next. His name might as well be Romeo. Most of all, she she hated that he holds her hand knowing full well that she loved Lysander.
At the wedding, Egeus, always hearty and joyful when he got what he wishes, laughed too joyfully and merrily. He drank wine from two gold cups held by each of his fat hands, and before the night was up, dropped dead on the ground. The doctor said he drank too much and died from a heart attack. A week after the funeral, the heart broken Helena married Lysander. No one in particular forced her to do it, but the noble class frowned at young women who chose not to marry.
As the two women sit by the statue, talking about their unhappy lives, Titania, overhears their conversation. She feels sympathy towards these two poor women and decides to help them. She tells Robin to spray a potion she made that will make all men in Athens submissive. At night, as Robin is carrying out his mission, he sees the beautiful sleeping Hippolyta and falls in love with her. He uses magic to appear in her dream. Robin, learning that Hippolyta was unwilling to marry Theseus but was being forced to do so, promises to take revenge on Theseus. The Amazon women Theseus killed would be avenged, and then he would take her back to the land of the Amazons.
The next day, Hermia and Helena awake and find that they have the spent the night on their picnic spot. They hurry home and are shocked to find a crowed of angry women with torches and wielding various types of weapons in front of Theseus's palace. Some are shouting; some are attacking the soldiers with brooms and sticks; some are breaking down the palace door so they can get in. The city is in chaos. There are fires everywhere. Men are being attacked on the street and their shops are broken in by women who are shouting "Revenge!" Terrified and confused, Hermia and Helena run separately to their houses. On her way home, Helena finds Demetrius at the plaza surrounded by many angry women. Just when a woman is going to hit Demetrius with a bag of beans, Helena rushes towards the woman and hits her with a rock. Furthermore, she scares all the other women away with the loudest scream she could muster. "I will protect you," she said to Demetrius and grabbed his hand. The two rush to find Lysander.
At the same time Hermia sees the man she misses and loves, Lysander, is pushed into a lake, struggling to survive because he cannot swim. Even though she cannot swim, Hermia immediately jumps into the lake to save her love. She manages to take Lysander's hand, grab a floating log, and paddle towards land. Lysander wakes up to find his beloved Hermia next to him. They laugh joyfully and decide to never be apart again, even if it means running away or losing their lives. They soon run into Helena and Demetrius and the four of them hide in a cave to avoid the chaos and rioting in the city.
While the women of Athens raged, Robin and Hippolyta watched from a tower overlooking the city. They hear Theseus rush into the room, demanding an explanation. However, Robin only chuckles and turns the king into a pig. They later learn that the pig was killed, and then cooked into bacon by a liberated housewife. A few days later, Hippolyta declares herself the new queen of Athens. The madness in the city stops. Women now dominate Athens and the gender roles in Athenian society switches. Two days later, during Robin and Hippolyta's wedding, Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena meet with the new queen. Hermia tells Hippolyta that she is determined to be with Lysander and that the marriage with Demetrius was a mistake. Demetrius also announces that he is fascinated by Helena's courage and love. Hippolyta happily grants the new couple's wishes. She asks them to join her in the wedding and the couples live happily ever after.