A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Jealousy, Desperation, and Intervention

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People can become jealous by wanting something that someone else has. Overzealous jealousy leads to desperation in which people act irrationally to obtain the object of their desire. With irrational actions, people can ruin their relationships to ensure that they will never get what they want; however, other factors could intervene to help them get it. William Shakespeare explores these ideas in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Two characters that he uses to show these qualities are Oberon and Helena. According to Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, jealousy turns people to take desperate measures to get what they want, and they may need intervention to obtain what they desire. Shakespeare suggests that jealousy comes from not…show more content…
At one time, Demetrius loved Helena, and then he fell in love with someone else. Initially, Demetrius had given his love to Helena: “He hailed down oaths that he was only mine, / And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt, / So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt” (MND 1.1.243-245). Helena loved Demetrius, and he promised to be with her forever. However once he met her friend, Hermia, Demetrius left Helena to chase after her friend. Helena’s jealousy of Demetrius’ love drives her to think about what he really wants. Helena believes that Hermia’s beauty is why Demetrius desires her. She tells Hermia, “Demetrius loves your fair”, and she goes further to say, “Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, / The rest I’d give to be to you translated” (MND 1.1.182, 190-191). Her jealousy of Demetrius’ love has turned into jealousy of Hermia’s beauty. Helena obsesses over having Demetrius back to the point that she continuously follows him around. Demetrius is tired of Helena chasing him: “Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?” (MND 2.1.199). Demetrius does not understand why she tries so hard to be with him when he does not even compliment her. Demetrius threatens Helena to leave him alone: “I’ll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes, / And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts” (MND 2.1.227-228). At this point, he is beyond exhausted with Helena, and he will do anything to get away from her.

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