A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare detailed the story between warring characters. From couple conflicts to love quadrilaterals and the interference of outsiders, the story played out as a comedy, with Helena on the receiving end of a running joke. Introduced in Act One as the jealous friend of Hermia, as she was in love with Demetrius, who decided to marry Hermia despite Hermia’s love for Lysander. Hermia appears rather guilty as she confirms her distaste to Demetrius to her friend. However, her father disapproves of her relationship with Lysander. Despite her co-dependent aspirations, Helena exemplifies progressive ideals that counter the societal norms of Midsummer’s era.
Threatened by the one she loves, fighting her best friend, and marrying unexpectedly are all acts done by Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream By William Shakespeare. This timeless play features four young adults going into the woods for a day. During their stay in the woods, Helena shows her true self. Helena is a person who comes off as desperately longing for Demetrius. One can realize this because she is skeptical, deeply in love, and mean at times.
As Helena learns of Lysander and Hermia's plan to run off and be happy, she instantly gets jealous and agonizes over her heartbreaking situation with Demetrius, the man who loves an already happy Hermia and not her. While by herself, Helena realizes love is flawed and has a mind of its own.
Helena tells us that love looks with the mid and not with the eyes. She teaches us that love is blind and that people are often charmed using deceit rather than using positive character traits that may have. She also teaches us to go and fight for love instead.
Throughout the history of books, plays, and stories as a whole, competition over a boy or a girl is a very common element that even occurs in real life. The aspect of this competition provides parallels between two characters, entailing drama, humor, and interesting themes to the story. A perfect example of this element is within William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The two main women of the story, Hermia and Helena, compete over boys in the story, and that, as well as their different personalities makes the story quite interesting. The relationships between the two women changes constantly, as they are competing over boys they love yet remain best friends. The characters differ from each other in a number of ways to make
Hermia and Helena’s actions are a big part of what makes up their personalities. Helena’s personality throughout the play, is opposite of Hermias. When Helena comes face to face with the reality that nobody loves her, she becomes overwhelmed with self pity. “Through Athens I am thought as fair as she/ But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so” (23) She has no confidence which leads her to constantly believe that no one will ever love her. Even when Lysander and Demetrius have the magic nectar on their eyes, and they both fall in love with Helena, she continues to deny their love because she doesn’t believe them. Throughout the play all she wants is to be loved, yet when Lysander and Demetrius finally love her, she doesn’t believe him. Helena’s personality is not only completely different than Hermias, but so is her appearance.
The play Midsummer Nights Dream consists of many types of love. William Shakespeare does this so that he can make the audience compare how the types of love fluctuate. The types of love vary from emotional love to political love. Other types of love in the play is Titania and Oberon who have been married for a very long time, both inflict pain and trickery on each other regularly. The romantic relationships in this play all act upon one straightforward quote said by Lysander —‘the course of true love does not run smooth’.
Shakespeare’s usage of metaphor and simile in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is best understood as an attempt to provide some useful context for relationships and emotions, most often love and friendship, or the lack thereof. One example of such a usage is in Act 3, Scene 2 of the play. Here, the two Athenian couples wake up in the forest and fall under the effects of the flower, thus confusing the romantic relationships between them. Hermia comes to find her Lysander has fallen for Helena. Hermia suspects that the two have both conspired against her in some cruel joke, and begins lashing out against Helena. She says “We, Hermia, like two artificial gods, / Have with our needles created both one flower, / Both one sampler sitting on one cushion, / Both warbling of one song, both in one key; / As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds, / Had been incorporate. So we grew together, / Like a double cherry, seeming parted; / But yet a union in partition / Two lovely berries moulded on one stem: / So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart; / Two of the first, like coats in heraldry, / Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.” (Shakespeare 2.3.206-13). Shakespeare writes this list of vibrant metaphors to establish the prior relationship between these two characters and to make it evident how affected Helena is by this unexpected turn of events, as well as to add a greater range of emotion to the comedy, thereby lending it more literary and popular appeal.
Hermia and Helena's relationship has changed greatly after the intervention of Puck with the love potion. Once best friends, they have become each others enemies, and all for the love of Lysander and Demetrius.
Oberon, the fairy king, puts the flower juice into Titania’s eyes to make her fall in love with someone hideous. The flower juice makes you fall in love with the first person you see, and the first thing Titania saw was Bottom. Now, Bottom was not his normal self, his head was a donkey head. Titania instantly falls in love with Bottom and treats him as royalty. “Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed . . . and kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy” (Shakespeare 4.1.0-5). She wakes up the next morning not knowing why she was in love with Bottom. Titania spoke to Oberon, “My Oberon, what visions have I seen! Methought I was enamored of an ass” (Shakespeare 4.1.60). She wakes up to not knowing why she is in love with Bottom because Oberon, put the flower juice back into her eyes, which made her fall out of love to Bottom, and in love with Oberon. This is dramatic irony because Oberon and the audience knew what had happened to Titania and Bottom, but she was confused to why she was sleeping next to a person with a donkey head, and why she had a dream about
In many of Shakespeare’s literary works one can find multiple themes that reflect or question our reality. He accomplishes this by using figurative language such as metaphors and similes. Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream encompasses many themes and apply them to certain characters or through communication between multiple characters. Helena portrays themes of love, betrayal, jealousy, and gender norms in Midsummer Night’s Dream presenting them through her speech and behavior. She depicts the challenges of a woman and also the flaws of human nature. In Act 2 scene 1 and Act 3 scene 2 Helena uses a metaphor twice which emulates these themes presenting us a broader understanding of her representation within the play and the play as a whole. Following are lines from Helena.
Therefore, no marvel though Demetrius. Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.” (2.2.110-13). Helena reveals that a beast more fearsome than a bear would run from her tormented self. Her comparison to Demetrius acting as a monster flying from her may represent an underlying and unrecognized disdain felt for him not loving her in return. These are majorly complex emotions running through my favorite afflicted female in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Helena’s comparison to Hermia is particularly relevant. Humans have a tendency of comparing and questioning why they should bother to contend with someone. Helena complains of a “wicked and dissembling glass” which made her compete with Hermia’s beauty (2.2.104-5). In A Midsummer Night's Dream, there is the presence of unrequited love, which is shown by Helena and Demetrius' relationship: "The more I love, the more he hateth me" (1.1.199). This evidently shows Helena's love for Demetrius, and yet her love for him is not returned for he is blinded by his love for Hermia. This unrequited love shows the cruel nature of love which is represented when Demetrius say, “Tell you I do not nor I cannot love you” (2.1.201). “Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I do look on thee” (2.1.211). Demetrius ignores Helena in an attempt to push her away, when she is madly in love with him. However, his plan backfires and only causes her love and desperate desire for him to grow,
Love is a very common theme that is seen in literature, and love is one of the most powerful things that can be felt for someone or something. Love can drive a person to do incredible or horrible things, and we see many forms of love that take place in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is demonstrated in the book by many characters including Hermia and Lysander who demonstrate true love. Titania and Bottom show magical love. In the play, love is also the cause of a few broken hearts. While there is no one common definition of love that suits all of the characters, the romantic relationship in the play all leans to one simple rule laid out by Lysander, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
A main idea is A midsummer night’s dream is jealousy people have for others. Shakespeare first refers to jealousy when Helena is speaking to Hermia. Helena obviously envies Hermia for she had Demetrius fall in hove with her. The jealousy is seen again during the mud fight between Helena and Hermia. This comical scene occurs after Puck’s mishap, and Demetrius and Lysander have both fallen in love with Hermia. Only this time, Hermia is the jealous one. Dramatic irony is used, since the reader knows the only reason Lysander fell in love with Helena is because Puck mistook him for Demetrius, but Hermia is completely oblivious to that. Hermia is enraged when she says “O me, you juggler, you canker-blossom, you thief of love! What, have you come by night and stol’n my love’s heart from him?” But she doesn’t know that Lysander is under a spell. To convey the concept of jealousy, Shakespeare uses the dramatic irony to make the topic less serious, and more humorous.
A Midsummer Night 's Dream is a play about love. All of its action—from the escapades of Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena in the forest, to the argument between Oberon and Titania, to the play about two lovelorn youths that Bottom and his friends perform at Duke Theseus 's marriage to Hippolyta—are motivated by love. But A Midsummer Night 's Dream is not a romance, in which the audience gets caught up in a passionate love affair between two characters. It 's a comedy, and because it 's clear from the outset that it 's a comedy and that all will turn out happily, rather than try to overcome the audience with the exquisite and overwhelming passion of love, A Midsummer Night 's Dream invites the audience to laugh at the way the passion of love can make people blind, foolish, inconstant, and desperate. At various times, the power and passion of love threatens to destroy friendships, turn men against men and women against women, and through