Compare and contrast Helena and Hermia in "A Midsummer night's dream"

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Love, Romance Pages: 4 (1097 words) Published: January 24, 2014
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Ms. Shanthasoruban
ENG2D1-04
28 November 2013

How do Hermia and Helena alter and connect in their approach to love and courtship?

“Two lovely berries moulded on to one stem/ so with two seeming bodies but one heart…..” In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Helena confronts Hermia to remind her once again of their relationship. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play about the two Athenian couples who constantly run through the course of true love. In this play Helena and Hermia are the two characters that have found their true lovers but are running through obstacles that prevent them to be with their loves. Hermia who is in love with Lysander has to go against the will of her Father Eugeus, while Helena has yet to make her love that is Demetrius fall in love with her. The whole play twists around the lovers and the way they approach to love and courtship. Although Hermia and Helena are both willing to risk honour for true love; in truth Hermia is confident in her approach to courtship while Helena lacks self-esteem.

Hermia and Helena are both willing to risk their honour for their true loves. For example Hermia is risking her honour by running away with her true love Lysander:

My good Lysander,
I swear to thee by Cupid’s strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus’ doves……..
By all vows that ever men have broke
(In number more than ever women spoke),
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
Tomorrow truly will I meet thee. (1.1.169-178)

Hermia vows upon the strongest symbols of love such as Cupid’s strongest bow, and Venus’ doves as her promise to meet Lysander at the place where they’ll elope. Hermia is risking her reputation by running away with Lysander, because she leaves the city with a person who she loves and trusts but is not married to, so therefore the society may consider her act as a disappointing example for other civilians. While Hermia is willing to risk her...
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