In William Shakespeares Midsummer Evenings Dream, Hermia seems to be the strong woman, while Helena is seen as poor and easily focused. In Gohlkes article, for instance , she describes the high submission of Helena to Demetrius (151), thereby giving voice an opinion that is common during literary criticism. My matter, however , is with the opposite aspect of the gold coin, Helena is really a far more powerful woman than she appears upon initial observation.
Our initially introduction to Helena, the paler, tall, and slender first, is quite in line with the traditional symbol of forlorn maiden like (Charlton 115) as the lady laments over Demetrius, her lost like. We quickly discover that Demetrius has begun to fancy himself in love with Hermia, Helenas closest friend, a situation which brings much woe unto Helenas center, as is obvious when the lady begs of Hermia, To, teach me personally how you look, and using what art/ You sway the motion of Demetrius center (155, Action I, Scene I). Basically desperate enthusiast is played out very sure here, but Helenas character comes into question before the picture is over. As Loeff describes, she [Helena] does demonstrate some way of measuring initiative when ever she betrays her closest friend so that she can gain her personal ends (72). In her marvelous and character-revealing monologue at the conclusion of Scene We, Helena resolves that
I will go let him know of reasonable Hermias air travel
Then for the wood will certainly he to-morrow night
Pursue her, and for this intelligence
If I possess thanks, it is a dear price:
But here mean I to enrich my pain
To have his eyesight thither and back again (155, Act We, Scene I).
In these lines, we clearly notice that Helena is fairly capable to be her personal woman, making her individual decisions, and taking control of her own life. Although these types of actions are taken with regard to romantic delight, they are not at all in keeping with the pitiful small love-forsaken girls whom we would have previously imagined Helena to be. This is certainly a very bold action intended for the woman who was just previously whining in concern to [h]ow cheerful some oer other several can be! (155, Act We, Scene I). In risking any future trusting romance with the female into in whose confidence she gets been used, Helena demonstrates that she is willing to take the probability of living in a situation of full and complete friendlessness for the chance in recovering her true love.
A much later on example of this same boldness will come in her conflict with Hermia while the four lovers are wandering through the woods, although, with both men claiming to love her she [Helena] becomes dubious and suspects that they have artificial a joke at her expenditure (Quennell 121). Although the lady fails to have an understanding of any of the mysterious causes for anyone sudden infatuations, Helena really does take one other huge part of becoming her own, independent person once she essentially defies all three of her companions (Hermia, Demetrius, and Lysander) and runs off on her personal, uttering this final problem to Hermia:
I will not really trust you, I
Nor longer remain in your curst company.
Your hands than mine happen to be quicker to get a fray
My own legs will be longer, though, to run away (165, Act III, Scene II).
Since she practically runs away from her good friends and in to the unknown by simply herself, the lady figuratively makes her departure from the centered life that she has been leading within the shelter of her good friends and enters the world of independent life. Leoff sums up this field quite nicely when your woman states that [t]his abandonment of her initial part is a step forward toward an individual personality (72).
A final example of Helenas independent mother nature is imbedded in the wariness with which she finally accepts the love of Demetrius. Being traditional of Shakespeares not series, A Midsummer Nights Wish concludes which has a myriad of happy marriages, however it take Helena some time to think that Demetriuss love on her is true. When he and Lysander fight for her favor, your woman insists after believing that each are kidding with her and that nor one means what he says. Before your woman departs, she exclaims, To Athens will I bear my own folly back, /And stick to you simply no farther (165, Act III, Scene II). Her experience of love provides at least taught her that your woman must be even more careful prior to setting her affections on any one thing or person. So , even though by Work IV, Picture I, the girl with willing to accept the love that Demetrius presents her, she actually is now knowledgeable enough to demand effective guarantees prior to accepting this (Charlton 116), finally talking about their marriage by saying that she gets found Demetrius like a jewel (168, Act IV, Picture I).
It is very simple to understand Helena as a weak and reliant character who have sits around waiting for her beloved to love her back, nonetheless it is clear, after an deductive reading from the play, that she is, in fact , the more robust woman of the two key characters.
Charlton, H. B. Shakespearean Comedy. London, uk: Methuen, 61.
Gohlke, Madelon. I wooed thee with my own sword: Shakespeares Tragic Paradigms. Eds. Carolyn Ruth Speedy Lenz, Gayle Greene, and Carol Thomas Neely. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1980. 150-70.
Leoff, Eve. William Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream. Ny: Simon and Schuster, 1964.
Quennell, Peter and Hamish Manley. Whos Who have in William shakespeare. New York: William Morrow, 1973.
William shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Times Dream. Shakespeare: The Complete Works. New York: Random House, 1975.
Charlton, H. B. Shakespearean Comedy. London: Methuen, 61.
Godfrey, Howard. A few puns in musical conditions in A Midsummer Nights Fantasy. ‘ Paperwork and Queries 40. 2 (1993): 179-80.
Gohlke, Madelon. My spouse and i wooed thee with my own sword: Shakespeares Tragic Paradigms. Eds. Carolyn Ruth Quick Lenz, Gayle Greene, and Carol Thomas Neely. Chi town: U of Illinois P, 1980. 150-70.
Leoff, Eve. Bill Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964.
Quennell, Peter and Hamish Johnson. Whos Who in William shakespeare. New York: Bill Morrow, 1973.
Watkins, Ronald and Jeremy Lemmon. In Shakespeares Playhouse: A Midsummer Evenings Dream. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, 1974.
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