Helena and Hermia
Comparing and Contrasting Essay:
Helena and Hermia. Two attractive young maidens, living in the Ancient Athenian era. Shakespeare portrays the beauties as the best of friends, practically sisters since birth. Their friendship is so strong that they seem to be connected spiritually, like one person, living in two bodies *"So with two seeming bodies, but one heart,” Both girls come from wealthy family backgrounds, and only mingle with the top end of the social hierarchy.
Hermia is the desired. With two handsome and well respected men of Athenian sociality, Lysander and Demetrius, yearning for her heart, and her love. Egeus, her father, gives orders under Athenian law that she marries Demetrius, and if opposed then she must enter a convent and become a nun, or die. Hermia’s eye is on Lysander, and in order to be together, the must out run the Athenian law, so they plan to run away, taking risks on their love.
Helena, whose name is derived from Helen of Troy, is more of a soft and neglected character, unlike Helen of Troy, who was in the spotlight, so much so armies were sent to bring her back from Troy. Helena is tall, slim and blonde, and madly in love with Demetrius, whose eye is on Hermia, Helena’s best friend. Helena finds herself vulnerable to Demetrius, begging him to love her and asks him to treat her as he would a dog. She follows him into the forest, while he is searching for Hermia, and constantly pesters him while admitting her affection and adoration for him.
Helena and Hermia are both deeply in love, and both risk-takers. Helena shows a more defenceless and weak personality with the decline in Demetrius love. Whereas Hermia seems more strong and virtuous, showing this when she refuses to sleep next to Lysander in the forest. All four are caught in a vicious love triangle. Hermia loves Lysander and the same in return, but Demetrius’ love is for Hermia, and that is what Helena craves from him.
When mystical magic gets...