Helene - A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Characterization of Helena Kate Steneker The caracter Helena, in Shakespear’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, changes drastictally throughout the play. Or, rather seeing as it is a script and not a novel, the reader observes her reactions to other characters change. In the first segment of the play that takes place in Athens, Helena is seen as the loveless friend of the much sought-after Hermia. In love with Demitrius, Hermias intended husband, Helena is jealous of Hermia’s talent in attracting men. She even goes so far to ask Hermia to “teach [her] how [Hermia] look[s], and with what art [she] sway[s] the motion of Demetrius’ heart” (10). Helena is seems to have no self-esteem, which could be seen as a reason that Demitrius is not interested in her. She follows him around like a puppy, and even compares herself to one. The only thing on her mind is to get Demitrius to love her. She goes about this, by telling him of Hermia and Lysander’s plot to elope at night. She follows Demitrius into the forest, in pursuit of the two lovers. However, Lysander and Demitrius are caught under Puck’s love spell, and fall in love with Helena. Helena’s reaction to this is that both men are making fun of her. More self loathing and doubt is shown by Helena, and her friendship with Hermia is futher explored. She asks Hermia if she “conspired.. with these contrived to bait [her] with this foul derision” (49). This insecurity continues until the characters are released from the fairies’ spell, and then Helena seems to accept Demitrius’s love for her, saying that she “found Demetrius like a jewel, [her] own, and not [her] own” (68), meaning that their love was not grown over time, rather that it was stumbled upon. She seems more confident in saying this – confidence perhaps given by the
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