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A Midsummer Night's Dream - A Feminist Perspective

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A Feminist Perspective of A Midsummer Night's Dream  

   At age fifteen, my hormones went wild and I threw myself at every boy in the neighborhood.  Although I didn’t go all the way, I offered as much flesh as I dared. If the suburbs can create such sexual angst, imagine the lust stirred by moonlight, fairies, and a warm midsummer night. In  Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, Helena represents the frenzy of young love when fueled by rejection and driven to masochistic extremes.


As the lovers sink deeper into the fantasy world of starlit woods, the Greek virtue of moderation disappears. Emotions intensify to a melodramatic pitch. Helena, in particular, plunges to a primitive and desperate level of passion. She pleads for attention from the "hardhearted adamant" Demetrius (II. i. 195). Teenage vulnerability, virginal desire, and an adolescent crush combine with the romance of an unobtainable object. Demetrius' hostility only strengthens Helena's willingness to degrade herself.


Shakespeare chooses language of pain and humiliation to express Hele...

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