Midsummer Nights Dream Character Analysis

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Throughout William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Helena evolves from being a heartbroken, desperate girl to a strong woman who effectively advocates for herself. In the beginning Helena is a young woman who struggling with a heartbreak, she had a prior relationship with a man named Demetrius, who is now moving on and not interested in her. He is falling in love with a woman Hermia, who happens to be the best friend of Helena. Slowly Shakespeare uses the literary technique of characterization to show how Helena grows as a person. Helena overcomes her obsession with Demetrius, and is able to stand up and defend herself when everyone seems to turn against her. In Act 1, Shakespeare uses the literary technique of characterization to show Helena as a desperate girl who has fallen madly in love with a man named Demetrius. They had a prior relationship but she is constantly trying to gain his affection, even though he is now in love with another woman, Hermia. In an argument between Helena and Demetrius, she explains how she feels towards him, “And even for that do I love you the more. / I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius, / The more you beat me, I will fawn on you. / Use me but as your spaniel: spurn me, strike me, / Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave, / Unworthy as I am, to follow you.” (Shakespeare II.ii.209-214). Helena is obsessed with Demetrius to put it lightly. All she wants is for him to care for her as much as he does for Hermia. Helena “fawns on” Demetrius and begs him to think of her as he used to. Helena seems unaffected by his feelings and is only focused on what she wants. She tells him that no matter how he treats her, even “the more you beat me, I will fawn over you.” Helena uses a metaphor comparing her... ... middle of paper ... ...y back” (Shakespeare Act ||| Scene 2 325-331.) At this moment Helena lets all her emotions out. She has held back her feelings for so long, and now she is defending herself. Helena explains what she has done because of her love for Demetrius and how she cares so much for Hermia but is hurt that she doesn’t get the love that Hermia receives. Helena has been pushed around by so many people and in this moment she shows she is still strong. Helena proves how far she has come by owning up to what she has felt and what she has done. She admits that Demetrius has treated her poorly “to strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too” and now that Helena has released these feelings she is free to leave and move on “you will let me quiet go.” Helena has progressed as a person and Shakespeare uses characterization to show the changes she has gone through, throughout the storyline.
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