William Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night 's Dream Essay

William Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night 's Dream Essay

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Maybe More than a Skill
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written by William Shakespeare, is a tale of when trickery interferes with love, causing lots of twist and turns in the romantic relationships of the characters Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena. Within the first 100 lines, preliminary stressors are revealed. Hermia’s father, Egeus, has spoken his complaints to King Oberon about his trepidation regarding the love triangle Hermia has put herself into with Lysander, her lover, and Demetrius, Egeus’ choice. Even though Demetrius is aware of the love Lysander and Hermia have, this does not discourage him from continuing to pursue her. Furthermore, another Athenian woman, Helena, repeatedly professes her love to Demetrius just to be ridiculed and disrespected by him. We are first introduced to Helena as Lysander tries to debunk Demetrius’ noble morals, claiming that he has slept with the woman and though she dotes after him, he is untrue. Helena is finally able to speak her perspective of the situation as she explains in the passage that she wishes to understand how Hermia has enchanted these men into loving her. She wants Hermia to “…teach me how you look, and with what art, You sway the motion of Demetrius’ heart” (1.1.192-193). Art is defined as “Skill in doing something, esp. as the result of knowledge or practice” (OED, “art”, noun, sense 1). Helena describes the craft which she feels Hermia is using as an art, a talent or a skill which should be aspired to gain. However, art can also be defined as, “Cunning; artfulness; trickery, pretence; conduct or action which seeks to attain its ends by artificial, indirect, or covert means” (OED, “art”, noun, sense 11a), and the ideas of trickery and artifices’ play heavy in the overa...


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...e surprising.
Although both meanings art bring different scenarios, both cooperate in helping understand Helena’s overall feelings regarding her desire to be wanted. The word art presents two sides, one showing a more intellectual and skillful reason as to what Hermia is doing to the men, while the other side shows that she might be a dark master of persuasion. With this single word, we can comprehend that Helena possibly has mixed emotions about how to feel in regards to Hermia’s luck with men. Shakespeare’s choice of diction helps us understand that there is more underneath the surface of the text. Possibly, if it truly was trickery done by Hermia in Helena’s eyes, then maybe as the characters entered the green world Helena’s desires came back out when they exited the forest for the reason that there must be justice at the end of the play for fair maiden Helena.

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