A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a famous Shakespearean play in which two couples have engaged themselves in complex love relationships. Lysander / Hermia and Helena / Demetrius are the central young lovers whose goal in the play is to overcome love obstacles through help from Puck’s magic, fate and the acts of friendship. These two couples dealing with their complex love relationships show many similarities in their actions, dialogues and feelings towards their lovers. Hermia and Helena act similarly in order to be with their lovers.
Lysander and Hermia cannot be together due to Hermia’s father’s objection where as Helena loves Demetrius but he does not return her love. In the beginning, Hermia is forced to marry someone whom she does not love. Her father tells her if she does not obey him then she has to act according to the Athenian law, which is to either marry Demetrius or become a nun, or either die. Hermia, however, does not want to obey the law so she decides to leave the city with Lysander and find a place where they will be accepted as lovers.
For love, she is willing to give up her high place in society and sacrifice her loving relationship with her father. On the other hand, Helena, she has to force Demetrius to love her. When he tells her that he is going after Hermia, she says, clinging onto him desperately, that “the more [he] beats [her], [she] will fawn on [him]” (2. 1. 204) She also gives up her status in her society and instead to “Beg in your love, — And yet a place of high respect with me, — Than to be used as you use your dog? ” (2. 1. 08-210). Both female protagonists betray their loved ones by running away.
Hermia, in a way, betrays her father because she is leaving him behind and not fulfilling her duty as a daughter. Helena betrays her best friend, Hermia, to fulfill her dream to be with Demetrius. She tells him about Hermia and Lysander’s plan to steal away into the forest. Due to their love for their lovers, Hermia and Helena act similarly. In their dialogues, all four lovers are all very educated and thus say words of passion to their lovers.
One similar theme in their dialogues is their references to love symbols such as Cupid, the legendary Greek Gods Cupid and Venus. Hermia, when displaying her affections to Lysander, “[she] swear[s] to thee, by Cupid’s strongest bow, By his best arrow with the golden head, By the simplicity of Venus’ doves, By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves… ” (1. 1. 169-178). Other times, the lovers plainly use the word “love” to demonstrate their feelings towards each other. When Helena is trying desperately to get his attention, she praises him saying, “Demetrius loves your fair: O Happy fair!
Your eyes are lode-stars;” (1. 1. 182-192). Hermia also says that “if then true lovers have been ever cross’d, it stands as an edict in destiny” (1. 1 150-152). Some dialogues just have the force to expressing emotions that can be felt while reading the novel. The use of vocabulary they use expresses the way they talk. Demetrius has expressed himself confidently using the words tame when fighting with Lysander over Helena. (3. 2. 257-259) Helena has expressed herself mad when she is arguing with Hermia using words like counterfeit and chronicled. (3. 2. 37-240)
Hermia has expressed herself furious using words like juggler and cankerblossom against Helena for stealing Lysander from her. (3. 2. 282-284) Lysander has expressed himself confused when he has used words like half sleep, and half waking. (4. 1 145-152) Many of the emotions felt by the lovers during their journey in the play are similar, such as jealousy, content and anger. Both female lovers feel jealous of each other during certain periods of the play. Helena feels jealous of Hermia because of her beautiful appearance, her relationship with Lysander and Demetrius falling in love with her.
Hermia is jealous of Helena when Lysander and Demetrius are both under the love juice spell, which cause them to love Helena instead of her. All lovers are angry at each other during some point of the play. Hermia gets angry with Helena because she thinks Helena stole Lysander from her. Helena gets mad at Hermia because she is annoyed and tired of her complaining and thinks Hermia is being selfish, for taking both men’s hearts. Lysander and Demetrius are mad at each other and even fight for Helena’s love when they are under Puck’s spell.
Lastly, all four lovers are content and happy at the end of the play because they find their true love, after overcoming all the hardships and obstacles. Based on the complex relationships in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the four young lovers act and feel similarly and say romantic phrases. All the lovers have to overcome problems, which cause them to fight and argue at each other. Luckily, Puck realizes that he is wrong and changes things back to normal. In the end, all the couples are back together with their love ones, while all the confusion is gone.