The Struggle Is Real

Helena's rough journey through love


As I read A Midsummer's Night Dream by Shakespeare, I noticed something that he constantly tried to express; love is unfair. The main people that represent this are the lovers. Helena shows it when even though she loves Demetrius with all her heart, he doesn't return her love. In fact, he hates her, is rude and cruel to her, and even threatened to kill her. That's also shown when the reason Demetrius doesn't love her is because he's in love with her best friend, Hermia. Hermia doesn't return his love, and instead loves Lysander. Lysander also loves Hermia, but they aren't allowed to be in love, because Egeus, her dad, says that she needs to marry Demetrius even though she doesn't love him. Once they run away to try to be together, things get even worse. Lysander and Demetrius get put under a love spell, and start loving Helena. Hermia gets very upset, because she just went from being loved to being hated. Helena's also confused and upset, because now that Lysander and Demetrius love her, it seems too good to be true. She thinks they're lying and gets upset at them, thinking they're pranking her. Those are some of the many instances in which Shakespeare tries to demonstrate that love is unfair.
Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble

Track 1: Taylor Swift- I Knew You Were Trouble

This song shows Helena's longing for Demetrius, even when he doesn't love her back. She dotes on this many times, talking about how even though Demetrius told her that he loved her, and made all these vows to her, he broke her heart and left her for Hermia. She would listen to this in the beginning, when Demetrius has just left her, and she's jealous of Hermia, and thinking about all the things Hermia has but she doesn't. I think the lyrics really relate to how Helena was feeling. She talks about how it was a mistake loving him, because he was never really hers, which I think Helena feels a lot. She also talks about how he was very cold to her, saying things like "No apologies, he'll never see you cry, pretends he doesn't know, that he's the reason why", and I think that relates to her later in the book when she follow Demetrius into the woods, and he says very rude things to her, and doesn't want to listen to anything she has to say. I think this song really reflects the overall theme, because it shows how even though someone may say that they love you, or that they care about you, they'll turn around in the blink of an eye, and start loving someone else.
Adele - Rolling in the Deep

Track 2: Adele- Rolling in the Deep

This song shows Helena's despair after Demetrius left her. She would listen to this in the beginning of the play, when she's still raw about Demetrius leaving her, and still crazily obsessed with him. I think the chorus relates to how she was feeling. Adele says "We could have had it all", which is what Helena is thinking. Adele also talks about the scars of love, and how they keep bringing her back to their relationship. I think Helena could definitely relate to this, because even though their relationship is over and Demetrius hates her, Helena refuses to let him go and is constantly thinking about him. Adele also says things like "Think of me in the depths of your despair," which I think shows that Helena wishes Demetrius regretted leaving her, because Hermia doesn't love him, but she does love him. I also think the music video relates to how she's feeling, because it's very chaotic. She's in an old house, which is like her mind, and Adele's breaking things and there's a lot of things going on, which is sort of like how she's feeling right then. I think this song really demonstrates the theme, because it shows how unfair her love life is, when even though she still loves Demetrius, Demetrius doesn't love her, and even though Demetrius loves Hermia, she doesn't love him back.
Zee Avi - Bitter Heart

Track 3: Zee Avi- Bitter Heart

This song shows Helena just giving up on the chase after Demetrius. She would listen to this when she grows tired of chasing after Demetrius when he's constantly mean to her, and when she thinks everyone hates her. I think the tone of the song matches how she's feeling. It sounds bittersweet, and as it goes on, it turns more melancholy. The chorus also matches, saying things like "Bitter heart, my bitter heart is getting just a little fragile", and she's definitely starting to break down, and feeling fragile. Zee Avi also talks about how she's tired of waiting, and Helena is tired of waiting for Demetrius to love her, and following Demetrius around only to be picked on by everyone else. I think this reflects the theme, because it's unfair that she always has to wait around and follow people, only to be hated by them.
We The Kings - Sad Song (Lyric Video) ft. Elena Coats

Track 4: We The Kings- Sad Song

This song shows Helena's sadness when Demetrius leaves her. She would listen to this in the beginning when she's really sad about Demetrius not loving her anymore. I think the tune really relates to her, because it's very sad sounding. I also think that the lyrics really relate to Helena's feelings. In the beginning, it's talking about how he felt with her, saying things like "With you, I'm alive", and I think Helena could definitely relate to that, seeing as now that it's over, she's still obsessed with him. As it transitions further into the song, it starts saying all these feelings now that they're not together. One good example is "Without you, I feel broke, like I'm half of a whole," and "Without you, I've got no hand to hold". I feel as if Helena felt a lot of those things, once their relationship was over. She never really got over him, and still constantly thinks about him and all the things she is now that he's gone. I think this accurately shows the theme, because Helena loved and cared for Demetrius so much, but he left her, and now she's broken and torn.
MAGIC! - Rude

Track 5: MAGIC!- Rude

This song shows Helena's feelings when she thinks all the other lovers are taunting her and making fun of her. She would listen to this in the woods when the potion is put on the boys eyes, and they see her first and fall in love. I think the lyrics would really speak to her, seeing as they say things like "Why you gotta be so rude, don't you know I'm human too!" Helena says that too, saying it's really mean of them to play such a mean prank on her, and that she's a lady who suffering from heartbreak. I think this really reflects the theme, because it's unfair to all of them. It's unfair to Helena, who thinks they're being rude and they're all in on a prank. It's also rude to Hermia who went from being loved to hated. It's unfair for Lysander and Demetrius, because even though they're under the influence of the potion, they still think they love her, and want her to realize they're not kidding.
Taylor Swift - Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar

Track 6: Taylor Swift- Bad Blood

This song represents Helena's feelings toward Hermia at one point. She would listen to this when she and Hermia were having a disagreement, and Hermia was jealous of Helena for stealing the attention of Lysander and Demetrius. I think the tone of the song reflects this situation. It's very spiteful, and angry. I think that shows how Hermia and Helena were feeling right then, when they were saying all these insults and threatening to resort to violence to sort out all the lover's mishaps. I also think the lyrics well represent how she's feeling towards Hermia right then. In the song, it says

Cause baby now we got bad blood

You know it used to be mad love

So take a look what you've done

Cause baby now we got bad blood

This shows how Hermia and Helena used to be friends, but then once Lysander and Demetrius stopped loving Hermia, she got all jealous and angry at Helena. Once they got angry, there were all these arguments and fights, mainly about height. I thought it was ironic it was about height seeing that Taylor Swift is really tall, and Helena is supposedly also tall. I think this really represents the theme, because they used to be friends, and now it's all turned around because of the potion and the boys.

Elvis Presley - Always On My Mind

Track 7: Elvis Presley- Always On My Mind

This song shows Helena's longing for Demetrius, and how she still wants him. She would listen to this towards the end when she's almost back together with Demetrius. She also might listen to this in the beginning when Demetrius has broken up with her, and she can't stop thinking about what she did, or about him in general. I think the lyrics really show this. Part of the song says "Maybe I didn't treat you as well as I should have", and then it goes into all these things he didn't do, and it's very regretful. I think Helena could relate with that, because she was regretting things she had done or things she didn't have, like Hermia's looks. It also says" You were always on my mind, you were always on my mind", which I feel is maybe a little too true for Helena. Throughout the play, she comes across to us as this shallow character who only cares about Demetrius, and only thinks about Demetrius, which is why I think she could really relate to this song. I really think this represents the theme Love is Unfair, because Helena wants another chance with Demetrius, to try to fix everything, but Demetrius hates her and doesn't want that.
Journey - Don't Stop Believing Lyrics

Track 8: Journey- Don't Stop Believing

This final track on her straight fire mixtape would represent her feelings when she and Demetrius finally got back together. She would listen to this at the end of the play when all the potion mishaps got mainly worked out, and she and Demetrius got back together. I think the tone of the song and the lyrics would relate to her. It's happy, and represents something you would finally get after a long wait. I think the phrase "Don't stop believing" would really speak to her, because throughout the whole play, she's been hanging on to Demetrius, and determined to get him back. She kept believing in him and the power of love, and in the end, it payed off.