BY: Emily Enriquez
People's emotions usually control how they act
Throughout "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Helena goes through a whirlpool of emotions. Her love for Demetrius and later on envy and jealousy of her best friend Hermia prove to show that a person's emotions control how they act. In the middle of Act I, Hermia decides to tell Helena of her plan to run away with Lysander. Helena does not enjoy the thought of the idea and plans to tell Demetrius who loves Hermia. Helena states, "I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight. Then to the wood will he tomorrow night pursue her. And for this intelligence if I have thanks, it is a dear expense. But herein I mean to enrich my pain, to have his sight thither and back again" (I.i.245-251). Helena's emotions towards Demetrius at this point of the story causes her actions. She wants Demetrius to realize Hermia is not the right one for him as well as get back at Hermia for having the qualities that Demetrius is so fond off causing her Helena's envy toward Hermia. Additionally, This shows the type of person Helena is. She is careless of the pain she will go through in order to get what desires. She wants the attention from Demetrius as well whether its good or bad.
Strong emotions can change the kind of people we are.
Although Helena's actions caused by her emotions show the type of person she can be, they help prove that "strong emotions can change the kind of people we are". Helena's strong love for Demetrius clearly support this claim. In the middle of Act 1, Helena finds out her best friend, Hermia's plan to run away with her love. Hermia wishes Demetrius finds love for Helena and Helena to find happiness with him. Helena, in desperation of the situation starts to get angry and states, "Love can transpose to form and dignity. Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind" (I.i.233-235). The love and feeling that Helena has towards Demetrius change her. She grew to be a jealous for Hermia due to the qualities that she possesses. It shows that because of her love, she has become blinded for Demetrius' bad qualities. Additionally, Helena gained bad characteristics because of her emotions. She is obsessive and loves easy proving the claim of "Strong emotions can change the kind of people we are".
People do not understand love
Throughout the play Helena struggles with love. Her view of love is seen different then the typical view of love. Helena clearly shows that "people do not understand love" throughout the play. In the beginning of Act 2 Helena is explaining her love to Demetrius. Demetrius does not understand why Helena is so fond of him if he doesn't treat her the best way. Helena states, "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". (II.i.189-192). Helena is showing that her view of love is by causing pain. That clearly shows she does not understand what love is about. Love between two people is about helping each other improve, give motivation, and support throughout the relationship, not about being with someone who does not love you despite all the pain a person goes through. furthermore, the quote provided above brings out Helena's character more. She is presented as being desperate for Demetrius's love and she is foolish due to the way she views love between two people.
Connection to Helena
Throughout the play Helena displays major qualities of herself as a person. Many of the qualities displayed are not something to be proud of so in my opinion I do not see myself in much of Helena's character. Although, the one good trait that I find Helena possesses and is shared with me is determination. Helena shows she is determined to gain Demetrius's love or attention towards her throughout the play despite the complications it could bring. She said she was going to do it and she went out to keep her word. As for myself, when I set a goal in my future that is good, I am determined to reach the goal.