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A Midsummer Nights Dream - Literary Analysis

Prompt 19- Hermia and Helena -- the two main young ladies in the play who are confused as
to what exactly is happening to their relationships with the boys (Lysander and Demetrius).
There are several noticeable differences between these two characters, but they also have their
similarities. More obvious dissimilarities appear in their physical presentation, while their
personalities have a few connections. I believe that the better of Hermia and Helena would be
If put side by side, the difference between Hermia and Helenas height is remarkably
eye-catching. Helena is very tall while Hermia has a shorter stature. Because of her height,
Hermia is called acorn by Lysander (act 3, scene 2, line 347) and is also constantly stated as
lower than Helena. Hermia then proclaims that Helena is a painted maypole (act 3, scene 2,
line 311). As for any other differences when referring to physical appearance, it is hard to tell
since Hermia and Helena dont exactly have any specific details (besides height, of course).
However, Hermia has been said to be the more beautiful of the two and Helena the less
desirable. On the other hand, at one point in the play both of these characters have been fought
over by Demetrius and Lysander. Unfortunately for Helena, it was because of an enchantment
that was brought upon the gentlemen, making her very baffled. Hermia is also confused, as well
as frustrated. That being said, a comparison of these twos personalities will be initiated.
Hermia and Helena used to be close childhood friends, but in the present they are
frenemies and have a quarrel, spitting nasty insults at each other and practically grabbing at
each others throats (Hermia did a good amount of this). This shows the bitterness and violence
they contain. Adding onto that, the two are quick to conclusions, Helena immediately believing
that she is being pranked by Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius, and Hermia assuming that
Helena had stolen her love, Lysander, away from her. Helena is very clingy, constantly following
Demetrius around and ignoring his pleas to be left alone. She is hopelessly (and possibly
obsessively) in love with him. On the other hand, Hermia is more calm and doesnt latch onto or
stalk Lysander like Helena, proving she has a bit more self control.
I understand how some may believe Helena is more preferable than Hermia. She is not
the rebellious type and shows a lot of care to others. In addition, she doesnt think that she is
the most perfect person and she realizes her faults. However, Hermia does not complain
continuously or worry about the smallest things. She is confident about herself and is
determined to get what she wants. Hermia didnt stop loving when her father, Egeus, demanded
that she marry Demetrius and ran away instead of giving in.
All in all, the two main females of A Midsummer Nights Dream have lots of contrasts
and comparisons. In my opinion, Hermia is the one who is more significant than the other.

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