Helena and Midsummer

“How happy some o’er other some can be.” The spectrum of happiness within the human race is vast. We all have potential to do great things and desire to feel contentment, but the gap between the fulfillment of these things in any two individuals can be staggering. It’s really telling to the fact that we have the power to positively influence our own lives no matter where we come from or hardships we’ve faced. The very nature of the human race is our unique desires and pursuit of them. When we don’t get what we want, we can either dwell on it and stagnate or move on to something that is helpful to us. Helena dwells on the fact that Demetrius doesn’t love her but Hermia, “Through Athens I am thought as fair as she; but what of that? Demetrius thinks not so.” I think because she chooses to be so dotingly and stubbornly stuck on Demetrius is why Shakespeare ends up playing with the plot to give her what she wants all too well. Demetrius becomes so overly love-struck on Helena that it draws doubt on her view of his constancy creating Helena’s utter confusion. Even when she gets what she had proclaimed to want, she doesn’t know what to make of it. She says that it must be a joke. She can’t accept good happening to her. She’s stuck in her past of discontentment and can’t transition to happiness even when things go her way. Demetrius has proclaimed his love for her and then because of Lysander saying the same thing she says, ” I see you all are bent against me for your merriment.” She again dwells on what’s not helpful to her: the fact that Lysander is now showing love to her which she approaches as if it were going to cause her harm. Ideally she should embrace Demetrius’ love and stand indifferent to Lysanders, but she does neither. She focuses on what it not helpful to her and this is why she struggles with attaining happiness. Some people, like Helena at times, just refuse to be happy, but it is their own choice.


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