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A Midsummer Night's Dream, By William Shakespeare

1780 words - 7 pages

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” begins as many typical romantic stories. Two people are in love; in this case, Hermia and Lysander. But an obstacle stands in their way; in this case, Hermia’s father who wants Hermia to marry Demetrius. However, this is where this play begins to differ from all others. Shakespeare leads four crossed lovers, Hermia, Helena, Demetrius, and Lysander, through a winding path that somehow magically ends with everyone happily getting married. The pivotal aspect of this play is Shakespeare’s development of the different characters. In the drama enactment; a character’s appearance, personality, and character are used together to help unfold the story. Characters convey many different kinds of information through an art form called characterization. In the play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” William Shakespeare does an exceptional job of describing each of the four young lovers. Each one of the characters was given personality, whether distinct or vague, that set them apart from the other characters in the play. Through the actions of the different antagonists, Shakespeare reveals to the audience the different and distinct aspects of each character, including each character’s physical appearances, personality, and specific traits. One aspect that causes the four characters to differ is their physical appearance. While the author Shakespeare makes the appearance of Lysander and Demetrius having virtually indistinguishable physical and monetary figures, he comparatively makes the appearances of Hermia and Helena quite distinguishable, their names being the only thing that is remotely being similar between the two of them. Hermia’s physical appearance is described as having “blessed and attractive eyes,” (ACT II, SCENE 2) short in stature with dark hair, 'though she be but little, she is fierce' (Act 3, Scene 2); according to her once true friend Helena. Theseus describes Hermia as beautiful with a well-shaped body by saying, “one that composed your beauties, yea, and one to whom you are but as a form in wax” (Act I, Scene I). Theseus is not the only character to describe Hermia as beautiful, Lysander calls her “beauteous Hermia” (Act I Scene I), and even Helena remarks, “your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air more tune-able than lark to shepherd's ear” (Act I, Scene I). Oddly, Helena’s physical appearance is described as the childhood friend of Hermia and her greatest nemesis throughout most of the play. Helena’s physical appearance is not so commonly referred to as Hermia’s, and when it is, the remark is often Helena commenting on her own appearance. Helena’s opinion of her appearance varies during the play. At one time she remarks, “I am thought as fair as she,” and “We, Hermia, like two artificial gods;” however, to later remark, “no, no, I am as ugly as a bear.”(Act I, Scene I, Act III, Scene I, Act II, Scene II). One time, during a fit of rage, Hermia refers to Hermia as tall, thin, and a “painted...

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