Hermia , Lysander , Helena and Demetrius represent young love in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream . They are potrayed as foolish and fickle , acting like children and requiring a parental figure to guide them . The parental figures are Hermia’s father , Egeus , and figuratively Theseus , the mortal ruler , and Oberon , the mystical ruler.
Demetrius is a fool because he is unaware that his love changes through out the play. We learn from Demetrius that he has loved Helena before bestowing his affections on Hermia ( 1.1 106-107 , 242-243 ). It is not for nothing that he is termed “spotted and inconstant man'; ( 1.1 110 ). Athough at the start of the play Demetrius no longer loves Helena. ( 2.1 195 ) Demetrius says, “I love thee not , therefore pursue me not.'; ( 2.1 201 ) “Hence , get thee gone , and follow me no more.'; In Act 3 Scene 2 , Demetrius after being juiced begins to love Helena. ( 3.2 172-176 ) Demetrius says , “Lysander , keep thy Hermia; I will none. If e’er I loved her , all that love is gone. My heart to her but as guest – wise sojourned , And not to helen is it home returned , there to reamain.'; This proves how fickle he is , for he is not aware of his changing love once for Helena then for Hermia then returning to Helena with the help of the mystical father Oberon.
Helena is a fool because Demetrius does not love her but still persists in chasing him. Demetrius shows no love for Helena to the point of wishing her harm.(2.1 234-235) Demetrius says “ I’ll run from thee , and hide me in the brakes , And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.'; ( 2.1 206-208 ) “ Do I entice you ? Do I speak you fair ? or rather do I not on plainest truth Tell you I do not , nor I cannot love you ?'; Demetrius clearly illustrates to Helena that he has no interest , but Helena persists there is no limit to how far she will degrade herself to win his affections.
I am your spaniel; and. Demetrius.
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.
What worser place can I beg in...