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In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," what part of her appearance does Hermia...

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skittlesof06 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 18, 2009 at 9:12 PM via web

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In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," what part of her appearance does Hermia believe Helena has exploited to win Lysander's love?

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jgomezada | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted January 18, 2009 at 11:02 PM (Answer #1)

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Hermia and Helena are described as opposites of one another. They are both beautiful, but in different ways: Helena is seen as tall, thin, and fair of skin, and Hermia is seen as voluptuous and has darker hair. When Hermia discovers that her sweet Lysander has fallen in love with Helena, she believes that Helena has used her height to gain Lysander's affections:

HERMIA:

‘Puppet!’ why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare(300)
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?(305)

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted January 18, 2009 at 11:08 PM (Answer #2)

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In Act III Sc.2 because of Puck's unintentional mistakes Hermia and Helena, who  were originally very close friends begin to quarrel and call one another names. Hermia is short in stature  and Helena calls her a puppet, immediately Hermia retorts angrily in the follwing words:

"Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,

Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.

And are you grown so high in his esteem;
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes."

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