In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," how can Hermia's personality be defined?

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Jessica Akcinar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hermia is described as head-strong, rebellious, and faithful. Her father, Egeus, complains to Thesius that Hermia refuses to marry his choice for her husband, Demetrius. She insists that she is in love with Lysander and argues is as laudable as Demetrius. She is given two options to marrying Demetrius: death or lifelong imprisonment in a nunnery. Remarking that she would rather live in a convent all her life than be with Demetrius, Hermia remains constant in her love of Lysander. She agrees to Lysander’s plans to elope.

Hermia is also portrayed as kind and empathetic. As she and Lysander plan to elope, Hermia informs her friend, Helena, who is in love with Demetrius to "Take comfort; he no more shall see my face; / Lysander and myself will fly from this place" (I.i.202-03).

Hermia can also be seen as virtuous and pure. When she and Lysander stop to rest in the woods, Hermia insists that they do not lie next to one another, although she is madly in love with Lysander. She, unlike her friend Helena, has never been with a man and plans to wait until marriage.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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