Write a Shakespearean sonnet from the perspective of one of the following characters from act II to another. Here is an option: a sonnet from Helena to Demetrius.

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In Act II of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Helena is pursuing the disdainful Demetrius and becoming ever more abject in her professions of devotion:

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.

A sonnet might well use the same or similar images as those we actually hear from Helena in the play, where she asks Demetrius for leave to follow him around as his dog does. Here is an example of an octave in which she speaks in the same vein. I make no great claims for this as poetry, but it follows the rules of the Shakespearean sonnet and conveys the meaning well enough:

I do not ask for kisses and kind words.

Only your presence and proximity.

This is not much, Demetrius. The birds

And insects of the air may follow thee.

Do not regard me any more than such

Small creatures which you see but think not of.

Though I am near thee, close enough to touch,

I shall forbear, but bask in mine own love.

To recap briefly on the rules for a Shakespearean sonnet, it is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme ABABCDCDEFEFGG. I have composed an example of the octave (first eight lines) here. There is normally a turn, a change in meaning or emphasis, at the final couplet. You might, for instance, have Helena make the point that, although she will accept the most discourteous and indifferent treatment from Demetrius, she has done nothing to deserve it.

Yet though I live to look upon thy face,

My love deserves more courtesy, more grace.

There are, of course, many other ways of ending the sonnet with a contrast. You might, for instance, compare Demetrius's ungenerous conduct with that of Lysander to Hermia.

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