OF THE BABY NAME DREAM
Helena is one of the four young lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s very popular play, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. Helena is a beautiful but insecure girl of impeccable background who is in love with the rather careless Demetrius. Demetrius has been chosen by Egeus as a suitor to his daughter, Hermia, and Demetrius is just fine with that, even though he was once engaged to Helena. Hermia, however, loves Lysander, and is plotting to elope with him. Hoping to win Demetrius back, Helena tells him of the elopement plan, but this only spurs Demetrius on to following them into the Athenian forest in hopes of winning Hermia for himself. In the meantime, the fairy king, Oberon, has ordered his little henchman, Puck, to sprinkle fairy dust in Demetrius’ eyes so that he will fall in love with Helena again. Puck naturally gets it wrong, sprinkles the dust in both Lysander’s and Demetrius’ eyes while they sleep and, when they awake, they both fall in love with the first person they see – in both cases, Helena. So now Helena, whom nobody paid attention to before, is having a duel fought over her! In addition, Hermia is none too happy with this turn of events, and she turns on her old friend, Helena. So now Helena takes stock of the situation, and believing Demetrius to be mocking her, spurns him. Oberon takes charge, ordering Puck to right the situation, and the spell is removed from Lysander, but not Demetrius, so pretty soon all the right people are in love with the right people and everyone is set to live happily ever after. And Helena needs to get a grip, accept that Demetrius really does love her, stop whining, be happy, and live up to her beautiful name. And she does!
Demetrius is a character in one of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. In one of the many interlocking plot lines, Demetrius, a young Athenian man, has been chosen by Egeus as a husband for his daughter, Hermia, but she refuses to marry him. Hermia is in love with Lysander and they plan to elope. They tell Hermia’s friend, Helena, of their plans, and she, in love with Demetrius (who jilted her upon meeting Hermia), tells him of their plan. Demetrius, followed by Helena, rushes after the fleeing Lysander and Hermia. Clear? The merry little fairy, Puck, is ordered by his king, Oberon, to apply a love potion to Demetrius in order to make him fall in love with Helena again. Puck, mistaking Lysander for Demetrius, applies a love potion to Lysander’s eyelids. Lysander, therefore, falls in love with Helena, forsaking Hermia, while Demetrius, under the same spell, also falls in love with Helena. And now Demetrius and Lysander are prepared to duel over Helena, while nobody loves poor Hermia. Clear? So Oberon leaves the spell on Demetrius, who stays in love with Helena, and removes it from Lysander, who falls back in love with Hermia, and everybody gets married to the right person. Here’s the thing, though: we think that Demetrius is a bit of a cad. He loves Helena, then he doesn’t. He jilts her for Hermia, and really doesn’t care what happens to her, verbally abusing her and leaving her alone in the forest. He is perfectly happy to have Hermia’s father dictate that Hermia marry him, no matter what her own feelings are. So if one is fated to fall in love with the type of man Demetrius is, it would be handy to have some of that love potion lying around. Clear!
Tatiana is the Queen of the Fairies (wife of Oberon, the King) in William Shakespeare’s very popular comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. Tatiana indeed sounds like the name of a Fairy Queen, with its lilting yet regal tone. In Shakespeare’s comedies, there are always mistaken identities, love potions and complicated plot turns before all ends well. This is no exception, and Tatiana is tricked (by a “love juice” applied to her eyelids while asleep) into falling in love with the first creature she sees upon awakening. This turns out to be Bottom, a young actor, who has been given the head of a donkey by the mischievous Puck (all of this on Oberon’s orders so that he may obtain Tatiana’s young charge for his own personal servant). Once he has attained his goal, Oberon orders Puck to remove all spells (naturally several other young lovers have been adversely affected), and all returns to normal, with the principals believing they must have dreamt it all, for after all, "The course of love never did run smooth." Nothing out of the ordinary in a Fairy Queen’s day.