Even at the end of the play, they do not revert back to the easy friendship of childhood days. They even go to the extent of insulting each other viciously. Helena warns about Hermia that she was a vixen while in school, though there had always been a bond between them and such a satisfying bond was disrupted by men. Even though a healthy friendship ruled their relationship, there are many differences between the two. When the diversities are considered, it looks like a fragile friendship that could be broken by any excuse and here men play those excuses.
The play dramatizes the division between Helena and Hermia. Their difference in height and looks had been specified by Shakespeare at the beginning of the play. Demetrius and Lysander are divided into two different entities without any comparison or similarity and this dissimilarity extends to their lovers frequently. Their quarreling looks like a disaster. They insult one another, trading words like ‘ painted maypole’ , ‘ juggler and ‘ puppet’ . The name-calling they indulge in shows their desperation, hopelessness, confusion, and frustration. Both have reached a stage, where they could not see any future for their love.
Hermia seems to have lost both the lover and the suitor approved by her father, and that means death or nun’ s life for her. Helena was absolutely in no control over the events, nor was in a position to take advantage of them. The name-calling episode presents a desperate attempt to regain what they have lost. They were giving vent to their insecurity by calling each other appalling names trying to hurt each other’ s feelings. It reaches the astonishing limit when Hermia physically threatens Helena and Helena had to escape from the scene.
The men were at loggerheads but were not undignified enough to quarrel with each other. Both the lovers desert their female loves and subject them into indignity. Helena follows Demetrius in spite of his threats to rape her and she had been desperate for his love, and he was alternatively vacillating between insults and desire to tolerate her.
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