May 22 2017

Fare thee well, nymph.

Tonight, please examine Helena’s statement below:

Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
We cannot fight for love as men may do.
We should be wooed and were not made to woo. (2.1.247-249)
 

What is her claim?  What specific evidence does she give in this scene?  Do you agree with her? Why or why not?

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

MND #2


Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Posted May 22, 2017 by equinson in category Midsummer Night's Dream

31 thoughts on “Fare thee well, nymph.

  1. Toa Neil

    Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.

    What Helena is saying is that women cannot get another to love them and because she is doing that Demetrius is causing a problem with “natural order”. She says that women are wooed not the reverse. I disagree, men and women have equal right to woo another person.

    Reply
  2. charlottes

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex
    We cannot fight for love as men may do
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”

    In this statement, Helena’s claim is the women aren’t the ones who should be wooing and fighting for love. The natural order is the man woos the woman, not the other way around. When she states, “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex” means by doing this, you are wrongdoing my gender. Because Hermia and Demetrius are to be married (when Hermia really wants to marry Lysander), Helena is left without a companion. As she says, she cannot woo as a man can woo, and Demetrius has impressed her and has her love. She is stating she cannot woo another man, because that is not her place in the natural order. I do not agree with Helena because she has an equal chance to woo a man as a mad does to woo a woman. She is just saying this to delay the marriage as long as possible because she is head over heels in love with the man who is being married to her best friend. She doesn’t want wedding day to come and is trying to show that she cannot fend for herself in the love world, when we all know she can.

    Reply
  3. faithw

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.We cannot fight for love as men may do.We should be wooed and were not made to woo.” (2.1.247-249)

    In the passage above, Helena claims that it’s not a woman’s place to impress a man. Helena believes that she should not chase after Demetrius, but rather be pursued by him. Helena’s judgement portrays her character to have a very traditional and one-sided state of mind. In my opinion, Helena is acting in a sexist manner. Helena thinks that women should look pretty and wait for a man to fancy her. I strongly disagree with Helena’s speculation. Throughout history, women have proved to be able to make choices for themselves and fight for what they want and believe. A modern view of the quote would be to compare the television show “The Bachelor” with the “The Bachelorette”. In “The Bachelorette”, the television show takes the traditional view of a group of men trying to impress a woman and gain her love. In contrast, “The Bachelor” has a modern perspective by having a large group of women compete to woo a man’s heart. Helena would be disgusted by these women stepping out of the social standards in order to pursue a mate.

    Reply
  4. alexo

    Helena’s claim is that in love, men and women are not equal. she points out that women cannot chase after men, that women cannot fight in the cause of love like men may, and that in love, men and women are not equal.

    For the time that this claim was made in, this is completely true. men are supposed to be the go-getters in the relationship, and the role of women seems to always be to si6t there and accept or tease the man. For example, Lysander is the one that comes up with the idea of running away from Athens, and Hermia’s entire role in that plot is to simply accept and go with him. In the modern age, this claim isn’t as true as it once, but I believe it to still be true. There is still a sense of “Men try to get the woman”, although when it comes to when you are in the relationship, it is a much more mutual experience than before.

    Reply
  5. tarika1

    in this statement, Helena is saying women should not impress men but men should impress women. She says, “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex”, which means Demetrius’ mistakes are causing grief in the females. She also says women are made to be wooed. She believes that women should not have to woo men and do not have the ability to. I do not believe this because men and women can impress each other equally.

    Reply
  6. ilyssal

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”

    In making this statement, Helena is proposing that men should flatter the women, and that females were not meant to flatter the men. Helena states, “We should be wooed and were not made to woo,” and by saying this, is postponing her marriage. Personally, I disagree with her words. Women are able to woo men and it is not just a masculine thing for men to woo women. Sex does not define a person mentally and if a woman wants to flatter a man she should be welcome and able to do so.

    Reply
  7. sofiad1

    Helena’s claim is that women are not sexual objects for men. They try to win their love, but that is not what women are for. When she says, “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex,” she is saying that the things men do, they take out on women. She is saying that they are not the property of men. In saying, “We cannot fight for love as many men do,” she is saying that they have much fewer rights. While men get to chose whom they are marrying, women are simply told. If they refuse, like Hermia, they risk lifelong chastity or being put to death.

    Reply
  8. caias1

    Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo

    Helena is saying that it is the men’s job to pursue the women, not the other way around. She says, “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex,” which means that Demetrius’s actions are insulting to women. Helena does not believe she should be going after Demetrius, but rather he should be going for her. I do nit agree with Helena, because it is not Demetrius’s job to give in to Helena just because she refuses to do the pursuing. He tells her several times that he does not love her, but she does not want to listen. I also do not agree with Helena because she is being very sexist to other women.

    Reply
  9. avae1

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo”

    In this statement Helena claims that women as a whole are at a disadvantage from men. Only men have the ability to charm and attract a suitor in the way they do, and women by no means can do the same. Helena desperately desires the affection of Demetrius, and blames him for not approaching her the way she intended him to before Hermia came along. Helena is very persistent in this scene, and even as Demetrius continually rejects her, she keeps pursuing and expects him to do the same, “I’ll follow thee and make heaven of hell, To die upon the hand I love so well.”(lines 250-251) She clearly does not plan on stopping, and although she is convinced women are incapable of wooing, she will insist her love on Demetrius nonetheless.

    I do not agree with Helena and her beliefs in this scene. Perhaps when this play was set it was uncommon for women to pursue men, but it is still not Helena’s place to make such a derogatory statement such as, “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.” Helena generalizes an entire gender and claims it to be Demetrius’ fault.

    Reply
    1. christophert3

      I completely agree. Helena was really over the top here. She is way too persistent, although I kind of have to admit that the amount of persistence she has makes you question if one of those flowers was used on her. Her statements are very unjust against the female gender. I also agree with you about how she probably said those things about women being bad at wooing because it was what was thought at the time, although one could more likely say that they unusual for a women to woo and not that they were bad at it.

      Reply
  10. arihantp1

    Helena’s clam is that she is not the one that should be fighting and wooing in the name of love since she is a female. She thinks that Demetrius is insulting women when he says this. When she says, “We should be wooed and were not made to woo,” she is saying how it is not socially acceptable for that to happen. I do not agree with Helena since both men and women can woo each other in the hopes for love. Also Helena is saying how rude Demetrius is for not chasing after her, even though he does not love her. Helena is the one who is blindly in love, but she is blaming Demetrius for it.

    Reply
    1. eshap

      I agree, if women were not made to woo their love, as Helena said, then why is she still pursuing in the hopes of gaining Demetrius’ love in return? She feels strongly about how Demetrius is placing the burden on her, however, that doesn’t stop her from loving Demetrius, and chasing after him. She knows that if she stops, he will completely disappear from her life to chase after Hermia.

      Reply
  11. christophert3

    After reading the first scene of Act II in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I believe that Helena seems way too desperate for Demetrius’ love. I also believe Demetrius could have been a bit kinder to her when turning her down, once again. He was a tad excessive in rudeness when speaking to her. But going to the portion of text from Helena’s part in the play, Helena is clearly stating that she doesn’t want to be going after Demetrius anymore. She wants him to just come around to him and love her as well. She is also saying that he is offending all women by not loving her back after all her efforts. I do not agree with her. I believe that Helena is too persistent and isn’t even thinking about whether or not he will love her again. He obviously doesn’t, and he’s told her of this multiple times. But she is simply not listening. I also realized while reading Act II, scene i that she is a true petrarchan lover and that the way she loves Demetrius is like worship. She was asking permission of Demetrius to let her follow him around and describes herself in comparison to him as, in her words, “Unworthy as I am.” This is why I believe that Demetrius is not wronging women. I also believe that she is wrong about the whole “women aren’t meant to woo” thing. She is downgrading her own gender a great deal with that statement. She is technically referring to herself as the female sex. She is very sexist, against her own gender too.

    Reply
    1. francescaa

      I agree, Helena is very sexist, even to her own gender. She has a tendency to categorize people into very generalized groups, which is so unfair considering every person is their own individual. Bottom line; she is doing everything they can to gain Demetrius’ heart back, but nothing is working.

      Reply
  12. francescaa

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex
    We cannot fight for love as men may do
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”

    What Halena is saying in this passage is that women have a different role in love than men do. Men are supposed to pursue the woman, not the other way around. In this scene Helena is pouring out her feelings to Demetrius, hoping that somehow he would feel the same way. Unfortunately for Helena, Demetrius did not respond the way she wanted, and basically said “back off woman”. Even though Demetrius flat out rejected her, Helena still continued to pursue him. We can definitely see that Helena is desperate and is extremely persistent in trying to renew the love that once existed between her and Demetrius.

    Halena’s beliefs are absurd, and therefore I do not agree with them. Although I am no expert in the field of “love”, I have come to the understanding that love is a two way street. Relationships don’t work out when one person isn’t putting in the effort. According to Helena men are only allowed to express their feelings for a girl. How fair is that? From this little passage the reader can assume that women were not respected or taken seriously back in Shakespeare’s day.

    Reply
  13. briannag3

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”

    In this passage Helena is stating that men and women are different in terms of love. She says that the man is supposed to make the woman fall in love with them instead of the woman trying to get a man to love her. Helena is saying that Demetrius isn’t doing the right thing since she is chasing after him. Also in this scene it is obvious how desperate and persistent Helena gets, even as he continually rejects her.

    Reply
  14. cameronl3

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”

    During Act II, scene i, Helena claims that it is not the job of a woman to “woo,” or gain the love of another, as it is a man’s. She states that her sex cannot fight for a person like boy’s do, and that is something only men should do towards women. She begins to seem a bit desperate for Demetrius’ love, but again, is rejected by him. She states that she does not want to go after Demetrius, and rather the roles be switched. She does not understand he has no affection towards her anymore, and continues not to listen to him. This, as a reader, got me very irritated as I wish she would just take a hint.

    Reply
  15. margauxc

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. We cannot fight for love as men may do. We should be wooed and were not made to woo.” (2.1.247-249)

    According to Helena’s statement, love is not intended to be a struggle for women. Fighting in the name of love should be reserved for men- while women are expected to idly stand about and restrain themselves from pursuing love. Essentially, Helena believes that Demetrius should be advancing on her, and not the other way around. Helena implies that she intends for her statement to be true to all females in general, seeing as she uses the pronoun ‘we’ several times. However, Helena uses ‘cannot’ in contrast to ‘will not’- which indicates that Helena feels as if there is no choice for a woman when it comes to either being the “wooed” or the “wooer”. She ‘cannot’ woo a man- it’s not that she refuses to. In a certain perspective, one could potentially consider this as an obligation of sorts for women to wait on a man’s advances. The restrictions Helena sees fit are entirely false, infuriating, unjust, and irrational. Gender roles are meant to be defied; It’s a sure sign of courage and strong will if a women were to deny the expectations given and set their sights on what they truly want. If a women wishes to pursue love, then they have every right to fight and woo. ( Of course, Helena shouldn’t have taken her efforts to such a great extent. Demetrius had continuously rejected her advances and if she truly cared for him, then she would respect his wishes and acknowledge the unwanted position she is placing him in. The fact that she does not leave Demetrius alone emphasizes how she solely cares about her own feelings and places her wishes before the desires of others. )

    In comparison, Hermia presents an ideal which serves as an opposition to Helena’s beliefs. Hermia shows a willingness to fight for Lysander’s love- whereas Helena passively waits on Demetrius. She whines endlessly about the unrequited love she has fallen victim to, yet, from this statement, the audience can see how she seems unwilling to fight for Demetrius’ favor. Yes, she betrays Hermia and gives Demetrius the information she was entrusted with- but her fighting is not as defiant as Hermia’s. ( She [Helena] has never truly experienced love, so she can’t necessarily know its worth. Hermia, however, knows love is priceless and therefore shows more of a willingness to fight for it. )

    Reply
  16. maddy

    This statement depicts that Helena believes solely men are obligated in pursuing a love interest. She is yet another woman to conform to the internalized misogynistic conventions within romance. Helena views herself and other women to be prizes upon pedestals for men to contend over. Ultimately, she is preaching that men should steer the courses that romances run, and that women should have no say in such matters. Such concepts prompt following beliefs:

    “And even for that do I love you the more.
    I am your spaniel. And, Demetrius,
    The more you beat me, I will fawn on you.
    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.
    What worser place can I beg in your love—
    And yet a place of high respect with me—
    Than to be usèd as you use your dog?”

    Within these lines, Helena is normalizing abuse; all for the sake of aspiring to earn Demetrius’ endearments. Helena confesses to Demetrius that she will continue to love him no matter his actions. Many view unconditional love as necessary in any relationship, whether it be romantic or platonic. However, Helena portrays reasoning as to why loving someone through thick and thin is not always righteous. She states that if Demetrius treated her as a dog — abused her, neglected her, beat her, — her love for him would remain unwavering. Centuries later, and similar concepts remain ingrained within the minds of women.

    I do not agree with Helena’s statement, for it is riddled with internalized misogyny. While it is true that men are traditionally portrayed as the pursuers of their love interests, women are capable of doing so as well. My hope for Helena is that over the progression of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, she will recognize her faults in pining after Demetrius. It will someday become apparent to her that he will no longer woo or love her. Helena should be the only one to determine her love life. If she is discontent with it, she should be the one making amends.

    Reply
  17. marinas1

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. We cannot fight for love as men may do. We should be wooed and were not made to woo.” (2.1.247-249)

    In this excerpt, Helena claims that Demetrius should be “wooing” her, and not the other way around. According to Helena, women are not capable of fighting for love as men. Demetrius is working all females, for he is putting women into a position where they are helpless and can not simply pursue a man for themselves. In a way, I can see where Helena is coming from. During those times, it would indeed be quite difficult to “woo” a man. Women barely had any rights in Athens. In fact, in ancient Greece, women were not even considered citizens. Taking that into account, how would it seem for a woman to pursue a man? Clearly, it would seem all too vulgar and risque of a thing to do. Thus, when Demetrius refuses to court Helena, she gets incredibly frustrated. While men can refuse to romance women, women are left powerless, unable to go after men. Helena following him into the wood now must seem like an awful thing already, for Helena is, frankly, putting her reputation on the line just to help and see Demetrius. Although she may have taken it a bit too far (following him around constantly and continuously remind him of her love), I still respect her, because she is breaking the standards of society and doing what she feels is right, even if she happens to complain about it in this aforementioned excerpt. Thereby, even though I do not agree with her claim, I do see why she says it, for it is quite a true opinion in the society and world she resides in.

    Today, in modern-day society, the ideals of her society have changed.Although some may say it is not a woman’s position to pursue a man, many have debunked this idea. Today, anybody has the right to pursue whomever they want. Thankfully, we live in a much more open world than Greece did at the time.

    Reply
  18. eshap

    Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex. We cannot fight for love as men may do. We should be wooed and were not made to woo. (2.1.247-249)

    Helena’s outburst towards Demetrius claims that women should not be the ones pursuing love. Countless times in the past has Helena showered Demetrius with her love, only to be turned down each time. She becomes quite frustrated, saying that it should be him looking for her love, not the other way around. Women should not have to fight for their love, since it makes them feel vulnerable and dependent. In general, women were not seen to have much status in the past, always being dependent on her husband. Helena being the one try to win over Demetrius makes it seem as if she is weak without a husband. Helena has proved that she is, taking a risk to follow Demetrius into the woods. She does not seem to be able to survive without him, saying, “And I am sick when I look not on you.” (line 220) While this is sweet, this shows even more how Helena cannot lie without him, since it would make her sick. Furthermore, Helena also says in the excerpt that men are the ones who should have to convince a woman to love him in return. Almost like a job, men should be the ones pursuing love, and not women. If a woman tries to chase after a man, she would try again and again, having no effect at all. If a man falls in love with a woman, there would be more effect since the women are standing around waiting for love to come to them. Helena claims for Demetrius to be making women seem lower than men, and while this was true in older times, it is not true in present society. A woman has the same right as any man, however, it still seems that men are the ones going after a woman.

    Reply
  19. willowm

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”

    In Helena’s statement, she claims women are not supposed to impress men, because it a man’s job to impress a woman. In the ‘relationship’ between Helena and Demetrius, Helena appears to be the Petrarchan lover, placing Demetrius on a pedestal while he is cold and distant. She wishes it were the other way around because she feels it is Demetrius’ job as a man to go after her. I disagree with Helena because today men and women have the equal right to pursue relationships. In the time that this was written, however, a woman fighting for a man broke the tradition of the past.

    Reply
  20. Kat

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”

    In this excerpt we see Hermia trying to win Demetrius’s affections. She is know saying that she is going out of her way for him and this is wrong. She tells Demetrius that he should be vying for her affections, not the other way around. Hermia seems infatuated Demetrius and to me this was just another way for her to try and win his affections. She is telling him that right now this situation is wring, because she should not have to chase him. Hermia says that what he is doing is wringing gender itself. She also calls him out for not loving her. It seems like their relationship might escalate, or Hermia might be driven into sadness.

    Reply
  21. George

    Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.
    (2.1.247-249)

    Helena is saying is that there are certain gender roles within this Greek society that she is nt pleased with. She also says indirectly that women don’t have a choice who to love however men do have that choice. All and all i do disagree with this whole speech i think that everyone should be able to do anything in life. That they are the masters of their own destiny.

    Reply
  22. adam

    Helena is claiming that men should put more effort into a relationship. She fees that a man must impress her rather than she impress a man. She claims she cannot fight for a lover as a man could. While she is still attempting to get Demetrius, she is not impressing him, nor does he love her. She is not understanding what the gap is between them, but obviously their relationship is ceased. I think she is putting women at an advantage, because she implies that men have to work hard for a women and the women doesn’t have to impress. Although today’s world may set different sets of rules with more equal opportunities, Helena is speaking out of despair and jealousy.

    Reply
  23. Rebecca F

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.” (2.1.247-249)

    In this passage, Helena states that it is not a women’s place to fight for love or attempt to win the love of a man. She says that women were made to be pursued, not to pursue.Helena believes that a man should woo a women, a notion that I don’t agree with. If a girl like a man, she should attempt to win him over. Although it may be romantic to have a man pursue you, provided it is not stalker-like, a woman has the same right, to “fight for love” in Helena’s own words.

    Reply
  24. laurena2

    In this statement, Helena is saying that the purpose of the man is to impress the woman. There are roles in a relationship that must be put into consideration. She believes that the man pleases the woman and the woman will stay with the man. In this statement, Helena is not in the right state of mind. She is jealous of Hermia and is not completely thinking before she acts. I believe that a relationship should be completely equal among the man and woman.if both the male and female are interested in the relationship, they should play a big role.

    Reply
  25. alekhya

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.” (2.1.247-249)

    In this dialogue Helena is saying that by turning her down and making her chase him, Demetrius is committing a scandal against the female sex. She then goes on to say that women are supposed to be pursued and wooed and not the other way around. She is voicing her upset at the fact that she is chasing after Demetrius and is trying to make him come after her by saying his actions are a scandal.
    Here we see that, unlike Hermia, Helena has no strong backbone and seems to be just a weepy girl looking for someone who will pamper her and swear that they are “hers”.

    Reply
  26. ivanl

    In Helena’s statement, she claims that men and women are not equal when it comes to love. She says that women should not act the same way as men would when it comes to chasing their love. They should not fight like men do, or try to impress men, for the men should come after the women instead. I think the point of Helena’s statement is to guilt trip Demetrius into liking her again, saying his actions towards her were a scandal. In today’s society, I would say that she is mostly correct. It is frowned upon most women to make the first move for men, it should be the other way around, men initiating onto women.

    Reply
  27. Tyler Newby

    “Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
    We cannot fight for love as men may do.
    We should be wooed and were not made to woo.”
     
    In these lines, Helena is saying that women are not meant to woo the men. It is the man’s job to woo and impress the woman. Since Demetrius left Helena for Hermia, Helena has to try to win him back. She is upset that she has to woo him because she claims that women are not made to woo. I do not agree with her because she is jealous. Her opinion would most likely be different if she was not jealous.

    Reply

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