And by that I mean the Midsummer Helena, not the All’s Well Helena. While going through the play in prep for my teaching debut, I was reminded of what appears to be a rather silly plot point.
Recap – Lysander and Hermia love each other. Demetrius loves Hermia (who does not love him in return), but Demetrius is the one who has Hermia’s father’s permission to marry her. Helena, meanwhile, loves Demetrius, who does not love her in return (although we’re led to believe that he did at one point). Lysander and Hermia plan to run away into the forest, and have told Helena their plan.
So, here’s my question. Helena says:
I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight:
Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.
She’s going to tell Demetrius what’s going on. I think that the first time I read through the play I thought her thinking went something like, “He will realize that Hermia is gone, and then he will love me again.” But I noticed last night that she actually says “he will pursue her.” So Helena knows that Demetrius is going to chase after Hermia, and she (Helena) is going to chase after him.
How exactly does she expect to end up with Demetrius, again? How does she see this plan working out? Is she so out of her head in love with Demetrius that all she’s thinking is, “I will tell him this news and he will be happy with me! Yay!”