English Literature / Drama GCSE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Act 2, Scene 1 - The Lovers

Demetrius goes to the woods to find Hermia, with Helena in hot pursuit.

Demetrius tries to reject Helena but she persists in declaring her love for him.

This short film is from the BBC series, Shakespeare Unlocked.

Teacher Notes

This short film will enable discussion on the characters of Demetrius and Helena, their relationship and comparisons with other lovers in the play.

Before watching the scene, ask your students to predict how they think Helena and Demetrius will speak and act around each other.

How does it feel to be with someone who likes you more than you like them?

How do they think the actors will express this physically?

After watching the scene, ask students to discuss the portrayal of Helena and Demetrius' relationship, especially where Helena offers to be Demetrius' spaniel.

What did the staging, with Helena 'fetching' Demetrius' shoe, add to the interpretation of the characters and their relationship?

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching GCSE English literature and drama in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/ 5 in Scotland.

More from Shakespeare Unlocked - A Midsummer Nights Dream

Act 2, Scene 1 - Helena and Demetrius (workshop)
Act 2, Scene 1 - Playing Helena (workshop)
Act 2, Scene 1 - Ecological disaster (workshop)
Act 1, Scene 2 - Clowning around (workshop)
Act 1, Scene 2 - Quince v Bottom (workshop)
Act 1, Scene 2 - The Mechanicals
Act 2, Scene 1 - The Fairies
Act 2, Scene 1 - Titania crosses Oberon (workshop)