HELENA OF ATHENS

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2, 192-219
Arden 3 | René Weis | London: Bloomsbury, 2017 | 206-208

“Lo, she is one of this confederacy.”

Speech
Arden 3

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Words and Pronunciation +
Arden 3

WordsConfederacy: an alliance, conspiracy, united opposition.
Conjoined: to unite, to join together.
Injurious: insulting, slanderous, offensive.
Contrived: Scheme, plot, conspire.
Derision: Contemptuous ridicule or mockery.
Chid: (past tense of chide) to brusquely command, drive with harsh words, quarrel, contend with.
Sampler: piece of embroidery
Incorporate: make one body [of], united in one body, combined in one entity.
Partition: separation, distinction.
“Coats in heraldry” and “crowned with one crest”: two separate items bearing the same coats of arms, holding the same loyalties.
Rent: to shred, pull to pieces.
Scorning: mock, jeer, express disdain.
Chide: to brusquely command, drive with harsh words, quarrel, contend with.

lo

confederacy

perceive

conjoin’d

fashion

false

sport

spite

injurious

ungrateful

maid

conspir’d,

contriv’d

bait

foul

derision

counsel

sister’s

vows

chid

hasty-footed

time

school-days

innocence

artificial

gods

needles

sample

cushion

warbling

sides

incorporate

double cherry

seeming

union

partitiön

moulded

coats

heraldry

crownèd

crest

rent

ancient

asunder

scorning

maidenly

chide

injury

Pronunciation +

lookest: possibly “look’st” (Leung, also: Arden CWRE, 1998)

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

+prose: (lines 38-45) The nurse switches to prose for this speech.

Translation
No Fear Shakespeare

HELENA
So, she’s in on this too! Now I see that all three of them have gotten together to play this cruel trick on me. Hurtful Hermia, you ungrateful girl, have you conspired with these two to provoke me with this horrible teasing? Have you forgotten all the talks we’ve had together, the vows we made to be like sisters to one another, all the hours we spent together, wishing that we never had to say goodbye—have you forgotten? Our friendship in our schooldays, our childhood innocence? We used to sit together and sew one flower with our two needles, sewing it on one piece of cloth, sitting on the same cushion, singing one song in the same key, as if our hands, our sides, our voices and our minds were stuck together. We grew together like twin cherries—which seemed to be separate but were also together—two lovely cherries on one stem. We seemed to have two separate bodies, but we had one heart. Do you want to destroy our old friendship by joining these men to insult your poor friend? It’s not friendly, and it’s not ladylike. All women would be angry with you for doing it, even though I’m the only one who’s hurt by it.

Assonance
Arden 3

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Alliteration
Arden 3 | 2012

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Consonance
Arden 3 | 2012

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Thoughts
Arden 3 | 2012

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

THOUGHTS

Long:
Medium:
Short:
Complex:

End stopped:
Midline:

Period:
Exclamation:
Question:
Dash:

Rhythm
Arden 3 | 2012

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Pacing
Arden 3 | 2012

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Beats
Arden 3 | 2012

HELENA
Lo, she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceive, they have conjoined all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,                               195
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have  shared,
The sisters’ vows, the hours that w e have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time                            200
For parting us – O, is all forgot?
All schooldays’ friendship, child hood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,                        205
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted
But yet an union in partition,                                                     210
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder                              215
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

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