There are many characteristics that prove that Helena is a foil for Hermia. First, Hermia is always loyal to her friend, while Helena is not. Helena betrayed her friend (Hermia) by telling Demetrius about Hermia and Lysander’s plan to run away. This shows that she does not care about their friendship very much, since she was throwing it away just to get a bit closer to Demetrius. Hermia, on the other hand, was trying to help Helena when she told her friend her plans, since she wanted to reassure Helena that she was not going to take all of Demetrius’s attention anymore. As well, Helena seemed downright cowardly, whereas Hermia is fierce and brave. Hermia was brave to follow Lysander into the forest and give up almost everything she knew for their love. In their argument in the forest, Hermia wanted to fight, while Helena just ran away.
Despite all the ways that Hermia insulted her, Helena would rather have Lysander and Demetrius defend her than try to deal with it herself. Finally, Hermia is caring while Helena is selfish. Hermia still prayed for Lysander even after he suddenly loved Helena and hated her, insulting her many ties. Helena telling Demetrius about her friend’s play also showed that she did not think at all about how that would affect Hermia, and was very selfish. These events show that Hermia cares about others whether or not they care about her, while Helena only cares about herself. Although they are best friends and are put in similar positions, Hermia and Helena’s differences make them good foils for each other.