Compare and contrast the characters of Demetrius and Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

1 Answer | Add Yours

bigdreams1's profile pic

bigdreams1 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

The most obvious similarity between the two in A Midsummer's Night Dream is that they are both fighting for the love of Hermia.

They are both also citizens of Athens who have some degree of wealth and travel in or near royal circles. (We know this partially because Shakespeare has them speak in Iambic Pentameter, versus the prose in which the laborers speak. Also, they have access to the Duke both in the beginning when Hermia's father is pleading for him to intervene in Hermia's love life, and at the end when they join the Duke at the wedding feast.)

They are different, in that Lysander seems to be after Hermia for true love, whereas Demetrius wants her for power and status. Lysander risks hatred from the father and reproach from the Duke to love Hermia. He also faces danger and ridicule for disobeying the Duke's orders and running away with Hermia into the woods.

Demetrius, however, wooed Hermia with gifts while she was involved with Lysander, and he cozied up to Egeus so he would have an ally on the inside. Also, when Demetrius finds out that Hermia and Lysander have fled, he takes after them rather than letting her go be with the one she loves (which denotes a selfish rather than a selfless affection.)

We’ve answered 317,758 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question