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Lysander is one of four lovers in the play. He loves and is beloved of Hermia. Demetrius is his rival for, not her affection, for Lysander has all of that, but for her hand. The two men are often considered to be somewhat interchangeable, as do the two women Hermia...

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Lysander is one of four lovers in the play. He loves and is beloved of Hermia. Demetrius is his rival for, not her affection, for Lysander has all of that, but for her hand. The two men are often considered to be somewhat interchangeable, as do the two women Hermia and Helena, and, in fact, through the offices of the Fairies, they actually do find themselves switching partners, or trying to, several times in the course of the play without missing a beat. Lysander is unimportant as a single character. He is a vital part of an extremely dynamic quartet, whose role it is to express the kind of young, brainless, quixotic, passionate, inconstant, rumble-tumble love of the young. These four form one of the essential love themes in a play that is like a concerto to Love.

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