Who is nicer, Demetrius or Lysander?

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Lysander seems to be the nicer of the two. Demetrius insists on marrying Hermia, even though she and Lysander wish to marry. In fact, because her father approves of Demetrius and not Lysander, she must marry Demetrius or face execution. Hermia would rather never marry than be wed to Demetrius,...

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Lysander seems to be the nicer of the two. Demetrius insists on marrying Hermia, even though she and Lysander wish to marry. In fact, because her father approves of Demetrius and not Lysander, she must marry Demetrius or face execution. Hermia would rather never marry than be wed to Demetrius, but Demetrius still persists.

On top of this, Lysander calls Demetrius a “spotted and inconstant man” for wooing Helena before throwing her over for Hermia. Helena still desperately loves him. When Helena follows him into the woods, Demetrius warns, “Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit; / For I am sick when I do look on thee.” He even suggests that he would “do [her] mischief in the wood,” implying that he might take her by force:

You do impeach your modesty too much,
To leave the city and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
To trust the opportunity of night
And the ill counsel of a desert place
With the rich worth of your virginity.

Lysander, on the other hand, loves Hermia against her father’s wishes, runs off with her, and misbehaves when under the power of magic. Other than that, he seems to be a sincere man. Demetrius appears to remain under the love spell in order to stay in love with Helena. This way, he and Helena can be happy as can Hermia and Lysander. Unlike Demetrius, Lysander does not need a love potion to make a suitable match.

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