The Characterization

A Midsummer’s Night Dream Word Press: Character/Character Analysis of the Four Young Lovers

By Carolina Rodriguez

For our version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream we focused mainly on the four young lovers and their interactions in the pursuit of love. Shakespeare represents them as passionate and romantic, after all they are teenagers. The energy of the four young lovers enhances the dream-like atmosphere of the play. They prove the experience of love can feel very much like a pleasant or awful dream.

Hermia- Daughter of Egeus, from the beginning of the play she is very much in love with Lysander and wants to marry him. Her domineering father, Egeus disapproves and desires her to make a more advantageous match with Demetrius. When she refuses, Egeus forces her to submit to Athenian law (death or life in a nunnery). She runs away with Lysander to the forest in defiance of her father’s autocratic command. Hermia is a very lively and playful character, she is confident and strong which attracts both Lysander and Demetrius. From the dialogue we can tell she is of a shorter stature than Helena.

Helena- Daughter of Nedar, member of Theseus’court. Her beauty is often compared to Hermia’s. She was engaged to Demetrius but he rejects her for Hermia however her love for him is consistent and enduring throughout the play. Helena tries desperately to win the favor and respect of Demetrius. Even though Demetrious is neglectful and deliberately cruel to her she persists in loving him. This hopeless devotion wins the sympathy of Oberon and Puck who attempt to help her. Although she is desperate and love sick, her character is very thoughtful and provides insight on the nature of love. She is the most loquacious character of the four lovers.

Lysander- Is madly in love with Hermia and desires to marry her. He is very honest and noble, he is Demetrius’ antipode. Lysander and Demetrius are rivals for the love of Hermia. Lysander and Hermia represent the theme of star-crossed lovers: they cannot marry because Hermia’s father disapproves. Lysander and Demetrious react differently to love, they display an intense ardor and are not easily dissuaded by rejection (Shakespeare observes the distinct way men and women experience love).

Demetrious- He is deceitful and goes to extremes to dissimulate his true nature from Egeus to win his daughter’s hand. He is insensitive and selfish. Demetrius has a very high esteem of himself and it is what motivates him throughout the play. He treats Helena very poorly and mocks her love and devotion to him. To him love is a prize not respect or esteem earned. This mentality creates the extreme rivalry when his affections and Lysander’s turn to Helena. Oberon and Puck try to apply the potion to him to make him fall in love with Helena. In the end he gets better than he deserves.

 

Works Cited

Werstine, Paul. Folger Shakespeare Library: A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. 1993.

Isherwood, Charles. “Love Trouble: The Light and the Dark in A Midsummer’s Night Dream”. The New York Times. 31 Oct. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Shakespeare, William. No Fear Shakespeare: A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Ed. John C. Crowther. New York: Spark Notes, 2004. Print.