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What qualities would you look for in casting the actors playing Lysander and Demetrius and how would you direct Act 3, scene 2 of the play to bring out the differences/similarities between the characters?

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Introduction

What qualities would you look for in casting the actors playing Lysander and Demetrius and how would you direct Act 3, scene 2 of the play to bring out the differences/similarities between the characters? In my version of 'A Midsummer's night dream,' the qualities I would look for in casting my Lysander and Demetrius are that they need to look different, so as for the audience to be able to tell them apart. Demetrius is an authoritarian, slightly militaristic, not very likeable guy, for example in Act 1 he is seen as the 'bad guy' who is trying to separate the lovers, Lysander and Hermia 'Thy crazed title to my certain right.' Then when he is put under Puck's spell I would have him suddenly turn into a dopey love-fiend, therefore an actor is needed who can create this dramatic change of character. Lysander on the other hand is the classic romantic hero. He loves Hermia until they go into the woods and his darker side is revealed when the fairies put drugs in his eyes. Therefore, I would cast someone who's slight and vocally soft. ...read more.

Middle

Later when he falls under the spell and becomes all romantic, I would have him lose the tie and jacket and have the shirt un-tucked to show his light-hearted side. When Lysander enters, to show his comical side, as he is already under the flower's spell, I would have him crawl in, following Helena, on his knees, whilst making exaggerated arm movements. I would have him dressed smartly but not as formally as Demetrius, because they are both of the same social class. Therefore I would have him in dark trousers but with a white, frilly, flamboyant top, to again show a stereotypical image of the romantic hero. To show the difference between Lysander and Demetrius at this stage, I would direct Lysander's to have a loud voice, especially on the line 'Demetrius loves her and he loves not you,' because this line has to wake up Demetrius. Lysander being loud also shows that he is 'drunk on love' which helps to reflect that he is under a spell. When Demetrius wakes up, there is a major change in his character as he is now under the spell too. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would have this done because this exaggeration is comical, which both Lysander and Demetrius are at this point, because they are both bewitched, but also relates back to the theme of jealousy in the wood. The characters show their similarity through trying to protect the one they love. The final difference I would highlight in this scene is when the characters enter the stage at different times during their duel and are deceived by Puck imitating their voices. When Lysander enters, I would have him do some karate and martial art moves as his form of defence. I would keep his voice at a higher pitch to contrast with Demetrius, which I would direct my actor to play lower as he is a more militant type before being bewitched and would therefore be more serious during a duel. Therefore I would have my Demetrius enter with a sword, as Puck states that he is 'drawn and ready.' His voice would be low and slightly more serious than Lysander. Therefore Lysander and Demetrius, although both of the same social class, have many differences as well as similarities, which need to be highlighted for the audience. The visuals of the characters also need to be different for the audience to identify the characters. ...read more.

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