Key Qualities of Youth in a Midsummer Night's Dream

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                             Key Qualities of Youth in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

     The key qualities of youth differ on the time of age they are in because children of different ages behave in different ways. However, in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the youth are shown to only care about their personal lives, which usually have a positive or negative effect in every situation they are in. The youth’s most evident characteristics are honesty and recklessness. An analysis of Lysander, Hermia, Helena and Demetrius’ actions displays the fact that they always tell the truth, but tend to go over the line of wisdom, with an indifference to the rules.

     Youth is a term that refers to adolescents. Adolescents are children or teenagers who have not reached full maturity. Honesty is a quality or trait which means to be truthful, frank and sincere. Recklessness, on the other hand, involves being daring, hasty and thoughtless. To be reckless means to be unconcerned about the consequences of any action.

     One of the key qualities of youth is honesty because the youth in A Midsummer Night’s Dream never lie, and are often straight to the point with a disregard of other people’s feelings. An example of Lysander being honest occurs when he is under the flower’s spell, in the woods, and bluntly tells Hermia that he is in love with Helena with an indifference to Hermia’s feelings.

          Ay, by my life;

          And never did desire to see thee more.

          Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;          

           Be certain, nothing truer – ‘tis no jest

           That I do hate thee and love Helena. 1

This clearly illustrates Lysander being honest about him changing his love to Helena instead of Hermia. Lysander also openly states his hatred towards Hermia. Lysander is at fault for being blunt with Hermia, when he knows Hermia still loves him. Although this has a negative effect, it also has a positive effect because Lysander is not leading Hermia on with false hopes of love. The change of Lysander’s love makes a new modification to the love oval (Lysander loving Hermia, Hermia loving Lysander, Demetrius loving Hermia and Helena loving Demetrius). Currently the love oval has switched “Lysander loving Hermia” to “Lysander loving Helena”. This is an important alteration to the play because the love has shifted since the magic flower is corrupting the adolescents in the play. This is a key quality of youth because it displays a representative of honesty using Lysander as an example when he was being honest with Hermia. Another example of honesty is demonstrated when Lysander is lost in the woods with Hermia.

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          Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood,

          And, to speak truth, I have forgot our way.

          We’ll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,

          And tarry for the comfort of the day.2

Lysander is one of the most honest characters in the play, instead of telling Hermia that he is merely tired and wants to stop and rest, he tells her the truth about being lost. He risks his male dignity by telling Hermia about ...

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