Lysander, like Demetrius, is a young gentleman of Athens whose affections are changed by the whims of fairies throughout the play. The audience knows that he loves Hermia enough to want to run away with her, but Lysander is not the man Hermia’s father has chosen for her to marry. Notably, the text does not present any specific argument against Lysander, but instead implies Egeus has chosen Demetrius for Hermia, and the patriarchal laws of Athenian society forbid her from going against Egeus’s decision. Hermia’s devotion to Lysander is so strong that she publicly refuses to obey her father and accepts the punishment of either becoming a nun or of execution.

Within the play, Lysander primarily functions as a generic chivalric suitor, a role from medieval tales of romance that Shakespeare pokes fun at. Lysander loves one woman, tries to run away with her, and gets caught up in magical mix-ups before finally returning home to marry his love at last. He does not exhibit any especially distinctive personality traits other than vehement protection and passion for whichever woman happens to be the object of his desire. The text does not need him to be a richly dimensional character, however. In fact, it does not need any of the lovers to have especially unique identifiers beyond who they are trying to woo. Helena and Hermia have more distinctive character traits than either of their male counterparts, but even the women end up primarily playing victim to Puck’s mistakes and later meddling. The play is much more about the repeated joke of lovers being in love with the wrong people than it is about those people themselves, and so these relatively simple characters execute the farce without much, if any, development.