A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Why is Theseus anxious for the rising of the new moon? He is going to get married then to Hippolyta.
Why is Egeus angry and why has he come to see Theseus? What does Egeus expect him to do? He wants Theseus to force Hermia to marry Demetrius rather than Lysander.
Whom does Hermia love? Be specific. Lysander, who loves her back
What is Theseus’s ruling concerning Hermia? What alternative does Theseus offer Hermia? Marry Demetrius; face death or become a nun.
Where do Lysander and Hermia agree to meet that night? Why? They agree to meet outside the city in the woods to run away together.
What is the relationship between Hermia and Helena? They were once friends until Demetrius (Helena’s lover) fell in love with Hermia.
How does Helena betray the secret Hermia tells her? Why? Helena tells Hermia’s secret to Demetrius as an excuse to talk to him.
Why do you suppose Egeus prefers Demetrius to Lysander? He knows and likes Demetrius better and may think he would be a better provider. He may think that Lysander is a hopeless romantic.
Do you think a father has the right to interfere in his daughter’s love life No. Fathers are allowed opinions, but forcing them may cause problems.
Do you think Egeus would actually have his daughter killed if she continued to refuse Demetrius? While he takes drastic measures to get his way, he probably would not have his own daughter killed.
What is the purpose of the meeting at Peter Quince’s house? To organize the play that they are going to preform.
Who is Nick Bottom? How does he make trouble at the meeting? An overenthusiastic actor/weaver. He believes he can play each part of the play, so he interrupts the meeting several times to make his point.
Briefly, state what the plot of Pyramus and Thisbe is. Do you think this is an appropriate choice of entertainment at a wedding? Why or why not? It is about two ill fated lovers that die (a tragedy). No. It’s not appropriate for a wedding.
How are the characters Pyramus and Thisbe like Hermia and Lysander? Both pairs of lovers are forbidden to marry and make plans to meet in the woods (to escape together).
What part will Bottom play? He plays Pyramus.
How do the names of the tradesmen fit their occupations? Bottom (weaver, bottom or core of wind thread); Quince (carpenter, quince refers to wooden blocks); Flute (bellows mender, air flows through a flute and a bellows); Starveling (tailor, poor and starving); Snug (joiner; things fit snugly together); Snout (handyman, Snout sounds like water spout which is something he would fix)
What part will Snug play, and what is so funny about his asking whether his lines will be written out? He plays the lion; his only part is to roar.
When and where do the tradesmen plan to rehearse? The forest at night
What do the others seem to think of Bottom? They think he’s amazing and great at everything.
How does Bottom seem to feel about himself? He thinks he’s amazing and great at everything.
Where are the actors to meet the following night? Who else is meeting in these same woods at the same time? The woods; Hermia and Lysander.
By what other name is Puck known? Robin Goodfellow
What does the fairy tell Puck at the beginning of this scene? That Oberon and Titania have been fighting
How have Oberon and Titania been involved in the past with Theseus and Hippolyta, and why have they come to Athens? Titania and Theseus as well as Oberon and Hippolyta may have been romantically involved; They’ve come to Athens for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta.
What effect has their quarrel had on nature, on the seasons, on humans? No nights (no moon), seasons have been altered, foggy, rivers overflowing, crops drowned, animals dead.
Why is Oberon angry with Titania? He wants her to give him the changeling.
Why does Oberon want the boy? He wants the boy to be his personal errand boy or attendant, not hers. Oberon also doesn’t like that Titania is so devoted to the boy and not him.
What sorts of tricks does Puck play on humans? He frightens the village maids, skims the cream off milk, prevents milk from being churned into butter, acts like a three legged stool so when people go to sit on it, he pulls out from underneath them.
Why is Titania jealous of Hippolyta? Of whom is Oberon jealous? She believes Hippolyta has been involved with Oberon; Oberon is jealous of Theseus.
Who do Titania and Oberon blame for recent storms and floods? Who do you think his more to blame and why? They blame each other. They’re both to blame.
According to Oberon, how did the pansy become magical? The pansy was shot by one of Cupid’s arrows.
Helena races after Demetrius into the woods. How does he try to stop her? He tells her he doesn’t want anything to do with her, that he’ll leave her to the beasts, and she’s going to ruin her reputation by being alone with him in the woods.
Oberon tells Puck to dab some of the nectar of the pansy on the eyelids of “a sleeping Athenian man.” Why? He is only aware of one Athenian man in the woods (Demetrius)
What does Oberon intend to do with the rest of the nectar? He intends to put it on Titania’s eyes.
What jobs does Titania send her fairies off to do? Sing a lullaby to her, kill cankerworms, fight bats, keep owls away.
Why do the fairies sing charms for Titania? To help her rest and to protect her.
Why does Oberon pronounce a spell over Titania? To break the fairies’ protection over her.
Why does Lysander move away from Hermia before they sleep? Because they aren’t married yet.
On whose eyelids does Puck press the magic nectar? Why? Lysander. He’s the first Athenian man that he sees.
What happens when Helena wakes Lysander? Lysander falls in love with her.
What does Helena think of Lysander’s flattery? She thinks that he’s making fun of her.
What has Hermia been dreaming about? A snake eating her heart out as Lysander watched. Reflects her fear of losing his love.
Why does Hermia run off at the end of the scene? To find Lysander.
Why do you think Shakespeare has Hermia say to Lysander, before they fall asleep, that she wishes “the wisher’s eyes be pressed”? What is ironic about that time? Foreshadowing.
Why is Bottom worried about the ladies in the audience, and what solution does he offer? They’ll be upset when he dies; add a prologue explaining that it’s all an act.
What problem worries Snout, and what solution does Bottom come up with? The lion will scare the ladies, add to prologue that the lion isn’t real.
Why does Bottom propose looking into an almanac? To see if the moon will be shining the night of their performance.
Why does Quince decide to have Starveling carry a thornbush? To represent the man in the moon.
How does Bottom propose that Snout make the part of the wall more realistic? Put plaster and mud on the actor.
How does Puck play tricks on the actors in the wood? Puck puts an asses head on Bottom.
How does Bottom react when he realizes that he has the head of an ass? He accuses Snout of being asinine for suggesting he has the head of an ass.
How does Titania react when she sees Bottom? She falls in love with him.
What orders does she give her four tiny fairies? To pamper Bottom.
How is Quince’s problem with the lighting of his play similar to Shakespeare’s problem with the lighting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream? They both take place at night (moonlight)
How does Oberon learn that Titania is in love with Bottom? Puck tells him.
How does Oberon feel after he learns that Titania is in love with Bottom and why? He thinks it’s great because Bottom has the head of an ass.
How does Oberon realized that Puck has made a mistake and bewitched the wrong Athenian youth? Demetrius comes to Oberon and is not in love with Helena.
What does Hermia think has happened to Lysander? Why does she think so? She thinks that Demetrius killed him in his sleep. He wants her to be his wife.
On whom does Oberon press the magical nectar now? Why? Demetrius so that he will fall in love with Helena.
How does Helena react when Demetrius declares his love? Why? That he is making fun of her because the night before he didn’t love her.
Why do Hermia and Helena argue? Helena thinks Hermia is in on a joke with the guys to make her look stupid.
Who challenges whom to a duel? Why? Lysander challenges Demetrius to a duel over Helena’s love.
What does Oberon order Puck to do to set things right on earth? Put more juice on Lysander’s eyes to undo the earlier spell.
How does Oberon plan to set things right in the fairy world? He is going to undo the spell on Titania and attempt to take the changeling.
How is Titania showing her affection for Bottom at the beginning of the scene? Who else is presently unnoticed by her She asks him to lay on a bed of flowers and let her fairies tend to him; Oberon
What sort of music and food does Bottom request? Tongs and Bones (homemade musical instruments that fairies play); honey bag, hay, dried peas.
How does Oberon get the little boy? He teases Titania about bottom then asks for the boy.
Why does Oberon return Titania to normal? Because she gives him the changeling.
How do Theseus, Egeus, and the others happen to find the four lovers? Why is Theseus surprised by their appearance? They are in the woods, carrying out pre-wedding ceremonies (May Day rites); Lysander and Demetrius (enemies) are sleeping side by side.
What would Egeus like Theseus to do? What does Theseus do instead? Wants Theseus to punish Lysnder, instead he orders the couples to marry alongside him and Hippolyta.
When they all awaken, how much do the lovers and Bottom remember about the previous night? Not much, it seems like a dream to them.
What does Bottom plan to have Peter Quince write? Why? A ballad about his dream, because it was so deep.
How do you feel toward Bottom now that he is back to “normal”? Do you pity him? No, ignorance is bliss.
How does the entrance of the mortals from the court change the mood of the play? The mortals are upset that Bottom is missing and that they won’t be able to perform their play.
Why are the tradesmen upset? Why don’t they just assign someone else the role of Pyramus? They think Bottom is the only man in Athens that can play the part.
What news does Snug bring? How does this make the tradesmen feel? The wedding has already occurred and they weren’t chosen to perform the play.
Why does Flute say that Bottom “hath … lost six-pence a day during his life”? Flute believes that Bottom was going to be paid at least that much.
How do the tradesmen find out that their play has been put on the “preferred list”? Bottom shows up and tells them.
What does Bottom tell the others to do in preparation for the play? Gather costumes, study lines, don’t eat onions or garlic.
Why do you suppose this scene is so short? For the anticipation of the next and final scene.
Why does Theseus dismiss the stories of the four young people? Because they sound too outlandish.
Who gets married in this scene? Nobody got married in that scene.
Why does Theseus choose Pyramus and Thisbe over the other shows he might watch? He has been told that the actors are very sincere about their performance.
Why does Philostrate try to keep Theseus from seeing the play? What does he say is wrong with it? He says the play is worthless and the actors are idiots.
What does Theseus mean by the lines “For never anything can be amiss, when simpleness and duty tender it”? Nothing is ever that bad when effort and authenticity are behind it.
How does Shakespeare use the comments from the audience to enhance the humor of the play that they are watching? The banter between the audience members is funny too.
What is Hippolyta’s reaction to the play? She thinks it’s silly.
In what way is Thisbe’s final speech humorous? She describes Pyramus in an unattractive way.
What does Oberon tell the fairies to do? Sing and dance to bless the three sleeping couples.
What is the purpose of Puck’s final speech? To be an epilogue full of excuses and apologies.

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