“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” By Shakespeare

ACT 1 SCENE 1: What does Theseus tell Philostrate to do regarding the residents of Athens? Philostrate is charged with the duty of making all of the villiagers of Athens excited about Thesus’ marriage. He is also sent to find entertainment.
What do we learn of teh earlier relationship between Theaseus and Hippolyta? Theaseus is ready to get married and Hippolyta cant wait until the day.
Of what does Egeus accuse Lysander? He stole the heart of His daughter and he doesnt approve of the love.
What does Egeus request of the Duke? That he makes Hermia marry Demetrius and not Lysander.
What does Theseus say is Hermia’s responsibility? She will either die or be sent to a nunnery if she doesn’t agree to marry Demetrius.
In her response to the Duke, what kind of person does Hermia show herself to be? She shows herself to be rude, independent, and a powerful person.
Hermia speaks and gave the first many mentions to “eyes”. What juxtaposition is set up by this? She trying to say that if they were in her positiosn they would see things differently.
In her response to her question, what does the Duke tell Hermia may happen if she continues her refusal to obey? Either be killed or turned into a nun.
In the last line of his speech to the Duke, why does lysander call Demetrius inconstant? He made out with Helena and already made love to another women making him dirty and unpure.
The Duke who admits to having heard the argument but has been too consumed with his own affairs, prepares to leave the room. What ultimatum does he give Hermia? He tells her to get ready for the wedding, or be killed, or turned into a nun.
The Duke has told Hermia that is the law and it will be followed. From his behavior and manner, what do you think the Duke represents? He represents God, the King, and the person who they listen to and the person who goes along with the Laws.
In exchange that follows between Lysander and Hermia, what do they say impedes “the course of true love”? That if you have true love, then it must be tested.
What plan does Lysander propose? They should run away to his aunts house, where the Laws Of Athens can’t get them.
WHat does Helena suggest is love’s attraction? That Hermia is love’s attraction.
What are Helena’s commenst on love at the end of scene 1? Love comes from the heart, love doesnt look with the eyes, but with the heart.
What plan of action does she decide to take? She decided to tell Demetrious that Hermia and Lysander are going to run away and she tells him and expects a thank you.
What is the setting for the first scene? What does the setting suggest? At the Athenian Palace where Theseus staysin, which suggest he is from the upper class or is served by them.
Explain what these cahrecters say about love. 1. Theseus & Hippolyta- There is no love but the order of her father.2. Hermia & Lysander- True love should be tested.3. Demetrius- Love is when they make love for or to each other.4. Helena- Love has no shape or size, love comes from the heart.
Some readers complain that it is hard to tell the four lovers apart because they all seem to talk and think alike. What miht be a reason for this? They are in a major love situation, one way or another the love each other.
ACT 1 SCENE 2: Although Peter Quince seems to be the designated leader or director in this group of workmen, what draws our attention to Nick Bottom? Bottom always tries to take over and make himself look like the leader.
What do the workman fear may happen if they are not careful when they potray the Lion? The ladies and dutches will get scared and shriek.
What makes the reader believe that this is not realistic appraisal of the situation? It is just a play and people wont fear a lion being plaed by a human.
Why is the group rehearsing a play? They want to be part of the Fairy’s wedding between Theseus and Hippolyta.
WHat charecterizes the language of Nick Bottom and the others? They are common people, perhaps loer class, and they speak in low diction.
Despite his faults, what makes Bottom a likeable charecter? He said he will roar gently so the women won’t get scared, making him a nice and gentle character.
ACT 2 SCENE 1: Puck sets up the scene for the reader. What does he say is the cause of dispute between Oberon and Titania? A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian King.
What happend as a result of this dispute? Oberon and Titania are seperated because of the boy.
What seems to be the reason behind Puck’s pranks? He wants to make Oberon smile and he enjoys doing pranks on people.
What, according to Titania, is Oberon’s problem? He is jealous of the fact that she has the boy and will not give the boy to him.
What does she say has happened as a result of their dispute? Natural disasters; weather and climate changed negatively on earth, because of their dispute.
Why will Titania not give up the boy? They boy is the son of her best friend that died giving birth to him from the human world.
What is it that Oberon sends Puck to get? To get the Love-in-ideness flower.
What does he plan to do with this potion? He plans to use the potion on Titania, so when she is in madly in love with someone or something he can steal the boy from her.
What opinion of Helena and Demetrius do you get in exchange? Demetrius hates Helena and he doesn’t want to be followed by her, he insults her, but yet Helena is madly in love with him and would even be his dog.
What further instructiosn does Oberon give Puck? He tells him to take the potion and put it on a man that is wearing athenian clothes.
Why do you suppose Oberon even cares about helping Helena? He feels bad for her and wants to help her get the love of her life.
ACT 2 SCENE 2: What is Hermia’s response to Lysander’s suggestion that they lie down togather? She says no because they are still friends, not married yet.
Mistakenly, Puck puts the potion on Lysander’s eyes rather than on Demetrius. What may come of this? Lysander will fal in love with the first person he sees, so he saw Helena and fell in love with her.
Who awakens Lysander, and what happens? Helena woke up Lysander and he fell in love with her since she was the first person he saw.
How does he explain his change of heart? He claims to hate Hermia with his life and loves Helena now.
What, in fact, causes the change in his affections? The potion that Puck put on his eyelids.
What is Helena’s response to Lysander’s declarations of love? Why? She says no, since she loved Demetrius and she thought she was getting played by Lysander.
What is the setting for this act and what is associated with this setting? The setting is the woods or the forests. The association to this setting is that it’s inside the fairies and the humans or ” the clown charecters”.
ACT 3 SCENE 1: This scene again brings up the idea of reality and illusion, particularly as it applies to the theater. How do the workman/players fear that their theatrical illusion may be mistaken for reality? They feared that the women will get scared.
When bottom comes on stage again, Quince tells everyone to run off. Why? Beacuse Puck turned Bottom’s head into a donkey’s head.
What might you be able to recognize in Bottom’s name? Its ironic because his name is Bottom and now his head is like one.
What is Bottom’s reaction to his companions’ running off? What does he conclude? His reaction was confusion, and he ended up concluding that they were just playing with him.
Titania, hearing Bottom singing, awakens. What is her reaction? She was very happy and liked his singing and wanted him to sing again.
What is Bottom’s response to Titania’s declaration? He says no, he sings very bad, but he can tell her jokes if she desires.
How would you charecterize Bottom’s dialogue with the fairies? He called them masters and did what they commanded him.
What does Titania suggest that she sees as one fault of Bottom? That she is a mortal human.
ACT 3 SCENE 2: As this scene opens, why is Hermia berating Demetrius? She thought Demetrius killed Lysander so then he can get Hermia.
What does Puck’s response demonstarate? He demonstartes that he was enjoying thi drama and all of this happened beacause of him.
In order to return the situation to normal, the potion is put on Demetrius’ eyes, and Puck is sent to bring Helena to him, so that she may be the first thing Demetrius sees when he wakes. As they wait, Puck says, ” Lord, what fool these mortals be!” What does Puck really mean? Puck means that humans are dumb and can be easily tricked.
Demetrius awakens and vows his love for Helena. What is Helena’s response? She thinks Lysander and Demerius teamed up and started messing with her.
When Hermia appears, why does Helena think that all 3 of her friends have joined togather to make fun of her? Beacsue of how good they were acting it out and telling her these things.
Why is Helena’s speech especially poignant? She feels that all 3 of her friends are playing games with her.
When Hermia Finally realizes that Lysander no longer loves her, what is Hermia’s reaction to his love Helena? Hermia thinks Helen came during the night and stole the heart of Lysander. Possibly making love with him.
Having lost the love of her beloved, how does Hermia now see herself? Shes lonely and feels like no one loves her and her love got stolen by Hermia.
What does Oberon tell Puck to do to correct these problems Puck has caused? He tells him to keep Lysander and Demetrius away from each other and when they fall asleep use the antidote.
According to Puck, what should someone who was offened by Midsummer Night’s Dream think of it? That everything was just a dream.
What does Hermia’s commenst reveal about the depth of her love? That she loves him and wants him to be safe even though he hates her.
In your own opinion, if Lysander’s love were true love, could a little potion change it so drastically? Does Puck make fools of the lovers, or is Shakespear saying tha humans in love behave like fools? I think its Shakespear saying we can never have true love.
The scen raises one question a number of times: what do we see when we look at our love? Do we see that person, or do we only see our own visioon of the person? What, on the other hand do we see when, like Lysander, we fall out of love? We see hatred from who ever we fallen out of love.
ACT 4 SCENE 1: As this scene opens, what picture we get from of Bottom? Hes treated like a king, he has his own fairies that do anything he wishes.
How do the fairies choices in music further contrast the difference between Titania and Bottom? Bottom like rural type of music while Titania doesn’t.
What does Oberon’s reaction to Titania doting on Bottom seem to be? He’s jealous and chose to take the curse off of her so she can be his.
The word “dote” comes up again, this time spoken by Titania. Earlier Helena talked of doting Demetrius. What word does this word suggest? That they adore the person very much.
Once Oberon gets the changeling boy from Titania, what is his plan for Bottom? He ask Puck to make him into a human and takes Titania to the wedding from him.
How do Lysnder’s comments, reinforce the theme? He beleives that everything was a dream in the midsummers at night, which is the title, ” A midsummer nigh’s dream”.
What is the main idea in Demetrius’ speech to Egeus? He doesnt want to marry Hermia and he loves Helena and wants her.
Why do the lovers question wheather they are asleep or not? Everything came together like they expected it to be.
What is Bottom’s reation when he wakes? Where is evryone, was this just a bad dream.
What is their conclusion? They were not dreaming, everything really happend.
What is significant about the fact that this scene ends with the four lovers going off to celebrate Theseus’ and their own weddings? This is what they wanted from the start.
Throughout the play, moonlight is mentioned over 20 times. With what concept are we meant to associate the moon and moonlight? The concept of love between the lovers.
ACT 4 SCENE 2: Why can Bottom not make up his mind about telling or not telling his friends what happened to him? They are about to perfrom the play, so he will tell the later on after the play.
ACT 5 SCENE1: Hippolyta finds the story related by the lovers strange. What is Theseus’ reaction? He belives its more straneg than true and thinks its made up.
In terms of a theme in this play, reality versus illusion, what do the poets, madmen, and lovers have in common? They have big and strong imaginations.
Although he has been warned that it is a terrible play, why does Theseues insist on seeing Pyramus and Thisbe? He jsut going for the fun of it, he want the crowd to laugh when they mess up.
Hippolyta is concerned that these players might embarrass themselves, and that laughing at their effort would be unkind. But Theseus compares their efforts at play-making to someone who wishes to speak to him, but becomes tongue-tied. WHat is the point of the comparison he is making? As a result, what is our opinion of Theseus? He is making that even a scholar was very nervous to talk to me and they will be nervous too. He likes giving people opportunities and chores to do when he knows they can’t do them.
Breifly, what is the plot of the play-within-a-play, Thisbe and Pyramus? They are two lovers madly in love with each other, and are seperated by a wall, but when one of them sees a blood stain on the others scarf he kills himself and in actuality she’s alive so when she sees him dead, she kills herself.
How does this tragedy pf Pyramus and Thisbe give a comic reflection of the main plot? In the play, the lovers couldnt be togather but ended up being togather, and unlike pyramus and Thisbe they didnt die.
Critics point out that, to be really appreciated, this last act must be overacted? Why do you suppose they say this? So it can possibly bring a little humor to the reader.
Why is it somewhat ironic that Lysander and Demetrius should be laughing at the troubles of Pyramus and Thisbe? They were acting like Pyramus and Thisbe but now its different, they are happy and laughing.
As the 3 pairs of lovers, now all united in marriage, march off the stage, the reunited Oberon and Titania appear. What is the tone and substance of their comments? They are all happy, excited, smiling and joyus, knowing that they are getting married to the ones they love.
VOCABULARY: Abide tolerate
Beseech To beg
Chaste Pure
Chide (v.) to blame; scold
Chronicled enter into a chronicle,recorded in history
Clamorous Noisy
Disdainful scornful
Disparage Belittle
Dissension (n.) disagreement, sharp difference of opinion
Dotes shows excessive affection
Entreat To ask earnestly; to beg
Flout (v.) – to scorn, ignore, show contempt for
Fray Fight
Lofty (adj.) very high; noble
Marred damaged; spoiled
Mirth Jollity, merriment; amusement or laughter
Preposterously absurd
Swoon to faint
Upbraid to scold sharply
Vile Disgusting
“Turn melancholy forth to funnels.” Theseus: Start the party.
“Ay me! For aught that I could ever read, Could ever hear by tale or history The course of true love never did run smooth.” Lysander: True love must be tested, if its true then it’s not easy.
“… it is a customary cross,” Hermia: We have to bare with this challenge.
“These are the forgeries of jealousy.” Titania: What you saying is a lie, your just a hater.
“And same this progeny of evils comes From our debate, from our dissension. We are their parents and original.” Titania: Its our fault.
“Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair? Or rather, do I not in the plainest truth Tell you I do not, nor I cannot, love you?” Demetrius: What did I do that make you love me, I hate you.
“There thee well, nymph. Ere he do leave this grove, Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love.” Oberon: Don’t worry girl, I got you back.
“Lysander riddles prettily.” Hermia: You spitting good game.
“Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born? When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?” Helena: What did I do to deserve this joke?
“What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here, Do near the cradle of the fairy queen? What, a play toward? I’ll be an antitor. An actor too, perhaps, if i see cause.” Puck: Puck is watching and he will pull a prank.
“What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?” I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again. Mine ear is much enamored of thy note. So is mine eye ethralled to thy shape.” Titania: Keep singing, its really good, i love it!
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Puck: People are stupid and can be tricked easily.
“Why should you think that I should woo in scorn? Scorn derision never comes in tears.” Lysander: Why would he lie about love, tears mena that this is serious.
‘Weight oath with oath, and you will nothing weight.” Helena: Your lying to both of us.
‘Lo, she is one of this confederacy! Now i perceive they have conjured all three, To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.” Helena: All 3 of you are in this together.
“Up and down, up and down, I will lead them up and down. I am feared in the country and the town. Goblin, lead them up and down. Here comes one.” Puck: He is allowed to play mischeif on Lysanderand Demetrius.
“Here will i rest me till the break of day. Heavens sheild Lysander if they mean a fray.”
“Come sit thee down upon this flowery bed, While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, And stick musk-roses in thy sleek, smooth head, And kiss thy fair large ears, thy gentle joy.” Titania: Complementing Bottom
“How came these things to pass? Oh, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!” Titania: Oh I hate his face.
“How comes this gentle concord in the world, That hatred is so far from jealousy To sleep by hate and fear no enmity?” Theseus: Yall hate each other but yet sleep by each other.
“But like in sickness did i loath this food. But as in health, come to my natural tatse, Now i do wish it, love it, long for it, And will even more be true to it.” Demetrius: He was sick and now has regain his senses.
“I have had a dream—-past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about to expound his dream.” Bottom: It was a great dream and his friends left him.
“‘Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.” Hippolyta: The dream they had was weird.
“‘Merry’ and ‘tragically’? ‘Tedious’ and ‘brief’? That is hot ice and wondrous strange snow. How shall we find the concord of this discord?”
He hath rid the prologue like a rough colt. He knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord: it is not enough to speak, but to speak true.”
“Give me your hands if we be friends.” Puck: If you liked it clap.
“But stay, O spite! But mark, poor knight, what dreadful dole is here! Eyes, do you see? How can it be? O dainty duck! O Dear!”
“If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended–That you have but slumbered here While these visions did apear… And this weak idle theme, mo more yeilding but a dream…” Puck: If you hated it just think this play was all just a dream.
“Asleep, my love? What, dead, my dove?” Thisbe: Are you Dead?
Theseus The duke of Athens. Theseus is a hero from Greek mythology—he refers to the fact that he’s Hercules’ cousin at one point—so his presence signals to the reader that the play takes place in a mythical Greek past. At the beginning of the play, Theseus has recently returned from conquering the Amazons, a race of warrior women, and is about to marry the conquered Amazon queen, Hippolyta. Because of this impending wedding, the mood of the play is one of holiday festivity, characterized by a heightened sense of erotic expectation and anticipation. Theseus himself projects confidence, authority, and benevolent power.
Hippolyta The legendary queen of the Amazons, engaged to marry Theseus. Although Hippolyta is marrying Theseus because he defeated her in combat, she does not act at all like an unwilling bride. Theseus is very courtly in his manner toward Hippolyta, and she is unfailingly deferential toward him.
Egeus A respected nobleman in Theseus’s court. Egeus complains to Theseus that his daughter, Hermia, refuses to marry Demetrius, Egeus’s choice for her. Egeus’s wish to control his daughter is quite severe—he asks Theseus to impose the death penalty on her if she refuses to marry Demetrius. Theseus, however, reduces the penalty for noncompliance from death to life as a nun.
Hermia Egeus’s daughter. Hermia is a beautiful young woman of Athens, and both Demetrius and Lysander are in love with her. Hermia defies her father’s wish that she marry Demetrius because she is in love with Lysander. She is unusually strong-willed and independent—refusing to comply even when Theseus orders her to obey her father—and resolved to elope with Lysander. Hermia is also the childhood friend of Helena.
Lysander A young nobleman of Athens in love with Hermia. Although Hermia’s father refuses to let her marry Lysander, Lysander believes that love must conquer all obstacles, so he persuades Hermia to run away from her home and family with him, into the forest.
Demetrius A young nobleman of Athens. In the past, Demetrius acted as if he loved Helena, but after Helena fell in love with him, he changed his mind and pursued Hermia. Emboldened by Egeus’s approval of him, Demetrius is undeterred by the fact that Hermia does not want him.
Helena A young woman of Athens in love with Demetrius. Helena has been rejected and abandoned by Demetrius, who had claimed to love her before he met her best friend, Hermia. Consequently, Helena tends to speak in a self-pitying tone. Moreover, she puts herself in dangerous and humiliating situations, running through the forest at night after Demetrius even though Demetrius wants nothing to do with her.
Robin ‘Puck’ Goodfellow A “puck” or mischievous fairy who delights in playing pranks on mortals; he is sometimes referred to simply as Puck. Robin is Oberon’s jester, and his antics are responsible for many of the complications that propel the play. At Oberon’s bidding, Robin sprinkles “love juice” in the eyes of various characters to change who they love, but he makes mistakes in his application that create conflicts Oberon never intended. Though Robin claims to make these mistakes honestly, he enjoys the conflict and mayhem that his mistakes cause.
Oberon The king of the fairies. Oberon begins the play at odds with his wife, Titania, because she refuses to relinquish control of a young Indian prince whom she has kidnapped, but whom Oberon wants for a knight. Oberon’s desire for revenge on Titania leads him to send Robin to obtain the love-potion flower that creates so much of the play’s confusion and farce.
Titania The beautiful queen of the fairies. Titania resists the attempts of her husband, Oberon, to make a knight of the young Indian prince whom she has taken. Until Oberon gives up his demand, Titania has sworn to avoid his company and his bed. She is less upset by the fact that she and Oberon are apart than by the fact that Oberon has been disrupting her and her followers’ magic fairy dances.
Nick Bottom The overconfident weaver chosen to play Pyramus in a play that a group of craftsmen have decided to put on for Theseus’s wedding celebration. Bottom is full of advice and self-confidence but frequently makes silly mistakes and misuses language. His simultaneous nonchalance about the beautiful Titania’s sudden love for him and unawareness of the fact that Puck has transformed his head into that of an ass mark the pinnacle of his foolish arrogance.
Peter Quince A carpenter and the nominal leader of the craftsmen’s attempt to put on a play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Quince is often shoved aside by the abundantly confident Bottom. During the craftsmen’s play, Quince plays the Prologue.
Francis Flute The bellows-mender chosen to play Thisbe in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Forced to play a young girl in love, the bearded craftsman determines to speak his lines in a high, squeaky voice.
Robin Starvling The tailor chosen to play Thisbe’s mother in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Robin Starveling ends up playing the part of Moonshine.
Tom Snout The tinker chosen to play Pyramus’s father in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Tom Snout ends up playing the part of Wall, dividing the two lovers.
Snug The joiner chosen to play the lion in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Snug worries that his roaring will frighten the ladies in the audience.
Philostrate Theseus’s Master of the Revels, responsible for organizing the entertainment for the duke’s marriage celebration.
Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mote, and Mustardseed The fairies whom Titania orders to wait on Bottom after she falls in love with him.

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