Midsummer Night’s Dream: Short Answer

What are Theseus and Hippolyta discussing at the play’s start? Their wedding, which will be held in four days
How does Hippolyta come to be betrothed by Theseus? By arranging a marriage celebration to pass the time before the wedding
Why is Egeus disturbed? Because he has given Demetrius permission to marry his daughter, Hermia, but Hermia is in love with Lysander and refuses to marry Demetrius
What will be Hermia’s fate if she refuses to marry Demetrius? She will be punished by the law – nunnery or death
To what do Lysander and Hermia agree? To travel to the house of Lysander’s aunt to get married the following night
What hope does Helena have by telling Demetrius of Lysander and Hermia’s fight? Helena has hope of Demetrius running off to stop the two and as he does so to woe him and win back his love
Who are the characters in scene two, and what do they plan? Peter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and Starveling. They plan to rehearse a play that they hope to preform for the grand marriage celebration
Why is Oberon angry with his queen? Because he wants to make the little indian boy his knight, but Titania refuses to give him up
On what mission does Oberon send Puck? To seek a white a purple flower which has been hit with one of cupids arrows. He wants it so he can use the juice from cupids arrow to put on Titania’s eyelids, which will make her fall in love with a ridiculous creature, and he will then recurse to lift the curse until she gives Oberon the indian boy
Upon overhearing Demetrius and Helena, what does Oberon command Puck to do? He demands Puck to look for an Athenian youth being pursued by a woman, and to put some of the juice on the youth’s eyelids so that when he wakes up he will fall in love with the lady
Upon whose eyes does Puck apply the potion? Lysander’s eyelids
When he wakes up, who does Lysander see and love? Helena
What is Helena’s reaction to Lysander’s words of love? Anger as she believes that he is making fun of her
To where has Lysander disappeared when Hermia awakes? With Helena
Why does Bottom want a prologue written for the play? Because he does not want to frighten the women in the audience and have them believe that the lion is truly being killed
What has puck done to Bottom? Transformed his head into an ass
Identify the speaker: “Tie up my love’s tongue, bring him silently.” Titania
What news does Puck bring Oberon? News about Bottom and Titania
Why does Oberon send Puck to fetch Helena? Because he realizes the mistake Puck has made and wants to have Demetrius fall in love with Helena
What is Helena’s situation at this point in the play? She is angered because she believes that Demetrius and Lysander are both mocking her
What does Helena suppose of Hermia? That Hermia is involved in a joke between her, Lysander, and Demetrius
What does Hermia think Helena has done? That she has lured Lysander to love her with her height
Why does Oberon send Puck to confuse the two young men? Because he wants to make it so they are hopelessly lost
What remedy corrects the crossed-loved couples? The potion
Why does Titania give Oberon the child? Because Oberon promised to undo the spell if she gave up the Indian child
How does Oberon find Titania and Bottom? In the woods
Why does Oberon remove the spell he has cast over his queen? Because Titania gave him the indian child
Finding the two couples asleep in the woods and learning of their more balanced love, what order does Theseus give? Theseus orders them each to follow him to the temple for a great wedding feast
What news does Bottom bring his companions? That he had a wondrous dream and that he will have Peter Quince write a ballad of his dream to preform at the end of their play
What do the fairies do after the palace goes to sleep? Bless the castle with a fairy song, so that the lovers will always be true to one another, their children will be beautiful, and no harm will ever visit Theseus and Hippolyta
Who does Puck address at the play’s end? That if the play has offended anyone that they should consider it to be a dream
What is the purpose of this last speech? To explain the play as it is a manifestation of the subconscious
Why do you think Shakespeare included a play within a play? used to represent, in condensed form, many of the important ideas and themes of the main plot. Because the craftsmen are such bumbling actors, their performance satirizes the melodramatic Athenian lovers and gives the play a purely joyful, comedic ending. Pyramus and Thisbe face parental disapproval in the play-within-a-play, just as Hermia and Lysander do; the theme of romantic confusion enhanced by the darkness of night is rehashed, as Pyramus mistakenly believes that Thisbe has been killed by the lion, just as the Athenian lovers experience intense misery because of the mix-ups caused by the fairies’ meddling. The craftsmen’s play is, therefore, a kind of symbol for A Midsummer Night’s Dream itself: a story involving powerful emotions that is made hilarious by its comical presentation

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