A Midsummer Night Dream

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Call us crazy, but does anyone out there wonder whether true happiness in this play exists? Happiness seems to arrive only with the help of magic.


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Let's examine:. So now we turn to you, Shmoopster. Help us out. What is true happiness, and is it real if it's induced by magical potions? All rights reserved. A Midsummer Night's Dream Introduction.


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Let's examine: Peace between the four lovers is restored only because Demetrius remains drugged up on magic and infatuated with Helena. Bottom adores being loved by Titania so much even with the whole donkey-transformation thing that he delivers a monologue about it and a famous one at that. Stormy Titania is happy as a clam happier than we've ever seen her with Bottom-turned-donkey in her bower.

Shakespeare's Globe

They tell their plan to Helena , a girl who is madly in love with Demetrius. Hoping to gain favor with Demetrius, Helena decides to tell him about the plan. Some local artisans and workmen have decided to perform a play for Theseus as a way to celebrate his wedding. They choose Pyramus and Thisbe for their play, and meet to assign the roles. Nick Bottom gets the role of Pyramus, and Flute takes the part of Thisbe.


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They agree to meet the next night in the woods to rehearse the play. Robin Goodfellow, a puck , meets a fairy who serves Queen Titania. He tells the fairy that his King Oberon is in the woods, and that Titania should avoid Oberon because they will quarrel again. However, Titania and Oberon soon arrive and begin arguing about a young boy Titania has stolen and is caring for. Oberon demands that she give him the boy, but she refuses. Oberon decides to play a trick on Titania and put some pansy juice on her eyes. The magical juice will make her fall in love with first person she sees upon waking up.

Soon after Puck is sent away to fetch the juice, Oberon overhears Demetrius and Helena in the woods.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Demetrius deserts Helena in the forest, leaving her alone. Oberon decides that he will change this situation, and commands Robin to put the juice onto Demetrius's eyes when he is sleeping. He then finds Titania and drops the juice onto her eyelids. Robin goes to find Demetrius, but instead comes across Lysander and accidentally uses the juice on him.

By accident Helena comes across Lysander and wakes him up. He immediately falls in love with her and starts to chase her through the woods. Together they arrive where Oberon is watching, and he realizes the mistake. Oberon then puts the pansy juice onto Demetrius's eyelids, who upon waking up also falls in love with Helena. She thinks that the two men are trying to torment her for being in love with Demetrius, and becomes furious at their protestations of love.

The workmen arrive in the woods and start to practice their play. They constantly ruin the lines of the play and mispronounce the words. Out of fear of censorship, they decide to make the play less realistic. Hermia tells Helena of their plans, and she in turn tells Demetrius, in the hope that he will like her more for telling him. Demetrius chases after the eloping couple, and Helena chases after him.

Video SparkNotes: Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream summary

They plan to rehearse in the forest. Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies, are arguing over who should have a changeling boy that Titania has stolen. This will maker her fall in love with the first person she sees upon waking.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - STC - Sacramento Theatre Company

But Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, and Lysander wakes to see Helena, whom he falls in love with and chases after, leaving Hermia alone. The rustics begin their rehearsal near where Titania is sleeping. Bottom frightens his friends away, and in doing so wakes Titania. She falls in love with him, and Bottom is treated like a lord by the fairy retinue.

Hermia, having lost Lysander, thinks Demetrius has killed him, and when he denies it she goes to look for him.