A Midsummer Night's
A Midsummer Night's Dream begins with two sets
of lovers, Lysander and Hermia and Helena and Demetrius.
Unfortunately for Helena, Demetrius no longer loves
Helena, instead falling for Hermia. Hermia's father
Egeus however, wants Hermia to marry Demetrius. Unable
to change his daughter's mind, Egeus calls upon The
Duke of Athens, Theseus to ensure Hermia marries Demetrius.
Theseus himself will marry Hippolyta, the Queen of the
Amazons in four days time. This results in Hermia being
given a choice under the Athenian law; marry Demetrius,
become a nun or face death. She has four days to decide.
Not needing one, Hermia instead flees into the nearby
forest with her one true love, Lysander who tells her
they can travel to his aunt's house and marry.
Meanwhile, there is discord in the forest. The King
and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania are fighting
over an orphan. Oberon wants the boy to be his page;
Titania disagrees. Oberon accuses Titania of loving
Theseus, Titania accusing Oberon of loving Hippolyta.
Now, Oberon sneekily instructs Puck a minion of his,
to bring him a flower from Cupid that will make the
holder fall in love with the first person they see...
Oberon hopes Titania will love a monster thus allowing
him to obtain the orphan. Oberon will have a flower
placed on Titania whilst she sleeps, making her fall
in love with the first person she sees.
Like Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius too
are now in the forest. Helena told Demetrius of Hernia's
flight, Demetrius running into the forest to find her.
. . Oberon feels sorry for Helena when he hears Demetrius
reject her and so tells Puck to place a flower on Demetrius
also, ensuring Demetrius will fall in love with Helena
again. Predictably, Puck places a flower on Lysander
instead of Demetrius. Unfortunately, Helena not Hermia
is the first person Lysander sees, Lysander instantly
falling in love with Helena, devastating Hermia whom
Lysander now rejects.
Meanwhile, a group of men are practicing for a play
for the Duke's upcoming wedding, named "Pyramus
and Thisbe." Mischieviously, Puck puts a spell
on Bottom, one of these men, giving him the head of
an ass (Donkey). By chance, Titania awakens to see Bottom,
falling deeply in love with the ass, to Oberon's intense
amusement. However Oberon, seeing Helena still without
her Demetrius, decides to remedy the situation, placing
the flower on Demetrius himself and taking pains to
ensure Helena is the first person Demetrius sees. Helena
though, is not sure what to think; having both Demetrius
and Lysander in love with her; she suspects she is being
made fun of... Hermia appears, Helena accusing her of
collusion with the two men to humiliate her. Realising
Puck's mistake, Oberon has Puck create a fog allowing
the four to be separated and placed to sleep so the
spell can finally wear off.
Oberon now administers an antidote to the magic to
Lysander so he will once more love Hermia not Helena
as he did under the spell. Oberon also cures Titania
of her love of Bottom, Oberon and Titania finally making
peace. The four lovers and Bottom leave the forest believing
this to all have been a midsummer nights dream. The
tedious play is performed at the wedding feast, Lysander
and Hermia, Demetrius and Helena and Theseus and Hippolta
marrying. The play ends with fairies casting
blessings and Puck delivering a soliloquy.
Scene I, Scene