A Midsummer Night Dream Essay, Research Paper
English Book Report
The Mixed up Troubles of Love
A Midsummer’s Night Dream is one of Shakespeare’s romantic/comedy plays. This play is about love and all the troubles that it brings to people. It also has a side story about a pompous actor who has a mysterious dream in the forest. The four main characters are all trying to find love with one another and when magic is involved it causes more cause between the four than it does to help.
The play is set in Monte Athena, Italy in the nineteenth century. The main characters are the four lovers Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius. The Duke and his fianc?e Queen Hipolyta, Puck the mischievous creature who is half man half goat, the Fairy King Obecca and the Fairy Queen Titania.
It starts out as Egeus, a wealthy Athenian, brings a problem upon Duke Theseus. Egeus wants to marry his daughter Hermia off to Demetrius, but she refuses because she is in love with Lysander, who her father does not approve of. Because Hermia is disobeying her father by not wanting to marry Demetrius, whom she does not love, she will either have to marry Demetrius or die. The other alternative the Duke gives Hermia is to become a prioress for the rest of her life. The couple leaves the meeting with the Duke and they decide to run off together to another town, where they can be wed and live in happiness. The only person they tell about their plan is Helena. Helena agrees to help because she is in love with Demetrius, although he does not return the love for her. She was once seduced by him but he was through with her after their little affair. She follows him everywhere and will not leave him be. So Helena decides to tell Demetrius of Hermia and Lysander’s so she can follow him into the woods and be with him.
In another part of Athena a sign is posted of a dramatic competition with a rewarded prize for the winner. The winners will have to perform their play for the Duke and his wife on their wedding day. Here we are introduced to Nick Bottom the weaver who is a very dramatic pompous actor, who runs away from his wife frequently to flirt with the young damsels. His theatrical group decides to put on the play Pyrimus and Thisby, where Bottom is given the part of Pyrimus. Yet he wants to play every part in the play, trying to show off. The group decides to meet in the woods that night, which is the same night the couple will be running away.
That night Demetrius leaves to find Hermia and Lysander and stop them from getting away. But without his consent Helena follows him the whole way out there, pestering and bothering him. They go off into the forest where Shakespeare brings us to a party all the fairies, spirits and mystical creates are drinking wine and frolicking around. Here we are introduced to the mischievous troublemaker Puck, who is half goat half man. He is the creature who scares maids in the sleep and frightens wives at night. The Fairy Queen Titania soon appears in front of The Fairy King Obecca. They quarrel over a special child that is left in to the queen and she leaves. The King tells Puck to find him a special flower that cupid launched his arrow at. When the dew of this flower is placed into a sleeping creature’s eyes the first person they see when they awake they will fall in love with. He wants to put this dew into the queen’s eyes to teach her a lesson by making her fall in love with a hideous creature.
When Puck leaves, the king spies Helena bothering Demetrius again. He hears her profess her love to him as he denies his love to her and instead professes his hatred to her. The king decides that he wants to help this poor, pitiful mortal girl by making Demetrius fall in love with her. Puck then returns with the flower and brings it to the king. While the king goes to put the dew on the Fairy Queen’s eyes he tells Puck of the two mortals, Demetrius and Helena, and tells him to help her by making Demetrius fall in love with her.
Puck finds Lysander and Hermia sleeping in the forest and mistakes them for Demetrius and Helena. So Puck puts the flower’s dew on Lysander’s eyelids. Helena happens to be passing by and sees Lysander lying on the ground. She thinks he is dead and tries to wake him, doing so he awakens and falls madly in love with her. He then forgets all about his love for Hermia and chases after Helena. Hermia then awakes and frightened that Lysander is gone, thinking that he is either harmed or dead.
Then the theatrical group comes to rehearse their play in a spot in the forest, which is coincidently right under the basket that the Fairy Queen is sleeping in. While Nick Bottom goes off from the group to practice his lines Puck puts a spell on him and transforms him into a donkey. When the other men see him they run off. He then starts talking to himself, which wakes up the Fairy Queen. He is then the first person she sees when she wakes up, which makes her fall in love with him. The Queen captures him and makes the other fairies serve him and give him all that he desires.
Hermia finds Demetrius and goes off with him to find Lysander. The king watches them and realizes that Puck has put the spell on the wrong person. He then sends him to correct the mistake and put things back to normal. He then puts the flower on Demetrius’ eyes while he sleeps which makes him fall in love Helena as well. Lysander still thinks he is in love with Helena and tells Hermia he does not love her any longer and he hates her. The two boys fight over Helena, but Helena thinks they are mocking her and they are just trying to make her feel bad. Hermia then becomes insanely jealous and angered that Lysander’s love is now only for Helena. She pushes Helena into the muddy water and the girls begin to fight and role around in the mud. The King, watching all of this, gets an herb that will reverse the love spell. Puck has the four kids running around the forest trying to find each other; they then pass out from exhaustion. The four land in the same spot of the forest with out knowing. While sleeping, the king puts the new herb onto Lysander’s eyes; reversing the love spell and bring him back to his true love for Hermia.
Back at the Fairy Queen’s place she falls asleep with Nick Bottom and the King puts the herb on her eyes, which makes her see her true love. She awakes to see him and is horrified to see a donkey lying next to her.
The next morning the Duke is off riding with Hippolyta and they discover the two couples lying in the tall grass nude. The couples awaken not knowing exactly what happened the night before. The Duke makes them stand up to explain themselves. Lysander and Hermia confess to their plan to run away. Hermia’s father is they’re telling her she must marry Demetrius. Demetrius then professes his love for Helena; tell Hermia’s father he can no longer marry Hermia. The Duke talks with his fianc? and they decide to have a triple wedding. The father is not pleased with the idea, but goes along with it.
Nick Bottom then awakens in another part of the forest. He is back to his usual self, with his usual clothing. He then concludes that the entire affair with Fairy Queen must have all been a dream and then it couldn’t have possibly occurred. His theatrical group is worried that he will not show up; but he astonishes them all by coming to their rescue. As they prepare for their performance, everyone else in the castle are preparing for the wedding of the three couples.
The couples then celebrate their marriages to their loves and dine outside. The Duke’s assistant then presents him with a list of acts that he can choose from. This act will then perform in front of the entire party. The chosen act is Pyrimus and Thisby, which is Nick Bottom’s play. The couples watch the tragedy play, which turns into more of a comedy. At the end of the play the entire party viewing gave the group a standing ovation. The Duke gave them approval and the group won their prize.
The three couples go to their bedrooms to make love all night long. As they lay there with their lover the fairies fill the rooms and watch over them. They bring the couples peace and happiness.