A Mid-summer Night’s Dream– Know more about it
Theseus: Duke of Athens.
Egeus: Hermia’s father.
Lysander: in love with Hermia. A young Athenian and one of the four lovers.
Demetrius: in love with Helena. He is a young man who is engaged to a young woman, Hermia. She is in love with another man named Lysander.
Hermia: the daughter of a powerful nobleman, Egeus. She has fallen in love with a boy called Lysander, but her dad wants her to marry a boy called Demetrius. She doesn’t like Demetrius at all.
Helena: in love with Demetrius. A close friend of Hermia.
Oberon: king of the fairies. He is engaged in a dispute with his wife Titania, the fairy queen. They were arguing over custody of an Indian child.
Titania: queen of the fairies. She is wife of the Fairy King, Oberon. She doesn’t want to loose her custody of an Indian child.
Puck: Robin Goodfellow: A mischievous person and Oberon’s servant and jester, one of Shakespeare’s most enjoyable characters. He creates commotion.
Philostrate: master of the revels to Theseus
Quince: a carpenter.
Bottom: a weaver.
Hippolyta: queen of the Amazons
Story / Plot of the drama
‘A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream’ is a comedy of errors. The major characters are in confusion about their love due to love potion.
Hermia is in love with Lysander while Helena is in love with Demetrius. Egeus is the father of Hermia. When Egeus comes with Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius at Duke Theseus, he complains that Hermia disobeys him and stubbornly refuses to marry Demetrius as she is in love with Lysander.
The Duke Theseus urges Hermia to obey her father but she refuses him. The Duke gives her three alternatives- to marry Demetrius or become a nun or to suffer a death sentence. The Duke gives her time to think this over until the day of his own marriage.
Lysander and Hermia decide to run into the Woods and get married. Demetrius who used to love Helena (Hermia’s friend), has rejects her love and is now interested in Hermia. Demetrius decides to follow Hermia, and Helena decides to follow Demetrius.
The king of faeries – Oberon and Queen of Faeries – Titania are having a fight over the custody of an Indian boy as to who shall own him. In order to teach a lesson to Titania – Oberon hatches a plan with the help of Puck. Oberon orders Puck to bring the magic potion – ‘Love in Idleness’ the juice of which if poured on the eyelids of a sleeping person, makes him/her fall madly in love with the first person he/she sees after waking up. He thus plans to madden Titania and get the custody of the Indian boy.
As Demetrius enters the wood, followed by Helena, Oberon notices his cold behavior with Helena and decides to develop feelings for her in the heart of Demetrius and orders Puck to apply the juice on his eyelids.
Taking Lysander for Demetrius Puck squeezes the juice on his eyelids. Helena, who enters the wood following Demetrius, proves to be the first-person Lysander sees after waking up and falls in love with her instantly.
Puck, who is appalled by the awful acting of Bottom, bewitches him by transforming his head into that of an ass. Titania sees ass headed Bottom and she fails in his love due to effect of the love potion.
Puck wins praise by Oberon for his affair of Titania –Botton. But as Oberon realizes Puck’s mistake of using the love potion for Lysander instead of Demetrius, he himself squeezes it on the eyelids of Demetrius. He sends Puck to fetch Helena which leads the fierce quarrel between Hermia and Helena as also between Lysander and Demetrius for Helena.
Oberon then gets the muddle sorted out by setting the wrong right in case of all Athenians by removing the spell of potion from Lysander, restoring his love for Hermia.
Oberon also feels the need to release Titania from this spell as he feels sorry for her and his purpose of obtaining the Indian boy is also served. He orders Puck to restore Bottom’s head.
The Duke sees the love between Demetrius and Helena and happily allows Hermia marry Lysander. Thus, the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ends on a happy note.
(C) Answer in about 50 words.
Q.1 Compare the character sketch of Oberon as an enemy of his wife but a friend of lovers.
Oberon, the king of fairies, is shown having two faces. On the one hand, he is shown hatching a plan with the help of Puck by using ‘Love in Idleness’. He tries to ensure that the proper lovers end up loving each other. He brings the happy ending of their love story.
On the other hand, in his dealings with his wife Titania, Oberon is shown as a wicked man. Oberon quarrels with Titania over the custody of an Indian boy. He tries to prove his authority as a male and desires the custody of the boy. He also tries to defeat his wife by casting a spell upon her.
So, in the drama Oberon is seen as an enemy of his wife but a friend of lovers.
Q.2. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is a comedy. Justify.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the best examples of Shakespear’s comedy. It is in fact a comedy of errors. It has all the features of comedy like conflict between characters, resolution over the problem, cleared confusions between the love triangle, reunion and marriage. The ending of the drama is happy so it is a comedy.
Q.3. Describe the theme of the play- ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
The dominant theme in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream is Love. William Shakespeare portrays how people fall in love with those who appear beautiful to them. However, if one rejects other’s true love, then jealousy starts in the minds of the lovers. The same situation arises if one does not spend quality time with the other. So love, jealousy and revenge these are the themes of the play.
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