A Midsummer Night’s Dream Notecard

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Background Information Author: ShakespeareWritten: from 1594-1595 in LondonPublished: 1600Historical Context: It was a departure from his earlier works and from others of the English Renaissance. Shakespeare concentrates on and incorporates Greek mythology in this work.
Puck A mischievous fairy, who gives the love potion to Lysander instead of Demetrius.
Oberon King of the faeries and wants his revenge on his wife, Titania.
Lysander In love with Hermia, but cannot marry her because of Egeus.
Demetrius Initially in love with Hermia, but falls in love with Helena.
Hermia Egeus’ daughter and is love with Lysander.
Helena In love with Demetrius.
Bottom Self-confident actor, who confuses his language and turns into a donkey.
Exposition Hermia doesn’t want to marry Demetrius and her father takes her to see Theseus.
Rising Action Hermia and Lysander elope and are pursued by Demetrius and Helena.
Complication Oberon sends Puck to give a love potion to Demetrius, but accidentally gives it to Lysander.
Climax Lysander and Demetrius fight over Helena. Hermia and Helena fight because the love potion causes Lysander and Demetrius to fall in love with Helena.
Falling Action Oberon releases Titania from the spell. Puck gives Lysander the remedy juice. Demetrius declares that he’s in love with Helena. Theseus announces that the couples will be married. Also, Bottom awakens with his own head back.
Conclusion Theseus declares that Hermia can marry Lysander. The three couples are married in Athens. Oberon, Titania, and Puck bless the house and the couples. (Closed ending)
Point of View Third person omniscient; first person changing perspective
Symbols Theseus and Hippolyta – Represent order and stability.Theseus’ hounds – Represent the coming of the morning. Love potion – Represents the power and stability of love.
Imagery Imagery concentrates on animals, nature, and supernatural beings.
Tone Mythical, comical, ironic
Atmosphere Majestic, fairytale-like
Syntax & Writing Style Iambic pentameter; rhyme verse; catalectic trochaic tetrameter
Rhetorical device Malapros: “He is a very paramour for a sweet voice.”
Irony (Dramatic Irony) The audience knows that Puck ruined the romance when he put the love potion on Lysander.
Theme 1 The pursuit of love has the capacity to make humanity irrational and foolish. “Lovers and madmen have such seething brains. Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends.”
Theme 2 Transformation causes humanity to be ever-changing. “So we grew together like a double cherry, seeming parted, but yet a union in partition, two lovely berries molded on one stem.”
Theme 3 Each man envisions his reality according to his circumstances. “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”