A Midsummer Night’s Dream Study Guide

Who is Hermia? Hermia is Egeus’s daughter. She is in love with Lysander. Her father says that she must marry Demetrius though. Her and Lysander make a plan to run away and get married in secret. In the end, she marries Lysander.
Who is Helena? Helena is Hermia’s childhood friend. She is in love with Demetrius, and he was once in love with her too until Hermia came around. Puck puts a magic spell on Demetrius and Lysander and they both fall madly in love with Helena, but she thinks that this is all a joke. In the Lysander’s spell is broken and he marries Hermia and Demetrius marries Helena.
Who is Demetrius? Demetrius is the boy who is in love with Hermia and is sad to marry her, Helena tells Demetrius of Hermia and Lysander’s plan to run away and Demetrius tries to go and find them. He hates Helena until Puck puts a magic spell on him and then him and Lysander fall in love and fight for Helena’s love. Eventually, Demetrius ends up marrying Helena.
Who is Lysander? Lysander is the boy who is madly in love with Hermia. He and Hermia make a plan to run away and get married. While Lysander is asleep away from Hermia, Puck puts a magic spell on Lysander so he will fall in love with Helena, so he does. Him and Demetrius fight over her. Eventually the spell is taken away and Lysander and Hermia get married.
Who is Theseus? The duke of Athens. To be married to Hippolyta.
Who is Hippolyta? Queen of the Amazons, To marry Theseus
Who is Philostrate? Theseus’s Master of Revels, takes care of the entertainment for the wedding.
Who is King Oberon? He is the king of the Fairies, At first he is mad at Titania because she has the Indian boy that he’d like to make his knight. To get the boy he makes an evil plot so puck will get a flowers juice that will make everyone fall in love with some one else.
Who is Queen Titania? She is the queen of the fairies. She has the Indian boy that Oberon wants. Oberon makes her fall in love with Bottom.
Who is Robin Goodfellow? Also known as puck, he is Oberon’s jester and the stories protagonist. He cause’s many problems throughout the story.
Who is Peter Quince? The leader of the actors, plays the prologue in the play.
Who is Nick Bottom? A very full of himself guy, an actor who plays Pyramus in the play. Needs to be the center of attention. Puck turns his head into a donkey head, and he becomes the beast that Titania falls in love with. Eventually he wakes up and thinks everything was a dream.
Who is Egeus? Hermia’s father. Wants Hermia to marry Demetrius.
Who is Mustardseed? One of the fairies that is told by Titania to take care of Bottom.
Who is Flute? Flute is a member of the mechanicals and plays the role of Thisbe in their performance of Pyramus and Thisbe.
Filched to steal or have been stolen
Abjure to retract (statement, idea, belief)
Persuasion the act of convincing someone of something
Revenue capital income, usually calculated to account for losses from payments and taxation
Visage a person’s face or physical presentation
Base the lowest and most essential level of any metaphorical or physical structure
Perjured to knowingly tell untruths; lie
Lamentable of conditions causing sadness and generally negative emotions due to unwanted results
Extempore to speak impromptu; without preparation
Discretion the ability to enact one’s own will
1. What are Hermia’s options according to Egeus? Egeus states that Hermia must either wed Demetrius or face death at the hand of the law as dictated by his parental authority.
2. What are Hermia’s options according to Theseus? Theseus, who holds much greater power than Egeus, corrects that Hermia’s options are to wed Demetrius, face death, or become a nun away from any male companionship and that she has until his own wedding to decide.
3. How did Theseus make Hippolyta fall in love with him? Hippolyta reportedly fell in love with Theseus when he defeated her in combat.
4. What is Lysander’s plan? Lysander’s plan, as he explains to Hermia and somewhat to Helena, is to run off far into the woods with Hermia to a point at which Athenian law has no hold and they may wed and stay with his aunt who lives far out there.
5. Why is Helena jealous of Hermia? Helena is jealous of Hermia because, while Helena loves Demetrius dearly and obsessively, Demetrius loves Hermia and detests Helena.
6. How would you describe the character of Bottom? How would Bottom describe himself? Bottom is a comic relief character who is not very bright. He would describe himself as a great and confident person.
7. What kind of leader does Theseus seem to be? How can you tell? Theseus seems to be an acceptable leader strictly speaking about upholding Athenian law. I can tell because he was considered Athen’s war hero, and upheld marriage laws though unfair. He never got into trouble with other authority figures throughout the play and tried to be kind to the traveling play.
8. Why do you suppose Shakespeare has the lovers speaking in verse but the mechanicals speaking in prose? The lovers speak in prose to show that love is beautiful and poetic. The mechanicals speak in prose to show that they are under prepared and foolish.
9. What do you think of Helena’s decision to tell Demetrius about Hermia and Lysander’s plan? What would you have done in Helena’s shoes? Why? Helena betrayed her best friend Hermia. (personal short answer)
10. Lysander says, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” What did he mean by this? How has this been shown so far? He meant that true love involves hardship. It was shown in the play when Hermia and Lysander were not allowed to marry, had to escape from Athenian law, were separated in the forest, and after waking up were threatened again.
perforce by force, by necessity
amorous loving
undistinguishable not distinguishable, unable to be identified
rheumatic inflammation, pain
chaplet garland or necklace for a person’shead
promontory peninsula, land jutting into water
dulcet sweet and soothing sound
spurn reject with disdain or contempt
clamorous Making a loud and confused noise.
flout Refuse to obey
1. Find five phrases that conjure an image of nighttime in Act 2. Write the phrase and cite the scene and line number. Hoary-headed frosts fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose. (Scene 1, line 90)Contagious fogs. (scene 1, line 75)Angry winter change. (scene 1, line 95)
2. Why are Oberon and Titania fighting? Oberon wants Titania to give him the boy.
3. How is their fighting influencing the human world? their fighting influences the human world because their jobs are to change the seasons and to keep an eye on the seasons as well
4. How does Oberon plan to get what he wants from Titania? oberon plans on using a special flower that was hit by cupids arrow to get what he wants
5. Describe the character of Puck (Robin Goodfellow). Use evidence from the text to support your description. robin goodfellow is described as a mischievous and naughty spirit
6. What are three tricks that Puck has played on humans? he would hide in at the bottom of an old women’s drink disguised as an apple, he would look like a three legged stool and moves away if someone tries to sit on him, and he would make a horse think hes a female horse
7. What is ironic about Lysander’s last words to Hermia before he falls asleep? hes saying that he hopes he dies before his loyalty does to hermia so we would expect him to keep it however,after getting the flower juice his loyalty disappears
8. What is your opinion of Helena. Use evidence from the text to support your claims. she has no self-respect
chink hole
brake thiket
knavery unprincipled; craft
enamored in love
purge remove impurities
kindred family; relatives
bower bedroom
lamenting mourning sorrowfully
consecrated sacred; holy
rebuke refuse
1. Why does Bottom insist on adding a prologue to “Pyramus and Thisbe?” To make the audience understand the story more clearly.
2. How does Bottom come to be “translated?” What is the reason for this transformation?
3. How does Shakespeare show dramatic irony in Act 3?
4. What does Oberon realize when he sees Demetrius following Hermia? He should put the love spell on Demetrius
5. Why does Helena become so angry with Hermia? She feels betrayed that Hermia is making her look stupid
6. What feature of Hermia’s does Helena make fun of? Her height.
7. How does Bottom react to his fairy servants? He takes advantage of them by making them do whatever they want.
8. What emotion does Oberon show that he is capable of? How does he show it
9. What is your opinion of Bottom? Is he a fool, or is he wiser than he appears? Use evidence from the text to support your claims. I think he is wiser than he appears because he suggests opening the play with a prologue.
amiable friendly
fret worry
loath reluctant, UN-wanting
entwist twisted together
dotage senility
upbraid criticize, reprimand
conjunction happening at the same time
enmity deep-sealed hatred
recount retell
discourse verbal expression
1. How does Titania react when she wakes up no longer under a love spell? She thinks it was all a bad dream and she’s not inlove with Bottom anymore.
2. How does Bottom react when he wakes up? He thinks it was a weird dream.
3. When Theseus and his hunting party come across the lovers asleep in the woods, for what reason does he assume they are there? He thinks they were there for his wedding celebration.
4. What decision does Titania make in Act 4 that contradicts an earlier statement? What is the reason for the change? She doesn’t love Bottom anymore. The reason for that is that she’s not under the love spell anymore.
5. Which character is changed permanently because of the experience in the woods? How is the character changed? Demetrius is changed because he is still under a love spell for Helena.
6. What decision does Theseus make regarding Hermia’s betrothal? He decides that all since Demetrius doesn’t love Hermia anymore, they all can get married to who their hearts desire with him.
7. In some productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus and Oberon are played by the same actor, and Hippolyta and Titania are played by the same actress. What similarities do you see between Oberon and Theseus? Hippolyta and Titania? What problems might these actors face in Act 4 if they are playing both roles? It would be tricky because they would need to be both feminine and masculine and the audience would get confused as to who’s playing what.
mirth Merriment, gladness
audacious Bold, Spirited, or original
broached pierced
tarrying Waiting behind temporarily
valour Bravery; courage
wane A period of decline
beguiled Deluded, cheated
shroud A cloth used to wrap a body for burial
sprite Ghost, soul, or fairy
1. How does Theseus respond to the lovers’ tales of their night in the woods? Did his reaction surprise you? Why or why not? he doesn’t believe it as it’s “more strange than true.” he also says lovers are just crazy. For second part answers will vary.
2. What is Hippolyta’s initial reaction when Theseus chooses the mechanicals’ play? Why does she react this way? she does not agree with what he chose, she doesn’t like seeing poor people look bad when trying to do something good she believes they just wont be good at acting.
3. Did “Pyramus and Thisbe” make you laugh? Why or why not? answers may vary (as this is based on your take on it)
4. If Philostrate were to review the mechanicals’ play, what might he say? He might say it was expected for it to be the way it turned out.
5. Give two examples of excessive alliteration in the play-within-the-play. Cite the line numbers for each example. example 1:
6. Give two examples of breaking the play’s reality in the play-within-the-play. Cite the line numbers for each example. example 1: act 5 scene 1 page 7 – 8 lines 7 & 9 example 2:
7. What is the purpose of Puck’s last speech? to make good with the audience and to apologize for all the wrongdoing.
8. Theseus tells Bottom that his play needs no epilogue. Why do you think Shakespeare included an epilogue for his play in Puck’s last speech? To bid a farewell and to let the audience know just in case they did not like the play it was all but “a midsummer’s night dream”
What is a simile? show of similarities between two different things; using like or as.
What is a metaphor? comparison of one thing to another without using like or as.
What is dramatic irony? when the audience knows something the characters do not.
What are three possible themes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream? EXPLAIN EACH THEME 1. love – shakespear portrays love in the ways that 2. marriage 3. disorder- shakespeare portrays disorder in a the way that his characters do not do things too orderly they rebel and argue and come out of character and back into character.
What is a protagonist? What is an antagonist? a protagonist is the leading figure (the good guy) and the antagonist is the opposing figure. (the not so good guy)