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Oberon —King of the Fairies Titania —Queen of the Fairies Robin "Puck" Goodfellow —a sprite with magical powers Peasblossom, Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed—fairy servants to Titania Indian changeling—a ward of Titania Plot[ edit ] Hermia and Helena by Washington AllstonThe play consists of four interconnecting plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolytawhich are set simultaneously in the woodland and in the realm of Fairylandunder the light of the moon.
The play opens with Hermiawho is in love with Lysander, resistant to her father Egeus 's demand that she wed Demetriuswhom he has arranged for her to marry.
HelenaHermia's best friend, pines unrequitedly for Demetrius, who broke up with her to be with Hermia. Enraged, Egeus invokes an ancient Athenian law before Duke Theseus, whereby a daughter needs to marry a suitor chosen by her father, or else face death.
Theseus offers her another choice: Quince reads the names of characters and bestows them on the players. Nick Bottom, who is playing the main role of Pyramus, is over-enthusiastic and wants to dominate others by suggesting himself for the characters of Thisbe, the Lion, and Pyramus at the same time.
He would also rather be a tyrant and recites some lines of Ercles. Bottom is told by Quince that he would do the Lion so terribly as to frighten the duchess and ladies enough for the Duke and Lords to have the players hanged.
Snug remarks that he needs the Lion's part because he is "slow of study". Quince ends the meeting with "at the Duke's oak we meet". Titania tells Oberon that she plans to stay there until she has attended Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding.
Oberon and Titania are estranged because Titania refuses to give her Indian changeling to Oberon for use as his "knight" or "henchman", since the child's mother was one of Titania's worshippers. Oberon seeks to punish Titania's disobedience.
He calls upon Robin " Puck " Goodfellow, his "shrewd and knavish sprite", to help him concoct a magical juice derived from a flower called " love-in-idleness ", which turns from white to purple when struck by Cupid's arrow.
When the concoction is applied to the eyelids of a sleeping person, that person, upon waking, falls in love with the first living thing he perceives.
He instructs Puck to retrieve the flower with the hope that he might make Titania fall in love with an animal of the forest and thereby shame her into giving up the little Indian boy. Helena, desperate to reclaim Demetrius's love, tells Demetrius about the plan and he follows them in hopes of finding Hermia.
Helena continually makes advances towards Demetrius, promising to love him more than Hermia.
However, he rebuffs her with cruel insults against her. Observing this, Oberon orders Puck to spread some of the magical juice from the flower on the eyelids of the young Athenian man.
Instead, Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, not having actually seen either before, and administers the juice to the sleeping Lysander.
Helena, coming across him, wakes him while attempting to determine whether he is dead or asleep. Upon this happening, Lysander immediately falls in love with Helena.
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Helena, thinking Lysander is playing a trick on her, runs away with Lysander following her. When Hermia wakes up, she sees that Lysander is gone and goes out in the woods to find him. Oberon sees Demetrius still following Hermia, who thinks Demetrius killed Lysander, and is enraged.
Upon waking up, he sees Helena. Now, both men are in love with Helena.
However, she is convinced that her two suitors are mocking her, as neither loved her originally. Hermia finds Lysander and asks why he left her, but Lysander claims and denies he never loved Hermia, but Helena.
Hermia accuses Helena of stealing Lysander away from her while Helena believes Hermia joined the two men in mocking her. Hermia tries to attack Helena, but the two men protect Helena. Lysander, tired of Hermia's presence, insults her and tells her to leave. Lysander and Demetrius decide to seek a place to duel to prove whose love for Helena is the greater.
The two girls go their own separate ways, Helena hoping to reach Athens and Hermia chasing after the men to make sure Lysander doesn't get hurt or killed.
Oberon orders Puck to keep Lysander and Demetrius from catching up with one another and to remove the charm from Lysander so Lysander can return to love Hermia, while Demetrius continues to love Helena.
Bottom is spotted by Puck, who taking his name to be another word for a jackass transforms his head into that of a donkey.In the Book: In the Movie Oberon curses Titania in order to acquire her Indian page. This lesson reviews the roles of Helena and Hermia in William Shakespeare's ''A Midsummer Night's Dream.'' Night's Dream: Relationship & Comparison.
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