Midsummer Night's Dream Summary
Midsummer Night's Dream begins with two sets of lovers, Lysander and Hermia and Helena and Demetrius. The play then moves with Demetrius no longer falling for Helena and wanting to be with Hermia instead with Egeus, Hermia's father, wanting his daughter to marry Demetrius.
Egeus in turn calls upon Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to ensure the marriage between his daughter and Demetrius. Theseus himself wants to marry Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, in four days. Because of Egeus insisting upon her marriage, Hermia is given just three choices, marriage, death or become a nun.
Hermia in turn flees with Lysander into the forest headed towards Lysander's aunt's house to marry. Meanwhile, Helena learns of Hermia's decision and informs Demetrius of her fleeing.
In the forest, Oberon, the King of the Fairies, argues with Titania, Queen of the Fairies, that he should have her child as his page. In turn, Oberon orders Puck to seek a flower from Cupid that causes a person to love another who they first see. Oberon plans to give the flower to Titania so he can take her child.
Puck then arrives with the flower. Oberon orders him to show it to Demetrius so he will fall for Helena then allowing Oberon to leave the flower by Titania so she will fall in love with the first man she sees.
However, not all goes as planned. Puck believes Lysander is Demetrius and shows him the flower. The first person he sees is Helena, causing him to love her.
As Titania awakens, she sees Bottom, who's head was turned to an Ass's by Puck, forcing her to fall in love with him.
Puck finds that he showed the wrong man the flower, so Oberon tries to fix this by showing Demetrius the flower to fall for Helena, going through much trouble in the process. He does, however causing much conflict due to the two men loving her. Helena believes the two men are making fun of her. Oberon then tells Puck to create a fog allow the four to sleep until the spells wear off.
Oberon gives Lysander an antidote to love Hermia and not Helena and curing Titania of her love for Bottom, the two then make peace. The four lovers leave the forest believing it was all just a midsummer night's dream.
The play is performed at the wedding feast for, Lysander and Hermia, Demetrius and Helena and Theseus and Hippolta wedding. The play ends with Puck delivering a soliloquy and fairies casting blessings.
Return to William Shakespeare biography