Comedy in Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Plot basics The Duke of Athens, Theseus, announces he will marry Hippolyta in four days. Egeus’ complains that his daughter Hermia refuses to marry his chosen suitor, Demetrius, since she’s in love with Lysander, who Egeus dislikes. Theseus declares Hermia must marry Demetrius, or choose between death and joining a nunnery. Lysander instructs Hermia to flee to the forest with him, so that they can travel to his aunt’s house to marry. Hermia’s friend, Helena, decides to tell Demetrius what’s going on because she likes him. Demetrius’ love for Hermia is evident. Quince, Bottom, Flute, Starveling, Snug, and Snout organise a play to be performed at Theseus’ wedding. In the forest, the King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania, are arguing. Oberon orders the fairy Puck to obtain a flower that makes you fall in love with the first person you see. Oberon plans to give it to Titania, so that she will fall in love with something hideous. Demetrius and Helena appear; Helena is chasing him and he is trying to get away from her. Puck acquires the flower and Oberon orders him to put the spell on Demetrius so he will fall in love with Helena rather than Hermia. In the forest, Lysander and Hermia lie down to rest. Puck, thinking Lysander is Demetrius, anoints him with the flower. Helena appears and awakes Lysander, who immediately falls in love with her. Oberon also anoints Titania with the flower. In the forest a group of actors discuss their play. Puck appears and transforms Bottom to give him a donkey’s head. Titania awakes and falls in love with Bottom and orders her fairy servants to attend to him. Puck sees that Demetrius is chasing Hermia but she accuses him of murdering Lysander. Puck realises that he has given the flower to the wrong man. Oberon tries to fix this by anointing Demetrius with the flower so he’ll fall in love with Helena, which he does. But now both men love Helena, and she doesn’t believe either of them. Hermia arrives and Helena accuses her of plotting with the men to mock her. Oberon, realising Puck has caused these problems, orders him to make a thick fog to separate the four people and force them into a deep sleep, so the spell can wear off. Oberon awakes Titania and transforms Bottom back into a human. Oberon and Titania then make up and love each other again. In the end, Demetrius is in love with Helena and Lysander is in love with Hermia. Love interests Helena loves Demetrius, Demetrius loves Hermia, Hermia loves Lysander Lysander is anointed with the love potion and falls in love with Helena Demetrius is anointed with the flower and falls in love with Helena Both men love Helena, but she doesn’t believe either of them Hermia is very upset that both men now love Helena Hermia loves Lysander Helena loves Demetrius Oberon and Titania love each other but they argue Titania falls in love with Bottom who has a donkey’s head.
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