"Midsummer Nights Dream" :Scene Summaries And Notes.

2911 words - 12 pages

ACT I, SCENE 1SummaryThe play opens in the court of Theseus, Duke of Athens. He is discussing with Hippolyta their marriage, which is four days away; Theseus longingly hopes that the time will pass swiftly. He instructs Philostrate, the master of ceremonies, to organize the youth of Athens to prepare some merriments for the wedding celebration. As Theseus is planning to banish sorrow from the face of Athens, Egeus enters with Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius.Egeus is an Athenian who has chosen Demetrius to marry his daughter, Hermia. Since Hermia is in love with Lysander, she has refused to marry Demetrius, who had recently been in love with Helena, Hermia's friend. Hermia's pleas fail to move either her father or the Duke. In fact, Egeus demands that Theseus should enforce the ancient law of Athens which says that a daughter should either marry the man her father chooses for her or face death. Theseus advises Hermia "to fit her fancies to her father's will" and marry Demetrius or be prepared either to die or to remain single for the rest of her life.Hermia and Lysander are left alone and bemoan the fact that "the course of true love never did run smooth." However, they decide to run away to Lysander's aunt, who lives about seven leagues away, where the cruel Athenian law cannot be put to force. There they will be free to marry. In order to escape together, they decide to meet the following night in the woods. As they finalize their plans, a distraught Helena enters and speaks about the misfortune of having been deserted by Demetrius. Helena is assured that Demetrius will no longer pursue Hermia since the lovers plan to run away and marry.Hermia and Lysander leave, and Helena is left alone. In her anxiety to please Demetrius, Helena decides to tell him of Hermia's plans. She is certain that Demetrius will go to woods, and she decides to follow him there.ACT I, SCENE 2SummaryA group of craftsmen have been instructed to present a play to honor Duke Theseus on his wedding day. They have decided on the play, "The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe." As the scene opens, they are assigning the roles. Peter Quince seems to be the natural leader of the group, even though the more humorous Nick Bottom has decided to steal the show. Nick is to play the hero Pyramus, and Francis Flute is to play Thisbe. Starveling, Tom Snout, and Snug have also been assigned their roles. The group decides to meet the following night in the nearby woods in order to rehearse the play without interruption.ACT II, SCENE 1 SummaryThe scene of the action shifts to the woods, where the fairy world is introduced. At the beginning of the scene, Puck is introduced. Also known as Robin Good Fellow, Puck is a "shrewd knavish sprite." He meets an attendant of the fairy queen, Titania. The activities of the fairies recounted by this attendant introduce a world of enchantment. Puck provides additional information when he tells about his master Oberon, who is...

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