A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare in 1595/96.

Egeus, vexed by his recalcitrant daughter Hermia’s refusal to marry his choice of suitor, Demetrius, appeals to Theseus, Duke of Athens, to invoke the draconian laws on this matter. Hermia and her lover Lysander flee into the forest, where the fairy folk are engaged in their own disputes.

King Oberon instructs his mischievous sidekick, Puck, to harvest a herb which will cause the sleeping recipient to fall in love with the first living thing they see on awakening. On hearing Demetrius disparage Helena (Hermia’s friend, who is besotted by him), Oberon tells him first to administer the potion to an Athenian, and then treat Titania, Queen of the Fairies.

The first Athenian Puck sees is Lysander, and so anoints his eyelids. In pursuit of her beloved Demetrius, Helena awakens Lysander, who immediately falls madly in love with her.

Some artisans are rehearsing a play ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’. Puck transforms the head of Bottom the weaver into that of an ass, his fellow thespians flee in terror, and Bottom’s lonely song awakens Titania, who is infatuated by him.

Oberon discovers that Puck has enchanted the wrong youth, and arranges to reverse the spells on both Lysander and Titania.

When Theseus, out hunting, discovers them, the four young lovers are at a loss to explain their situation. Will the Duke show mercy? What becomes of the lovers? Do the ‘mechanicals’ have the chance to stage their show? Is it all ‘but a dream’? As night falls, all will be revealed...

    Lord, what fools these mortals be!    

PUCK A Midsummer Night's Dream - Act III Scene II

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© 1986-2019 - Chiltern Shakespeare Company: Printed on 14/10/2019 02:59:55