• Act Summaries
  • Characters Maps
  • Themes
  • Literary Techniques



As part of the oral assessment for this semester, you will be required to perform 14-20 lines from the works of Shakespeare, from memory, in character, with attention to pronunciation and with the meaning behind the words being performed.

You may select a sonnet, monologue, soliloquy or dialogue (no more than two characters).
Using the link below, click on Shakespeare and you will be presented with a table of each of Shakespeare's plays. You are to access "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and from the list of monologues, select one which you will perform in class.
Once selected, you are to return to the table of plays and from the list entitled "Tragedies" select any other play that you wish. Once selected, find another monologue and this will be your second to perform.


Some examples of monologues being performed.

Examples of Shakespearean sonnets being performed

Examples of dialogues from Shakespearean plays

Hip Hop and Shakespeare




Scene 1 -

New Character(s):
  • Theseus- Duke of Athens.
  • Hippolyta- Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus.
  • Egeus- A nobleman, the father of Hermia. Wants his daughter to marry Demetrius.
  • Hermia- In love with Lysander.
  • Helena- In love with Demetrius.
  • Lysander- Young nobleman.
  • Demetrius - Young nobleman.
  • Philostrate- Master of the Revels at Theseus's court.
Summary - Timeline
  • This is the beginning of the story.
  • Introduces the characters and story.
  • Starts off happy and calm and later turns serious.
  • Theseus has four more days till his wedding day but he cannot contain his excitement.
  • Hippolyta does not seem to share the same excitement has Theseus about their wedding.
  • From a calm atmosphere, anger is introduced when Egeus storms on stage with his daughter Hermia, Demetrius and Lysander. He is angry because he wants Hermia to marry the man of his choice and not the one she loves.
  • Egeus brings Hermia to Theseus because he is the highest authority of the land.
  • Egeus gives Hermia a choice: marry the man of her father's choice (Demetrius) or be executed.
  • Theseus cannot fight agains Egeus because Hermia is his daughter and only he can control her. However, Theseus decides to give Hermia another option: become a nun.
  • However, Hermia is still loyal to Lysander and is not daunted by the option.
  • Theseus decides to give Hermia four days to make her choice. She must decide on Theseus's wedding day.
  • Theseus exits along with Egeus and Demetrius so the two lovers are left alone. They discuss about running away into the forest which is about a mile away.
  • When Helena (Loves Demetrius. Is jealous of Hermia marrying him) walks on stage, Hermia decides to tell her about their plan. She has confidence in her that she will not tell her father. Hermia exits and Lysander wishes Helena good luck with making Demetrius fall in love with her. "As you on him, Demetrius dote on you (May Demetrius love you as much as you love him)." Pg.8.
  • In a twist, Helena has no concerns on betraying Hermia's trust and decides to tell Demetrius. She hopes that Demetrius will follow the two lovers into the forest and will in turn will love Helena instead.

Any obscure scenes or interactions that need explanation / Key Quotes
  • “Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with my sword, and won thy love doing thee injuries; but I will wed thee in another key, with pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.” [ 1:1:16-19]
    • Although Theseus won Hippolyta by harming her people, he promises to marry her under different circumstances by having festivities and huge celebrations.
  • This quotation shows the nature of Hippolyta and Theseus. Theseus is a legendary ruler of Athens. Hippolyta was the queen of the Amazons. Both Amazons and Athenians fought against each other. Eventually the Amazons were overtaken by Theseus’s crew as a lot of Amazons were hurt or killed. As a consequence of being overruled, Hippolyta is forced to marry Theseus.
  • The sword has a sexual connotation. This is called bawdy humour. Bawdy humour was used in plays in order to entertain the audience whilst not getting caught for using indecent terms.
  • “This man hath bewitch’d the bosom of my child. Thou, thou Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes and interchang’d love-tokens with my child.” [ 1:1:28-29]
    • Egeus, the father of Hermia, strongly believes Lysander has utilised magical spells in order to receive Hermia’s affections. The rhymes and the love tokens are supposed to be sources of witchcraft.
  • “Either to die the death or to abjure for ever the society of men.” [ 1:1:65-66]
“Whether, if you yield not to your father’s choice, you can endure the livery of a nun.” [ 1:1:69-70]

“prepare to die for disobedience to your father’s will.” [ 1:1:86-87]
  • To die or to live a life of nunnery were the choices that women had if they refused to abide the wishes of their father.
  • “But earthlier happy is the rose distill’d than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.” [ 1:1:76-78]
    • To illustrate an image of the choices that Hermia is faced with, Theseus cleverly juxtaposes between a married life and priestess’s life. He also incorporates similes to show the difference between the two choices. Although a virgin priestess might be rewarded in heaven, a married woman is happier on earth. A married woman is like a rose who is made into a beautiful perfume, while a priestess just withers away on a stem.
  • You have her father’s love, Demetrius; let me have Hermia’s-do you marry him.”[ 1:1:93-94]
    • This is a reference to love and it reinforces the idea of loving someone properly.
  • “Scornful Lysander, true, he hath my love, and what is mine my love shall render him; and she is mine, and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius.” [ 1:1:95-98]
    • Egeus reinstates the ownership of Hermia. The idea of men taking ownership of women is shown throughout the comedy.
  • “I am, my lord, as well-deriv’d as he, as well-possess’d: my love is more than his, my fortunes every way as fairly rank’d, if not with vantage, as Demetrius’s; and which is more than all these boasts can be, I am belov’d of beauteous Hermia. Why should not I then prosecute my right?” [ 1:1:99-105]
    • Lysander states that he has the same number of possessions as Demetrius. He also says that he has more than Demetrius has because he has Hermia’s love. Therefore he questions Theseus why he cannot stand up for his claims of Hermia.
  • Hermia; Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 169-178
    "My good Lysander, I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow, By his best arrow with the golden head, By the simplicity of Venus' doves, By that with which kintteth souls and prosperous lovers, And by that fire whih burn'd the Carthage queen. When the false Trojan under sail was seen, By all the vows that ever man have broke (In number more then ever women spoke), In that same place thou hast appointed me, Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee."
  • Lysander and Hermia promise each other that they will meet each other up in the middle of the night and run away. Hermia is willing to keep her promise by vowing over things. The things Hermia vows to may carry weight or in other words the objects that Hermia vows to have some sort of symbolism.
  • “ Call you me fair? That ‘fair’ again unsay. Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!” [Helena; Act 1 Scene 1 Line 181]
    • The word ,fair, is a common way to greet somebody in the Shakespearian time. It also means beautiful. Helena tells Hermia not to call her beautiful . That remark has a hint of jealously. Helena is jealous by the fact that Demetrius loves Hermia’s beauty.
  • “Things base and vile, holding no quantity, Love can transpose to form and dignity.” [Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 232-3]
    • Love can transpose worthless things to beautiful things.
  • “Nay, faith, let not me play a woman: I have a beard coming.”[Flute; Act I, II, 40-1]
    • Flute has been casted as Thisbe for the play inside a play because his voice has not broken, his beard has not appeared, and he is young and fair. In the Shakespearian era, women did not participate in performances. Hence boys who have not gone through the process of puberty were chosen to act in female roles.
  • “You would fright duchess and the ladies that they would shriek; and were enough to hang us all.[Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 64-66]
    • In the Elizabethan era, women were considered very delicate and the normal workmen took care not to offend them. Thus if the workmen ever offended the ladies, they would be executed.

Scene 2 -

New Character(s):
  • Peter Quince - A carpenter. His name is taken from 'quoins' - wedge-shaped pieces of wood used in buildings.
  • Nick Bottom - A weaver. So called because in weaving the thread is wound on a reel or 'bottom'.
  • Francis Flute - A bellows-mender. So called because a whistling sound is produced when bellows are squeezed to blow air either onto coals (to make the fire burn) or into church organ-pipes.
  • Snout - A tinker who repaired the 'snouts' of kettles.
  • Starveling - A tailor. So called because tailors were thought to be thin.
  • Snug - A joiner. So called because he makes pieces of wood fit 'snugly' together.

Summary - Timeline

  • This scene is less serious and reminds the audience that this play is a comedy.
  • The scene revolves around the workmen of Athens and them rehearsing for a play at Theseus's wedding.
  • Although there are many characters, the comedian is Nick Bottom.
  • The scene starts as Quince calls out the actors' names from a list.
  • Most of the actors are quite hesitant of playing a role but Bottom on the other hand, confidently says that he can play all the characters. He even shows off his acting for nearly all the characters.
  • Nevertheless, Quince's decision is that Bottom shall play the role of Pyramus, Flute shall play the role of Thisbe, Starveling shall play the role of Thisbe's mother, Snout shall play the role of Pyramus's father, Snug shall play the role of the lion and Quince himself shall play the role Thisbe's father.
  • At the end, they all make the decision to rehearse in the palace wood which is a mile away.
  • This explains where the story is going and it becomes obvious to the audience that the lovers and the company of men are going to be going to the same place.


Introduces the fairies. Oberon and Titania who are fairies are fighting over a Indian child. Then introduces Puck, Titania describes him as a mischievous fairy. Oberon and Titania then start fighting again as Titania accuses Oberon for loving Hippolyta and Oberon accuses Titania for loving Theseus. Titania explains how the Indian boy is something personal as she used to be friends with a human. Titania then goes away and Oberon vows to take revenge. So he sends Puck to get a white-and-purple flower which has juice that can be put onto peoples eyelids and whoever they see first after they are asleep they fall in love with. Oberon plans to put this on titania eyes and he could not care less about what will happen to her

Scene 2- It starts of with Helena chasing after Demetrius and him rejecting her and insulting her.
. The plan is completed as he puts the juice onto her eyelids, he also orders puck to find a Athenian youth being pursued by a lady and put the juice onto his eyes so that when he wakes up, he will see the lady who is pursuing him. We then skip to Hermia and Lysander and they go to sleep, Lysander wants to sleep next to him but Hermia says no as they are not married yet. Puck makes a mistake and puts the liquid on Lysander's eyes and Lysander wakes up. He see's Helena and falls in love with her. Helena believes she is being teased by him and becomes annoyed. Hermia wakes up and searches for Lysander through the woods.
Key scenes/ turning points
  • Oberon plots revenge against Titania for her disobedience (Act 2:1:146:147)- this drives the entire plot of the story. This highlights how the men practically own the women and takes drastic steps to get what they want. This also cause the "real" and " supernatural" world to clash. His revenge leads to the love potion, which leads to Lysander and Demetrius having the potion and falling in love with Hermia.
  • Helena tells Demetrius of Hermia and Lysander's plans to run away to the woods (Act 2:1:202-210)- this leads to Oberon witnessing Hermia confessing her devotion and love to Demetrius. Oberon feeling sorry for her decides to use the potion on Demetrius. This leads to Hermia, Helena, Demetrius and Lysander being in the woods.
  • Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius (Act 2:2:86-89)- this causes the comedy in the play. Lysander sees Helena and not Hermia, so falls out of love with Hermia and into "love" with Helena . Helena leaves, traumatised and Lysander follows leaving Hermia alone and scared.

Obscure scenes etc
Scene 1:
  • References to the fairies' sizes are made:
    • It is said that they can 'creep into acorn cups and hide them there" [Act II : I : 31]
    • "The cowslips tall her pensioners be" [Act II : I : 10] - the flowers are like Titania's bodyguards
  • Titania's fairy and Oberon's fairy (Puck) are talking, the fairy realises who Puck really is (he has shape-shifted) -
    • "Either I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite Called Robin Goodfellow" [Act II : Scene I : 32]
  • Mention of the fairies abilities, and the fact that Titania and Oberon arguing has an effect on the mortal world -
    • "But with thy brawls has disturbed thy sport. Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, As in revenge have suck'd up from the sea" [Act II : Scene I : 87]
  • Titania explains how she came to be looking after the mortal boy, and that she was friends with his mother -
    • "His mother was a votress of my order, And in the spiced Indian air by night Full often hath she gossip'd by my side, And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sad" [Act II : Scene I : 123]
  • Oberon starts planning to give Titania the love potion, serving a narrative function.
    • "Fetch me that flower, the herb I show'd thee once; The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid Will make or man or woman madly dote Upon the next live creature that it sees" [Act I : Scene I : 169]
  • Demetrius and Helena are arguing, Helena is chasing Demetrius while Demetrius is chasing Hermia. It is shown here that while Demetrius is doing the exact same thing to Hermia that Helena is doing to him, it's okay because he's male.
    • "I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia? The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me." [Act II : Scene I : 188]
  • There is a contradiction of Oberon's character when he sees the scene between Demetrius and Helena, he instructs Puck to give Demetrius the love potion to make him love Helena.
    • "Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove: A sweet Athenian lady is in love With a disdainful youth; anoint his eyes, But do it when the next thing he espies May be the lady." [Act II : Scene I : 259]
  • In scene two there is a song, which would have been performed on the stage in the actual play.
  • Puck makes a mistake and gives the potion to Lysander instead of Demetrius, as they are both wearing Athenian garments -
"Night and silence - Who is here? Weeds of Athens he doth wear: This is he my master said Despised the Athenian maid;" [Act II : Scene II : 76]


Act 3 SCENE 1

  • Progression of the narrative
    • o The scene starts with Quince's play company meeting in the woods to rehearse for their play
    • o As they rehearse, Puck enters the scene and marvels at the mechanicals trying to rehearse
    • o When Bottom steps aside, Puck turns Bottom's head into that of an ass' in order to cause mischief
    • o On seeing the ass-headed Bottom, the terrified mechanicals run away, leaving Bottom behind, unawares of his appearance
    • o In the same grove, Titania awakes and sees Bottom. The juice on her eyelids works and she instantly falls in love with Bottom and takes possession of him (contradictory to the norm)
    • o Titania appoints his fairies to see to every wish and demand of Bottom's
    • o Bottom, still unaware of his appearance takes these events in stride and says that his companions acted like asses and left him behind

  • Any obscure scenes or interactions
    • o In the initial part of Act 3, Scene 1, the mechanicals decide upon adding a prologue to their play, to reassure the audience (ladies) that the lion and the sword used in the play are fake and no one in the play will really die.
    • o During the Elizabethan era, the society was very male dominated. In Act 3, Scene 1, upon falling in love with Bottom, Titania takes possession of Bottom and hence contradicts the norm.
    • o In Act 3 Scene 1, while discussing the play, the mechanicals decide upon appointing a mechanical play the role of a wall and one to become moon-shine. This indicates the views of the people of that time, and their belief of showing everything in literal sense
    • o Upon learning about Titania's love for Bottom, Bottom does not ask for a justification from Titania. This reaction of his, contrasts with Helena's and therefore seems obscure.

Key Quotes
  • [Act 3:1:127-128] "reason and love keep little company together nowadays"
    • o The crux of the play (Love)
  • [Act 3:1:135] "Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no."
    • o This section touches upon the whole idea of men "owning" women. Except in this case the woman "owns" the man.

Key Scenes/Turning Points
  • Robin/Puck turns Bottom's head into that of an ass [Act 3:1:90-104]
    • o [SnoutAct 3:1:101] "O Bottom, thou art changed. What do I see on thee?"
      • This is a key scene because it's one of the times when the magical world "connects" openly with the normal world
  • Titania falls in love with Bottom [Act 3:1:121-144]
    • o [TitaniaAct 3:1:125] "On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee."
      • This is an important scene because its an update to the relationship status of Titania
  • Titania takes ownership of Bottom [Act 3:1:134-144]
    • o [TitaniaAct 3:1:135] "Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no."
      • This scene is important because it’s a contrast to the concept of men "owning" women.

external image placeholder?w=200&h=50 Progression of the narrative
(timeline of action)
external image placeholder?w=200&h=50 Key scenes/turning points
external image placeholder?w=200&h=50 Key quotes
external image placeholder?w=200&h=50 Any obscure scenes or interactions that need explanation


Oberon wonders about Titania ->
Demetrius and Hermia enter ->
Oberon realizes Puck's mistake ->
Oberon squeezes juice on Demetrius' eyes ->
Hermia, Helena and Lysander enter, all arguing ->
Demetrius awakes and 'falls in love' with Helena ->
Helena and Hermia engage in a verbal fight- almost turning physical ->
They all leave to fight

  • Puck tells Oberon about what's happening with Titania and Bottom.
"My mistress with a monster is in love."
[Puck; Act 3: 2: 6]
"I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there;
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania wak'd, and straightaway loved an ass"
[Puck; Act 3: 2: 31-34]

  • Oberon is pleased with his achievement
"This falls out better than I could devise"
[Oberon; Act 3: 2: 35]

  • Demetrius and Hermia enter, Demetrius is pursuing Hermia.
"So should the murder'd look, and so should I,
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty;
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere."
[Demetrius; Act 3: 2: 58-61]

  • Oberon realizes Puck's error
"What hast thou done? Though hast mistakes quite,
And laid the love juice on some true love's sight. "
[Oberon; Act 3: 2: 88-89]

  • Hermia believes that he has killed Lysander, because she refuses to believe that Lysander would've left her asleep.
"Would her have stol'n away
From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
This whole earth may be bor'd, and that the moon
May through the centre creep, and so displease
Her brother's noontide with th'Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him:
So should a murderer look; so dead, so grim"
[Hermia; Act 3: 2: 51-58]

  • Lysander and Helena enter, Lysander who is still under the spell and in love with Helena.
"I had no judgement when to her I swore"
[Lysander; Act 3: 2: 134]

  • Demetrius awakes and 'falls in love' with Helena.
"Oh Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?"
[Demetrius; Act 3: 2: 137-138]

  • Demetrius and Lysander both express their love for Helena at the same time, causing Helena to believe they are mocking her.
"" O spite! O Hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me to your merriment."
[Helena; Act 3: 2: 145-146]

  • Helena believes that Hermia is apart of the 'treachery'
"Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,
Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd
To bait me with this foul derision?"
[Helena; Act 3: 2: 195-197]

  • Lysander and Demetrius compete for Helena's love whilst insulting Hermia.
"I say I love thee more that he can do"
[Demetrius; Act 3: 2: 254]
"Get gone you dwarf,
You minimus of hindering knot-grass made,
You bead, you acorn"
[Lysander; Act 3: 2: 328-330]

  • Helena and Hermia engage in a verbal fight, giving a background to the female characters' friendship.
"Oh, when she is angry she is keen and shrewd;
She was a vixen when she went to school"
[Helena; Act 3: 2: 323-324]

  • Lysander and Demetrius leave to have a fight.
"Follow? Nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jowl"
[Demetrius; Act 3: 2: 348]

  • Helena leaves before Hermia attacks her.
"Your hands thank fine are quicker for fray;
My legs are longer to run away!"
[Helena; Act 3: 2: 342-343]

  • Oberon and Puck reflect on the recent events, Oberon blaming Puck for the occurrence.
"This is thy negligence. Still thou mistak'st,
Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully"
[Oberon; Act 3: 2: 345-346]

  • Puck leads Demetrius to one side of the forest, and Lysander to the other by using voice manipulation.
"Follow my voice. We'll try no manhood here"
[Puck; Act 3: 2: 412]

  • The lovers become restless and sleep.
"Here I will rest me till the break of day"
[Hermia; Act 3: 2: 446]

  • Puck squeezes anti-love juice over Lysander's eyes.
"I'll apply to your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy."
[Puck; Act 3: 2: 451-452]

  • A greater understanding of how woman were valued in the Elizabethan Era when Lysander and Demetrius discuss trading lovers. Lysander offers Hermia to Demetrius to Lysander as if she is a possession of his.
  • We also learn more for how woman are treated when Lysander refers to Hermia as a "ethiop" and a "dwarf". Disrespect towards woman.
  • We also learn of the value of a woman's virginity.
  • We learn more of the nature in the fairies when puck remarks that it would be a "a sport alone" to see both Lysander and Demetrius pursue Helena.

"Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport"
[Helena; Act 3: 2: 160]


  • As the spell bound lovers sleep, Titania introduces bottom to her fairies
  • Bottom talks to them although the fairies have no idea what he wants. Eventually he gets tired and falls asleep
  • Oberon now has possession of the Indian boy and is suddenly overcome with pity for the relationship between his wife and the ass.
  • Oberon commands Robin to lift the spell from Titania and she is absolutely disgusted at the sight of Bottom upon awakening.
  • Robin then removes Bottom's donkey head and the fairies do a magic dance before vanishing away into the light of day.
  • Theseus and his hunting party enter the scene and after some boasting about his dogs, he spots the sleeping lovers
  • Now awakened, the lovers think all the events that have occurred are nothing but a dream. Theseus finds this particularly amusing.
  • Egeus, who is with Theseus, is furious at the situation and Demetrius tries to weasel out of trouble by saying that his love for Hermia was but a passing phrase.
  • It is decided that all three couples shall have a wedding upon return to the palace.
  • Everyone leaves and goes back to the palace and Bottom is left alone on stage, trying to recall the past night's events.
  • The workmen search for Bottom in the forest and find him
  • They hurry back to the palace to preform the play in time for the wedding.

Obscure Scenes
  • Shakespeare shows in act 4 scene 1,that the people of the Elizabethan era believed in the supernatural (Fairies, Magic etc.)
  • Titania takes role of a woman and helps Bottom with all his needs [Act 4:Scene 1:Verse 30]
  • Duke of Athens finds all the lovers together, which is forbid and are confused [Act 4: Scene 1:Verses 26-30]
  • Titania owning the fairies - reverse of male dominance [Act 4: Scene 1: Verses 1-4]
  • Oberon [Act 4: Scene 1: Verses 45-70] though he is annoyed with Titania, he still cares for her
  • Bottom addresses the fairies as though they are gentlemen [Act 4: Scene 1: Verses 7]


Key quotes:
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear-line 406-409

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.- line 346-347

Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief? That is hot ice and wondrous strange snow how shall we find the concord of this discord-line 59-60
No I assure the wall is parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilouge or to hear the a bergomask dance between two of our company?-line 335-338
For never anything can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it. Line 84-85
Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
-line 354-3547
Act 5 Key scenes/turning points
• Theseus discovers the lovers and thinks they are there to pay homage to him. This scene displays the misconception of Theseus as the lovers are oblivious to why and how they are there.
• Also he asks Philostrate "what abridgement, masque and music" (Theseus; Act 5:1: 39-40) they have for the marriage.
• He decides to see Bottom's act even though Philostrate opposes it . His actions are based on sympathy to the lower class. (Act 5: 1: 90-105)
• Quince, who is telling the prologue reveals the whole entire plot and storyline (Act 5: 1: 126-150)
• They all criticise the play due to the unprofessionalism .
"This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard" (Hippolyta; Act 5:1: 205)
• Hippolyta shows a brief inte`rest in the play (Act 5 : 1: 300)
• Bottom continues to but in even though he is supposed to be dead (Act 5 : 1: 335). All throughout the play Bottom is seen as a nosy and obnoxious character.
• The fairies end the play with an epilogue and the "best bride bed shall be blessed" by Oberon (Act 5:1 : 386). This shows that fairies have a better side to them in contrast to the trickery and mayhem caused by Puck.
• Oberon wishes Theseus and Hippolyta a baby
"issue there create ever shall be fortunate"(Act 5 : 1 : 388 - 389)
• Theseus and Hippolyta compare the lovers to crazy people
• The lovers arrive, newly wed and joyous
• Theseus is given a list of entertainment to choose from, to fill in the hours before bedtime
• Theseus chooses and wants to hear the workmen's 'brief' play of 'Pyramus and Thisbe'
(Play commences)
• Quince 'stutters' through the prologues
• Plot: two lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe are separated by a wall, and end by killing themselves
• Hippolyta criticizes and mocks the actors and play
• Royals' discuss the play they are perceiving
• Bottom disrupts the play
• Theseus begs for no epilogue, as their 'play needs no excuse'
• Play ends with Bergomask
• The lovers go to bed before midnight (fairy time)
• Puck describes what happens at night
• Oberon and Titania enter, and bless the marriages, children and couples lives and homes (by song and dance)
• Puck announces epilogue, with good night to the audience
Obscure scenes
The company of actors perform a play within a play. They speak in verse not their usual prose so that the audience understands that they are speaking as their character . Bottom interrupts with comments, interacting with the Theseus, Demetrius, Lysander and Hippolyta [Act 5: 1: 180] throughout the play, speaking in prose.
The passage Puck says during the final scene [Act 5:1:363- 369] shows the superstitions people in Elizabethan times had about the supernatural. Later, Oberon sends his fairies to bless the house of Theseus and Hippolyta, their future children and all the couples [Act 5: 1:385-405]. This shows the way fairies were seen at the time- that they brought both luck and did mischief.
Theseus demonstrates kingly behaviours, showing patience and kindness to those lower then him, saying that he would hear the play because "for never anything can be amiss when simpleness and duty tender it." [Act 5:1:81-84] This was aimed to appeal to the lower class of people, who were facing the impending death of Queen Elizabeth I, assuring them about the proper conduct of monarchs. Kingly behaviours are evident throughout the scene [Act 5:1:89-105].
The prologue [Act 5: 1: 126-150] shows the way plays were constructed during Elizabethan times with people representing objects like a wall and moonshine that would be impossible to actually have on stage. Theatre relied on the imagination of the audience. The style of the plot was both simplistic and revealed in the prologue as was in style during the region.