What two things does Puck do, on Oberon's orders, to keep Demetrius and Lysander from fighting? What, according to the law, will happen to her if she refuses this marriage? On what mission does Oberon send puck? Interestingly, Lucina is a goddess of childbed, something certainly expected in later speeches. Helena follows Demetrius while Demetrius pursues Hermia. Other than that, how much difference is there between the two young men? Why are the other actors so happy to see Bottom return? Egeus is disturbed because, his daughter, Hermia refuses to marry Demetrius, but she's in love with Lysander. Many contemporary productions of the play cast the same actor in the role of Theseus and Oberon, and also of Hippolyta and Titania. Why is Midsummer important to the themes of the play? You can use these comprehension questions as homework assignments, for in-class writing, or to prompt discussions among your students. Oberon is angry with the queen because she refuses to give him the Indian prince. In addition to the title, what other references do you find to dreaming in the play? In what ways do Theseus and Hippolyta parallel Oberon and Titania? Since he has already resolved the tensions of the main plot, he treats Act V as a joyful comic epilogue.
What has been said against Demetrius, the man Egeus wants Hermia to marry? When he wakes up, who does Lysander see and love? Much has been written about the darker side of this play, its savage, erotic aspects and its violence. Some of the popular beliefs are that whatever is wished on Midsummer's Night will come true; that after night-fall the fairies are all-powerful; that they often steal new brides, or turn cowslips sprinkled on the doorstep into flames to burn those who have harmed them. Why does Oberon send Puck to confuse the two young men? What, at various levels of meaning, does the dream seem to say? That the dainty fairy Titania could love the monster Bottom with the body of a man and the head of an ass adds much humor to this scene, especially when she calls Cobweb, Peaseblossom, and Mustard Seed to wait upon him. What stands out to you about him, and why? How do Theseus and Hippolyta respond to it? How many times have the women changed whom they love? Upon whose eyes does Puck apply the potion? Why does Titania give Oberon the child? What remedy corrects the crossed-loved couples? After all have went to bed, the fairies are sent to bless the beds and future children of each marriage. Gender issues are significant in this drama. Where are the lovers at the end of the scene and what are they doing? What is their relationship with each other like, and what are their relationships with men like? Discuss the meanings of the play's title, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Is this the spirit in which the court party in fact takes Pyramus and Thisbe? What is the matchup now that Demetrius and Lysander both love Hermia? Puck tells Oberon that he has bewitched the wrong athenian. What effect might her presence have on other action? Why does he claim the right to name the man his daughter Hermia will marry? What is your own opinion about the theme? The play of Pyramus and Thisbe is, of course, a mess. She is madly in love with him. What is Helena's situation at this point in the play? Asking the Right Questions When I teach this play, I use content questions broken down into acts. What reaction does he get from the others? Lysander awakes to the sight of Helena and immediately falls in love with her. Their love affects who and what they dream about. To whom do they tell their plans? What do you like and dislike about him, and why? Who comes to watch the play? Why does Bottom want a prologue written for the play? You've probably heard the phrase.
Do the comments of the spectators have any effect on the actors? Is the hunting party a good addition to the play? And then we might want to evaluate the accuracy of the assumptions here. To keep Demetrius and Lysander from killing one another, Oberon send Puck to create a fog, so that they'll get tired, fall asleep in which the voodoo can be removed from Lysander. What has happened to the changeling child? Theseus and Hippolyta are discussing their wedding. Hermia feels Helena has seduced Lysander in some way, maybe using her height, or makeup. Bottom sings to prove he is not afraid. Boyer Reading Questions for A Midsummer Night's Dream Keyed to The Norton Shakespeare The best beginning procedure is always to familiarize yourself with the cast of characters and then to read the play or at least an act or a scene all the way through so that you know what's happening.
Why does Bottom want a prologue written for the play? Show how Titania's fairy daintiness affects the humor of the closing part of the scene. What will happen to the lovers? Why are the other actors so happy to see Bottom return? He makes sure no one is offended by the play. Where does Titania take Bottom? The questions in this lesson will help facilitate discussion; many of them are open-ended and lack right or wrong answers, but they'll help students work together to take and make meaning from the play. Much attention has been paid to the dream by critics, especially psychoanalytical critics. Hermia is the most loved one. The conflicts have been resolved and a happy ending procured for all; the performance, thus, has no impact on the plot.
Why is she willing to take the risk? Helena is not loved by anybody, but loves Demetrius. How does Oberon find Titania and Bottom? Do the comments of the spectators have any effect on the actors? What is the function and effect of the fairies' blessing of the house? What news does Bottom bring his companions? Bottom's annuity would be one-quarter of Garland's who earned it for a lifetime career, not for one evening. They are asleep in each others arms. How do they intend to solve those problems and meet what they consider to be the expectations of their audience? Of all the happy couples at the end of the play, Demetrius and Helena stand apart because Demetrius alone is still under the spell of the love potion. Of course, she's probably not in the middle of the stage. Is there anything unusual in its treatment of the five-act dramatic form? Stop to think about who now loves whom. How successful are Lysander and Hermia in getting to Lysander's aunt? In your opinion, does this render their love false, or is it just as valid as the love between the other couples? Is Shakespeare making a class commentary here about who is better suited to understand and enjoy art? Oberon means to have it applied to Titania, so that she will give up the page before he will remove the charm from her.
Or isn't it anybody's problem? Keep the matchups clearly in mind; we're not done yet! Do you think the play could have happened in a different setting? What news does Bottom bring his companions? Which of the actors makes the funniest blunders in language, and what trait of his character leads him to make them? What does Hermia think Helena has done? Do you find these resolutions realistic or meaningful? Why don't they sleep close to each other? To where has Lysander disappeared when Hermia awakes? Demetrius now loves Helena, and Lysander returns to his original love for Hermia. It is significant because it gives background for the events to come. Hermia's fate will be to die, marry Demetrius, or become a nun. Lysander has gone to follow Helena. Yes, this theme shows how crazy love can be. Who does Puck address at the play's end? The dreams refer to love, magic, and often predict the future. Luna is the moon, certainly not a new subject to the play at this point.
She thinks that out of jealousy she has made known her taller height and therefore fer greater value of the two maids. Helena is appalled and feels Lysander is playing a joke on her when he expresses his love; she expressed she thought better of him. What is Helena's reaction to Lysander's words of love? What are thesues and Hippolyta discussing at the play's start? It is significant because the whole play is based off love. Theseus and Hippolyta are discussing their marriage which is in four days. Oberon commands Puck to find the Athenian couple and put the potion on their eyes as they sleep. Where does A Midsummer Night's Dream begin? Based on what they say, do Oberon and Titania have reason to be jealous? Helena is at turmoil with her friend because she is accused of seducing Lysander. He thinks Helena is the apple of his eye.
How seriously are we to take this scene? A Midsummer Night's Dream is a wonderful play that deals with themes such as love, the nature of magic, the meaning of a dream, and the relationship between fantasy and reality. What does his singing cause? We'll see the same relationships appear in other plays; apparently the two young men playing young women for the company had these sizes and complexions. How are Hermia and Egeus related? Why, according to Puck, are Oberon and Titania fighting 2. Notice that once Titania falls asleep, she remains on stage until she awakens. How does he describe his experience? What was the original matchup of young lovers? You might compare his wisdom in 3.
They are happy because now the play can go on. What does Oberon tell Puck to do while Oberon goes to anoint Titania's eyes with the pansy juice? They must now get ready and meet at the palace. They'll have the opportunity to think about so many different and important themes and ideas through this play, including love and romance, the line between fantasy and reality, and what happens when someone is too proud or too possessive. In wrapping up the conflict before the last act, Shakespeare affords himself the opportunity to give the audience one act of pure, uncomplicated comedy. The magic plant, love-in-idleness, makes the one to whom it is applied love the first thing he or she sees upon awaking. What does Lysander say has caused him to stop loving Hermia and begin loving Helena? In this way, I can ensure that they are both reading the play and comprehending the language.