A Midsummer Night’s Dream - synopsis
Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is to marry the captured Amazonian Queen,
Hippolyta. During their courting they are interrupted by the Athenian Lord
Egeus who brings a complaint against his daughter, Hermia. Egeus wants
Hermia to marry the young Athenian Demetrius but she is in love with Lysander
and wants to marry him instead. Her friend Helena is in love with Demetrius,
he and she were involved but Demetrius now prefers Hermia. Despite Lysander
and Hermia’s protestations, the Duke holds up the Law of Athens: Hermia
must obey her Father or she will be put to death.
Hermia and Lysander escape this harsh Athenian law by running away into
the forest. They are followed by Demetrius who is in pursuit of Hermia
and he is followed by Helena who hopes to win his love back.
A group of Mechanicals, craftsmen from Athens, meet to discuss rehearsals
for ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ which they plan to perform before Theseus and
Hippolyta on their wedding night in four days time. Having agreed on the
casting of the play they agree to meet in the forest to rehearse so they
can prepare their play in secret.
In the forest, Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Fairies are
quarreling over the Indian Boy whom Oberon wants to claim as his page.
Titania promised the boy’s Mother she would protect him and refuses to
let Oberon have his way. Oberon orders his mischievous servant, Robin Goodfellow,
better know as Puck, to fetch a magical flower to squeeze into Titania’s
eyes as she sleeps. The flower has the power to make one fall in love with
the first live creature that one sees upon waking. Puck fulfils his task
and brings the powerful love-juice flower to his master. In the meantime,
Oberon has observed Helena and decided he feels sorry for her and will
make Demetrius fall in love with her again with the help of the flower.
Oberon orders Puck to put the juice of the flower into Demetrius’ eyes
while he sleeps. But Puck mistakes and puts it into Lysander’s eyes. When
Lysander awakes he falls in love with the first living creature he sees,
Helena. The love-juice is then placed on Demetrius eyes and he too falls
for Helena. The boys fight over Helena and both reject Hermia, and this
drives Hermia first into despair then into a fury.
The Mechanicals meet to rehearse near the bower where Titania is sleeping.
Puck places a spell on Bottom-the-Weaver, that transforms his head into
an Ass. When the other Mechanicals run away from him in terror, Bottom
decides to sing to calm his nerves. He wakes up Titania and she falls in
love with him, in other words she falls in love with an Ass. By now Oberon
is satisfied that Titania is suitably humiliated and that the lovers should
be freed from the spell. He orders Puck to assist him in this with another
By chance, Theseus and Hippolyta with Egeus, come across the lovers sleeping
on the ground when they are out hunting. When they wake up, Demetrius confesses
his love for Helena. To please Hippolyta, Theseus overrides the Athenian
law and declares that the two sets of lovers will wed on the same day as
He and his Amazon Queen. The Mechanicals are also reunited with Bottom
who has been freed of the Ass’s head.
Everyone returns to Athens for the Weddings and entertainment. The Mechanicals
production of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ is chosen to be performed. It is the
opportunity to look back on the past four days in the forest and all that
has happened in the moonlight and magic.