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A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Questions
Courtesy of JM Massi, Ph.D

  1. Consider two courts--Fairy and Greek--against each other. What are the major characteristics of each? How do Oberon and Theseus compare? Oberon is a fairy from the French Romance tradition; Theseus is a hero of ancient Greece. Why use these as opposing kings?
  2. Track Demetrius, Lysander, Helena, and Hermia carefully throughout the play. They are easily confused the first few times. Note the dominant personality traits of each. What are Hermia's choices for marriage according to her father Egeus? Is she right or wrong to take things into her own hands?
  3. Puck is a character from English folklore. What is he doing in a fairy court with lesser fairies who sound like nature spirits, and a king whose from French tales ? How are we to take the fact that Puck's enchantment of Demetrius is allowed to continue at the end of the play?
  4. Why does Theseus allow Lysander to marry Hermia against her father's wishes? What is the purpose of the subplot with Theseus's wedding?
  5. What is the point of the subplot with the clowns? What is Bottom's "dream" about? Why does he want to make it into a show?
  6. What is the point of the play-within-the-play? How does knowing Theseus' future affect our understanding of the tale's ending? What is the significance of Puck's epilogue? What does it mean for us to accept the play as a dream?
Related Link: Shakespeare Classroom
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