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THE CHARACTERS: Before you come to see The Pocket Oxford Theatre's 'A Midsummer Nights Dream', why

not familiarize yourself with the characters in the original story first. The play follows the story of three different sets of characters and their actions one balmy summers night in a wood outside Athens. The characters encounter one another during the course of the play and their stories become intertwined. Look out for The Athenian Court and The Lovers Theseus - Duke of Athens, is King of the Athenian court, who at the start of the play is preparing for his wedding to Hippolyta. Hippolyta - Queen of the Amazons, she is about to wed Theseus. Egeus Hermias father, who insists that Hermia should marry Demetrius. Hermia - a young woman in love with Lysander against her fathers wishes. Lysander - a young man in love with Hermia. Helena Hermias friend who is desperately in love with Demetrius. Demetrius - a young man in love with Hermia. The Fairies Oberon - King of the Fairies Titania - Queen of the Fairies Puck - Messenger and Oberons sprite Changling Boy Titanias page-boy Titanias Fairy Band - (Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mustardseed, Moth) The Mechanicals (the workmen) Nick Bottom - the weaver, plays Pyrimus in the production. Peter Quince - the carpenter, director of the production and leader of the players. Francis Flute - the bellows mender, chosen to play the girl, Thisbe, in the production. Robin Stavelling - the tailor, plays Moonshine in the production Tom Snout - the tinker, plays the Wall in the production Snug - the joiner, plays the Lion in the production

SYNOPSIS of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


Theseus, Duke of Athens, is planning to marry Queen Hippolyta in four days time. Egeus, an Athenian nobleman, marches into Theseuss court with his daughter, Hermia, and two young men, Demetrius and Lysander. Egeus wishes Hermia to marry Demetrius (who loves Hermia), but Hermia is in love with Lysander and refuses. Egeus asks for the full penalty of law if Hermia refuses her fathers wishes. This could mean death. Hermia and Lysander plan to escape Athens the following night and marry in another city. Hermia also tells her best friend, Helena, who was once engaged to Demetrius and still loves him even though he left her after meeting Hermia. Hoping to regain his love, Helena tells Demetrius of the plan that Hermia and Lysander have planned. Demetrius enters the woods after his intended bride and her lover; Helena follows behind him. In these same woods are two very different groups of characters. The first is a band of fairies, including Oberon, the fairy king, and Titania, his queen. The second is a band of Athenian craftsmen rehearsing a play that they hope to perform for the duke and his bride. King Oberon is jealous of the affection his queen gives to a young, orphan boy and wants to seek revenge. Oberon sends his merry servant, Puck, to acquire a magical flower, the juice of which can be spread over a sleeping persons eyelids to make that person fall in love with the first thing he or she sees upon waking. Puck obtains the flower, and Oberon tells him of his plan to spread its juice on the sleeping Titanias eyelids. Having seen Demetrius act cruelly toward Helena, he orders Puck to spread some of the juice on the eyelids into his eyes. However, Puck meets Lysander and Hermia first; thinking that Lysander is Demetrius of whom Oberon spoke; Puck gives him the love potion. Lysander happens to see Helena upon awaking and falls deeply in love with her, abandoning Hermia. As the night progresses and Puck attempts to undo his mistake, both Lysander and Demetrius end up in love with Helena, who believes that they are mocking her. Hermia becomes so jealous that she tries to challenge Helena to a fight. Demetrius and Lysander nearly do fight over Helenas love, but Puck confuses them by mimicking their voices, leading them apart until they are lost separately in the forest. Meanwhile, when Titania wakes, the first creature she sees is Bottom, the most ridiculous of the craftsmen, whose head Puck has mockingly transformed into that of a donkey.

Queen Titania ensures her fairy servants meet every need of Bottom, treating him like a king. Once King Oberon reaches the orphan boy, he orders Puck to put right his spell. Puck squeezes another juice into Titanias eyes and she falls back in love with Oberon. King Oberon also orders Puck to squeeze the juice of the flower into Lysanders eyes, and Lysander falls back in love with Hermia. Demetrius now loves Helena, and Lysander now loves Hermia. They all return to Athens for their wedding. After the group wedding, the lovers watch Bottom and his fellow craftsmen perform their play. When the play is completed, the lovers go to bed; the fairies briefly emerge to bless the sleeping couples with a protective charm and then disappear.

EXERCISE 1; Multiple Choice (circle the correct answer) 1) What city does "A Midsummer Night's Dream" take place in, or directly outside of ? Venice / Athens / Verona / London/ Florence 2) Who is the Duke of Athens? Oberon / Egeus / Puck / Theseus 3) Who does Lysander love? Helena / Titania / Hermia / Hippolyta 4) Who does Demetrius love before Puck interferes? Titania / Helena / Hippolyta / Hermia 5) Who is King of the Fairies? Oberon / Theseus / Egeus / Bottom 6) Who is Queen of the Fairies? Hippolyta / Helena / Hermia / Titania 7) Who is messenger of the fairies? Bottom / Snout / Moth / Puck 8) In the Mechanicals production, who plays the part of Pyramus? Snout / Bottom / Quince / Mustardseed 9) Who does Titania fall in love with as the result of a magic potion? Oberon / Lysander / Bottom / Theseus 10) Who ends up married at the end of the play? Lysander & Hermia / Demetrius & Helena/ Theseus & Hippolyta / All three couples 11) What is the relationship between Hermia and Helena? sisters / friends / enemies / cousins 12) Who loves Helena at the beginning of the play? Lysander/ No one / Demetrius / Theseus 13) Demetrius is eventually manipulated into marrying Helena. - True or False? 14) Is Hermia given a pardon from Athenian law and allowed to marry her true love, Lysander, over her father's demands?