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Teachers and professors: Get the most from your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to providing clear guidance to Shakespeare's language, this lesson plan offers in-depth character analyses as well as navigation through the play's primary themes, including love, magic, and the power of dreams. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- What are Theseus and Hippolyta discussing at the start of A Midsummer Night's Dream? They are discussing their wedding which is supposed to take place in four days' time.
- To what do Lysander and Hermia agree? They agree to meet on the next night in a wood a league from Athens and from there to make their way to the remote home of Lysander's aunt where they can be married and safe from Athen's cruel punishment and separation.
- Why does Bottom want a prologue written for the play? He wants one written so that his character can read it to the audience, assuring them that no harm will come to the actors either by sword or by lion. He thinks the ladies will go into a swoon or else panic.
- Why does Oberon send Puck to fetch Helena? He realizes that another Athenian youth was dosed by Puck by mistake and that now a maid has lost her true love (Lysander) and the intended youth (Demetrius) is still repulsing Helena. While Puck is away, Oberon charms Demetrius to love Helena when he sees her again.
- Why do you think Shakespeare included a play within a play? The story of Pyramus and Thisby is an ancient tale well known to the audiences in Shakespeare's time. The audience of A Midsummer Night's Dream could join in with the jests and comments.
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