In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, does Puck create havoc for the lovers with premediation or is his fault excusable?
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When Oberon discovers that Puck (otherwise known as Robin Goodfellow) has carried out his orders incorrectly, he says, "This is thy negligence. Still thou mistak'st/ Or else committ'st thy knaveries willfully"(III.ii.360-361). Puck immediately replies with, "Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook." He continues to defend himself by explaining that all Oberon had said was to put the flower's potion on an "Athenian's eyes" so he did it to the first man he saw. Although Puck does admit that the mistake brought about a lot of entertainment for him, he did not willingly, or with any amount of premeditation, put the potion in the wrong man's eyes (Lysander's). There is no other evidence within the text that suggests that Puck purposefully placed the potion on Lysander's eyes merely for sport.
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