In "A Midsummer Night's Dream", what are Oberon's plans involving Helena and Demetrius and how do those plans go awry?

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Helena loves Demetrius who, in turn loves Hermia.  But Hermia is in love with Lysander.  Lysander loves Hermia, but Hermia's father, Egeus, wants Hermia to marry Demetrius.  Leave to Shakespeare to take a classic love triangle and turn it into a love "quadrangle."

When Oberson sees Helena's sadness, he sends Puck to give a magic potion to Demetrius to make him love Helena.  But Puck mistakens Lysander for Demetrius.  So now Lysander loves Helena.  Puck tries to remedy the mistake and gives the potion to Demetrius so now both men (who used to vie for Hermia's love) love Helena.  This leads to a fight between Hermia and Helena.  Only when all the lovers are sleeping (much later) does Puck get it right.  When they wake up, the lovers are matched correctly (Hermia and Lysander; Helena and Demetrius) and think their troubles were all a dream.

Read more about A Midsummer Night's Dream at e-notes:




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