A Midsummer Night's Dream Characters

List of Characters

Hermia—a young woman in love with Lysander but ordered by her father to marry Demetrius

Helena—Hermia’s friend from childhood who is in love with Demetrius

Lysander—the youth in love with Hermia

Demetrius—the man chosen by Egeus for his daughter, Hermia, to marry despite her love for Lysander

Egeus—Hermia’s father who insists upon his paternal right to choose her husband

Theseus—the duke of Athens; engaged to Hippolyta

Hippolyta—engaged to Theseus

Philostrate—master of the revel (celebration for Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding)

Nick Bottom (the weaver)—manager of the play-within-a-play and portrays Pyramus in it; becomes the object of Titania’s love

Peter (the carpenter)—author and director of the play-within-the-play

Francis Flute (the bellows mender)—unwillingly plays the role of Thisbe in the play-within-the-play

Tom Snout (the tinker)—portrays a wall in the play-within-the-play

Robin Starveling (the tailor)—portrays the moon in the play-within-the-play

Snug (the joiner)—portrays the lion in the play-within-the-play because he roars well

Oberon—king of the fairies; married to Titania

Titania—queen of the fairies; married to Oberon

Robin Goodfellow (Puck)—a hobgoblin in Oberon’s service

Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mote, and Mustardseed—Titania’s fairies

A Midsummer Night's Dream Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Theseus

Theseus (THEE-see-uhs), the duke of Athens, a wise, temperate ruler. Although he mistrusts the fantasy and imagination of “lunatics, lovers, and poets,” he can perceive with good humor the love and duty inspiring the abortive dramatic efforts of his subjects, and he tries to teach his bride and queen, Hippolyta, the value of their good intentions.

Hippolyta

Hippolyta (hih-POL-ih-tuh), Theseus’ bride, the queen of the Amazons, the maiden warriors whom he has conquered. She is a woman of regal dignity, less willing than her lord to be tolerant of the faults of Peter Quince’s play, although she is more ready than he to believe the lovers’ description of their night in the forest.

Titania

Titania (tih-TAY-nee-uh), the imperious queen of the fairies. She feuds with her husband Oberon over her “little changeling boy,” whom the king wants as his page. Enchanted by Oberon’s flower, “love in idleness,” she becomes enamored of Bottom the Weaver in his ass’s head and dotes on him until her husband takes pity on her and frees her from the spell. She is quickly reconciled with him, and they join in blessing the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta, their favorites among mortals.

Oberon

Oberon (OH-beh-ron), the king of the fairies, who gleefully plots with Puck to cast a spell on the fairy queen and take away her changeling. Once he has stolen the child, he repents his mischief and frees Titania from her ridiculous dotage. He teases her for her fondness for Theseus and is, in return, forced to confess his own affection for Hippolyta.

Puck

Puck, the merry, mischievous elf, Robin Goodfellow, of English folk legend. He is Oberon’s servant. He brings about the confusion of the young Athenians on Midsummer Eve as he tries to carry out Oberon’s wishes; the king has taken pity on Helena and hopes to turn Demetrius’ scorn for her into love. Puck simply enchants the first Athenian he sees, Lysander, and with great amusement watches the confusion that follows, commenting, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

Hermia

Hermia (HEHR-mee-uh), a bright, bold young Athenian maiden. She defies her father and flees into the Athenian wood to elope with her beloved Lysander. She shows herself to be a small spitfire when she finds Demetrius and Lysander, through Puck’s machinations, suddenly rivaling each other for Helena’s affection rather than hers.

Helena

Helena (HEHL-eh-nuh), a maiden who mournfully follows Demetrius, spaniel-like, in spite of the scorn with which he repulses her affection. When she suddenly finds both Demetrius and Lysander at her feet, she can only believe that they are teasing her.

Demetrius

Demetrius (deh-MEE-tree-uhs), a rather fickle Athenian youth. He deserts his first love, Helena, to win the approval of Hermia’s father for marriage with her, but he cannot win Hermia herself. His affections are returned, by Oberon’s herb, to Helena, and he is wed to her on his duke’s marriage day.

Lysander

Lysander (lih-SAN-dur), Hermia’s sweetheart, who plans their elopement to escape Theseus’ decree that the girl must follow her father’s will or enter a nunnery. He brashly argues with Demetrius, first over Hermia, then over Helena, before he is happily wed to his first love.

Nick Bottom

Nick Bottom, a good-natured craftsman and weaver. He is so enthralled by the prospect of Quince’s play, Pyramus and Thisbe, that he longs to play all the other parts in addition to his assigned role of the hero. He is supremely complacent as Titania’s paramour and takes for granted the services of the fairies who scratch the ass’s ears placed on his head by Puck. He marvels at his “most rare vision” after his release from the fairy spell.

Peter Quince

Peter Quince, a carpenter, director of the infamous play of “tragical mirth” presented in honor of Theseus’ wedding. Completely well-meaning, he illustrates, as he mangles his prologue, the “love and tongue-tied simplicity” of which Theseus speaks.

Snug

Snug, a joiner,

Snout

Snout, a tinker,

Flute

Flute, a bellows-maker, and

Starveling

Starveling, a tailor, the other craftsmen-actors who portray, respectively, Lion, Wall, Thisbe, and Moonshine.

Egeus

Egeus (ee-JEE-uhs), Hermia’s father. He is determined that his daughter will marry Demetrius, not Lysander, whom she loves.

Philostrate

Philostrate (FIH-los-trayt), Theseus’ master of the revels.

Peaseblossom

Peaseblossom,

Cobweb

Cobweb,

Moth

Moth, and

Mustardseed

Mustardseed, Titania’s fairy attendants who wait on Bottom.

A Midsummer Night's Dream Character Analysis

Note on the Character Analysis

Note: While the older couples in A Midsummer Night's Dream have greater depth than the Athenian youths and their female mates,...

(The entire section is 100 words.)

Bottom (Character Analysis)

Nick Bottom, the weaver, first appears in I.ii, with the other mechanicals, or clowns (Quince, Snug, Flute, Snout, and Starveling), as they...

(The entire section is 934 words.)

Demetrius (Character Analysis)

Demetrius first appears in I.i with Egeus, Hermia, and Lysander. Egeus speaks highly of Demetrius, calling him "my noble lord" (I.i.24), and...

(The entire section is 516 words.)

Helena (Character Analysis)

In the first scene of the play, we are introduced to Helena's problem: she desperately loves Demetrius, but he is in love with her friend...

(The entire section is 417 words.)

Hermia (Character Analysis)

Hermia's dilemma is introduced early in the first scene of the play, as her father Egeus complains to the duke that she refuses to marry...

(The entire section is 486 words.)

Hippolyta (Character Analysis)

The play opens as Hippolyta and Theseus are discussing their upcoming marriage. Theseus comments that he

woo'd...

(The entire section is 393 words.)

Lysander (Character Analysis)

Lysander first appears in I.i with his love Hermia, her father Egeus, and his competitor for Hermia's love, Demetrius. Egeus accuses Lysander...

(The entire section is 497 words.)

Oberon (Character Analysis)

Oberon, the king of the fairies, first appears in II.ii. He is arguing with his queen, Titania, over a changeling (a child exchanged by...

(The entire section is 583 words.)

Puck (Character Analysis)

Puck, a sprite also known as Robin Goodfellow, first appears in II.ii as he and a fairy discuss the troubles Oberon and Titania are having....

(The entire section is 540 words.)

Theseus (Character Analysis)

The play opens as Theseus and his bride-to-be, Hippolyta, are discussing their upcoming marriage. Theseus comments that he ''woo'd thee...

(The entire section is 754 words.)

Other Characters (Descriptions)

Attendants
Attendants appear in several scenes during the play, and are sometimes mentioned in the stage directions as "others"...

(The entire section is 2265 words.)