Explain the conflicts so far in A Midsummer Night's Dream. What characters are involved? How do you think they will resolve their conflicts?

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jalden eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since, when you ask about the conflicts in Midsummer Night's Dream, you stipulate "so far," and, as I have no idea where you are in the play and therefore no idea what, "so far," means to you, I will start with the initial conflicts that appear at the opening of the play. The first conflict is between the impatience of Theseus for his wedding day and the time regulations that must be observed before it can take place. This conflict sets the tone for the play....romantic/sexual impatience. The next conflict is the big one that actively moves the play into motion. It is the conflict of opposition between Egeus and Demetrius, and Hermia and Lysander. Egeus, Hermia's father, has chosen Demetrius to be her husband, but she is in love with Lysander, who is in love with her, and refuses her father's wishes. Egeus brings this conflict to Theseus, and, because it is the law, Theseus tells Hermia she must either abide by her father's wishes of suffer the punishment for disobedience, which is either death or confinement in a nunnery.

The first conflict...Theseus' impatience to be wed....is handled by Theseus calling for entertainments to distract him from the agony of waiting.

The characters, Lysander and Hermia, try to resolve the second conflict by running away from Athens, to reach the home of a relative of Lysander's, where they can be married. The refusal, on the part of Hermia and Lysander, to follow the rules when it affects their passions, creates the play.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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