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A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

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How is Puck presented in Act 2, Scene 1, lines 32–58? Use Point, Evidence, Explanation (PEE) structure to answer. Structure: introduction, PEE 3-4 paragraphs, conclusion.

In this scene, the Fairy tells us about Puck's personality and how he acts with others. She says that he is mischievous and does not do anything harmful to people. Rather, he just performs little pranks on them. However, if you call him "sweet Puck" (line 26), then he helps you with your tasks. He is mostly a jokester who plays pranks on other people, but if they are nice to him, he will help them with their work or their chores in exchange. Puck then answers the Fairy and provides examples of how he has caused trouble and performed pranks on others.

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In this scene, Puck is presented as the perennial jokester, always ready to poke fun at others to get the best of them. You can choose three main quotes and write a three- or four-paragraph essay about these lines. Start each paragraph with a point about Puck, and include a quote and explanation of that quote in each paragraph. Here are some of the main points that are discussed in the lines you refer to, as well as a bit before the lines.

Before line 32, the Fairy speaks of Puck as the sprite who flits about the village, messing up women's household chores. For example, Puck makes it so that women can not churn their butter and so that beer can not foam. He also makes people get lost at night when he tries to "mislead night-wanderers" (line 25). He then laughs at them rather than helping them. In other words, he frustrates people's daily tasks, and he is to blame for everyday annoyances that make people feel upset. However, the fairy says that if people are nice to Puck and call him "sweet Puck" (line 26), he does their work for them and treats them well. He is like the sprite who controls how everyday chores turn out.

Puck answers and says that what the fairy says is true. He describes himself as a sprite who wanders at night and plays jokes on people. He also is a kind of joker who performs for Oberon. The kinds of jokes he plays include pretending to be an apple in a woman's drink and causing her to spill her drink on herself. He also pretends to be a stool so that a woman telling a sad tale will sit on him, and then she will fall off the stool and everyone will laugh at her. Puck is a kind of immature, silly sprite who does not do anything that harmful but who is constantly annoying other people. He is to blame for little misfortunes that make people embarrassed and momentarily uncomfortable.

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