This extract from act 3, scene 2 of A Midsummer Night's Dream is dramatic and significant because it presents the conflict and resolution of the play in miniature. First, Helena reproaches Hermia for her unkindness in moving terms, and the audience sees the complete disarray amongst the four lovers, which has only been exacerbated by Puck's intervention. They have escaped from the artificial constraints of the city, only to be placed under the thrall of magic they do not understand. This helplessness and bafflement comes out strongly in the quick-fire dialogue which occupies most of the first half of the extract. They throw insults at each other without quite knowing why. The atmosphere is summed up in Hermia's final line:
I am amazed, and know not what to say.
The second half of the extract is the calmer, more measured dialogue between Oberon and Puck, ending with Oberon's speech in which he both gives Puck his orders and explains how all this confusion is to be resolved. This speech, in rhyming couplets, displays the type of resolution and balance that an authority figure often provides to restore order after chaotic action. The two halves of this extract are, therefore, perfectly balanced, encapsulating in seventy lines the major themes of the play, as well as providing a microcosm of the plot.