In what ways does Shakespeare make this extract such a dramatic and significant moment in A Midsummer Night's Dream? "Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. / I evermore did love you, Hermia … And then I will her charmed eye release / From monster’s view, and all things shall be peace." (3.2.306–307, 376–377)

This extract from act 3, scene 2 of A Midsummer Night's Dream provides a microcosm of the dramatic conflict and resolution in the play.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial