Though Bottom often steals the show in performance, Puck is usually considered the most important character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Comparing Puck to Bottom, why might Puck be considered the protagonist?
Puck has a big supporting role in Shakespeare'sA Midsummer Night's Dream, but saying that he's the most important character in the whole play seems to be stretching it a bit. When considering importance, a character's influence on the plot of the story and upon other characters must certainly be taken into account. Puck acts at the request of Oberon, so one might argue that Puck himself isn't the brains behind the thickening of the plot. However, he does make a mistake when he casts the love spell on Lysander instead of Demetrius and the lovers are twisted up into more confusion. Bottom is the main character for the play within the play, but he's also made fun of and treated without respect by everyone. Bottom is also the victim of Oberon's manipulation of Titania which does not prove him to be a hero of any type. Hence, if Puck and Bottom were in a contest to be crowned "protagonist," then the award would have to go to Puck because he is not a victim; and at the end of the play he attempts to smooth things over with the audience if they were offended, which shows that he is more pro-active that Bottom.