The main conflict in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is that people want to make decisions for others.
A conflict is a struggle between two characters, or between a character and an outside force. In this case, most of the character vs. character conflicts are caused by interference.
If I were to generalize all of the conflict in the play, it seems to sum up this way: people are making decisions for other people, and those people resent it. In some cases there is a cultural justification for the decision, such as Egeus’s desire to choose his daughter’s husband or Oberon’s desire to keep the changeling out. However, in some cases stubbornness is as much to blame.
Theseus is asked to intervene when Egeus realizes that his daughter Hermia is in love with Lysander instead of Demetrius, the man he wants her to marry. Theseus reminds Hermia that she has no will of her own in the matter, and instead should be following her father’s.
Be advis'd, fair maid.
To you your father should be as a god;
One that composed your beauties; yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax,(50)
By him imprinted (Act 1, Scene 1)
Hermia completely disagrees. We see the same problem in that Helena wants to marry Demetrius, but he wants to marry Hermia since her father has requested him. Demetrius did love Helena until Egeus interfered. It is downhill from there. Although in the end everyone ends up happy, they could have avoided pain by letting others make choices instead of forcing them on them.