What are the settings in A Midsummer Night's Dream?  

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play is overtly set in ancient Greece, a time and place far distant from the Elizabethan theater in which the play was performed. The ancient Greece of the play is not that of classical antiquity but a mythological age; Theseus was a legendary hero of Athens, not a real person, and in classical Greek drama he is placed in a distant past. 

The first scene, that of the preparations for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, takes place in this legendary Athenian setting. 

The second setting is the woods. The four young lovers flee to a wood outside Athens. This wood, however, actually contains Puck (or Robin Goodfellow), Oberon, and Titania, figures from French and British medieval folklore. The dream wood, in fact, has a British feel to it, despite theoretically being outside Athens. The characters all return to Athens for the weddings at the end.

The most important thing to note here is what Puck says at the end of the play:

That you have but slumbered here

While these visions did appear.

In other words, the play itself has the character of a dream, and the setting, like that of a dream, is not realistic but fantastic, blending ancient and medieval and Greek and British elements for atmosphere.

lit24 | Student

The entire action of the play takes place in Athens.  The play begins and ends in "the palace of Theseus" (ActI Sc1 and ActV Sc1). The "rude mechanicals," Bottom and company meet and discuss their plans to entertain Duke Theseus on his wedding day at Quince's house, (ActI Sc2 and ActIV Sc2). Most of the action of the play takes place in "a wood near Athens." (ActII Sc1 to ActIV Sc1).

The three settings are arranged in the form of three concentric circles: "Theseus' palace" forms the outermost circle, "Quince's house" the next circle and "a wood near Athens" the innermost circle where most of the action takes place.

sfdsf | Student

It is placed in the nether

With references to the End

Hope this helps.


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sania1027 | Student

There are three settings in a Midsummer Night's Dream. 

1) Woods - (the fairy world)

2) Athens - (the real world)

3) Athenian Craftsmen - ( The world put together by Athenian Craftmen)

fashionableb1 | Student

In general, A Midsummer Night's Dream occurs in a mythical Athens but takes place in various places around the state. The first and last scenes of the play takes place in Theseus's palace, two scenes are staged in the house of Peter Quince. However, the entirety of the play occurs in the forest which gives the play a light toe and magical feeling. 

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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