Illustration of a donkey-headed musician in between two white trees

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

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What is an example of a chaotic scene in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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A scene of chaos is when Puck switches Bottom’s head with an ass to make Titania fall in love with him.

Puck, Oberon’s servant, does not like the fact that the craftsmen are practicing their play in the forest so close to the fairies’ lair.  He decides to get back at them, especially the bombastic Bottom, by giving Bottom an ass’s head.  This frightens the craftsmen, and they all run away.


Why do they run away? This is a knavery of them(105)

to make me afeard.


O Bottom, thou art changed! What do I see on



What do you see? You see an ass-head of your

own, do you? (Act 3, Scene 1)

Not only does Puck succeed in getting the craftsmen to stop rehearsing, he kills two birds with one stone because Titania falls in love with him.  This allows for a lot of humor as Bottom frolics with the fairies.  He has no idea that he has a donkey’s head, and his dialogue pokes great fun at him.  His silliness has a serious side, because for a while he seems to be in love with her and she with him.  When he awakes, he thinks it is all a dream.

This scene, like many in this play, uses the silliness to move the plot along.  Titania has to fall in love with an animal in order to realize that she really loves Oberon.  This also calls for all of the other spells to be reversed, with all of the lovers ending up in the right matches.

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