What are two conflicts in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and how were they solved?  

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The two major conflicts in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream revolve around the young lovers (Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena) and between Oberon and Titania, the fairies. First, the young lovers are caught between love and tradition because Hermia's father, Egeus, wants her to marry Demetrius, but she wants to marry Lysander. Demetrius had been courting Helena, but then dropped her to seek marriage to Hermia through Egeus. According to Athenian law, the father had the right to marry his daughter to anyone he chose. If the the daughter refused, the father could have her executed. Lysander begs Duke Theseus to consider him instead of Demetrius, but Egeus claims his right by saying the following:

"Scornful Lysander, true, he hath my love,

And what is mine my love shall render him.

And she is mine, and all my right of her

I do estate unto Demetrius" (I.i.97-100).

Meanwhile, the king and queen of the fairies are fighting over a young boy and how he should be raised. The boy is from one of Titania's servants who died at childbirth. Titania promised to bring up the boy like her own; but, Oberon wants the boy to become a henchman for him. Oberon vows to win this fight by saying the following:

"Well, go thy way. Thou shalt not from this grove

Till I torment thee for this injury" (II.i.148-149).

Thus, the duration of the play circles around how the young lovers will resolve who will marry whom and whether or not Oberon will successfully obtain Titania's boy. 

The young lovers' problems are resolved by Oberon who orders Puck to put love potion on Demetrius' eyes so he will completely love Helena and forget Hermia. Of course the plot is complicated when Puck accidentally mistakes Lysander for Demetrius first, but eventually Puck fixes his mistakes and the couples are paired off correctly. Demetrius therefore drops his claim for Hermia because he now completely loves Helena. As a result, Theseus allows Lysander to marry Hermia.

As far as Oberon, Titania and the boy are concerned, Oberon orders Puck to place love potion on his wife's eyes and make it so she will fall in love with something disgusting. Puck applies the juice to Titania's eyes while she sleeps; and then he decides to change a human's head (Nick Bottom's) into that of a donkey's. When Titania wakes up to see Bottom, she falls in love with Puck's odd creation. This gives Oberon the distraction he needs to carry away the boy! Once Oberon has the boy, and he and Puck have laughed at Titania for a while, Puck is ordered to remove the effects of the potion and make everything right again. Once awake and not under the influence again, Titania seems to have forgotten about the fight over the boy. She says the following to Oberon:

"Come, my lord, and in our flight

Tell me how it came this night

That I sleeping here was found

With these mortals on the ground" (IV.i.98-101).


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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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