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When A Midsummer Night's Dream opens, Theseus and his fiance Hippolyta are preparing for their wedding day which is in 4 days on May Day, or the first day of summer. In Shakespeare's time, May Day was a day to welcome summer with singing and dancing. So as the play starts, the audience is informed that the setting is during the summer and that a very important wedding of a high-powered official is soon to happen. This should be a time of celebration and happiness. However, Hermia, when first met, stands before the Duke in tears because she is being forced to marry a man she does not love. Immediately, the contrast between the time of year and the plot presents the audience with the plot.
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