A Midsummer Night's Dream Act IV, Scene 1
by William Shakespeare

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Act IV, Scene 1 Summary

As act 4, scene 1, opens, the four lovers are lying asleep. Oberon is present but hiding. Titania and Bottom enter, along with Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and other fairy attendants. Bottom luxuriates in being waited on. Still not realizing his transformation but feeling a bit hairy, he asks to have his chin scratched. As Titania asks him what he wants to eat and drink, he states his preference for items appropriate to an ass, such as oats; she sends the fairies off to find what he requests. The two of them fall asleep.

Puck enters and gets caught up by Oberon, who fondly regards his sleeping wife, for whom he now feels pity. Oberon tells Puck that his plan has worked: Titania has agreed to relinquish the changeling boy, who is now in Oberon’s bower. With this mission accomplished, he will make good on his commitment and release her from the spell. Puck can now reverse Bottom’s transformation so he can return to Athens with the others; they will “think no more of this night's accidents / But as the fierce vexation of a dream.”

When Titania wakes up, she comments on the “visions” she had: “Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.” Seeing him now in bed beside her, she loathes him. She calls for music to play when the lovers awake. Recommitting to their unity, Oberon tells his queen that the two of them will attend the couples’ weddings at Theseus’s court the following night. Puck restores Bottom's human head, and the fairies exit.

No sooner do the fairies take their leave than Theseus and Hippolyta enter, accompanied by Egeus, Hermia’s father, who recognizes the sleeping quartet. When they wake up at the sounds of the hunting horns, their memories are largely foggy, just as Oberon...

(The entire section is 450 words.)