A Midsummer Night's Dream Act I, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Act I, Scene 1: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why has Theseus ordered a revel?

2. What does he promise Hippolyta?

3. Why does Egeus bring Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius to Theseus?

4. Why does Theseus tell Hermia to come to terms with her father’s choice of husband for her?

5. What is Hermia’s decision?

6. Why does Theseus lead Egeus and Demetrius away?

7. What is Lysander’s plan?

8. Why does Helena want to be like Hermia?

9. Why do Hermia and Lysander tell Helena the plan?

10. What does Helena intend to do with this information?

1. Theseus, Duke of Athens, has ordered a revel to celebrate his marriage to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, who he won through battle. The marriage is to take place in four days when there is a new moon. He desires to “… Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments. Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth.”

2. Theseus promises Hippolyta that their marriage will be one of joy, unlike the warring he used to win her, by declaring, “…But I will wed thee in another key….”

3. Egeus brings Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius to Theseus because he (Egeus) wants Hermia to marry Demetrius. Against Egeus’ will, Hermia wants to marry Lysander. Egeus wants Theseus to invoke the law requiring that a daughter marry the husband her father chooses for her or face the consequences: death or banishment to a nunnery. This is illustrated when Egeus says, “…I beg the ancient privilege of Athens….”

4. Theseus tells Hermia to come to terms with the husband her father has chosen for her or “…prepare to die for disobedience to your father’s will, … or on Diana’s alter to protest for aye austerity and single life.”

5. Hermia chooses to enter a nunnery rather than marry someone other than Lysander, who she feels is her true love. She protests, “So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, ere I will yield my virgin patent up….”

6. Theseus leads Egeus and Demetrius away saying, “…But, Demetrius, come, and come Egeus, you shall go with me,” in order to speak with them...

(The entire section is 524 words.)