Act I, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
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...
(The entire section is 524 words.)
Act I, Scene 2: Questions and Answers
1. Why do the craftsmen meet?
2. Why is Quince the one assigning the roles?
3. What is Bottom’s reaction to his assigned role?
4. What is Flute’s misgiving about his assignment?
5. Why does Bottom want to play Flute’s role?
6. What is Snug’s worry?
7. Why does Bottom want to play Snug’s role?
8. What do Quince and Bottom caution about the role of the Lion?
9. Why does Quince insist Bottom play Pyramus?
10. Where are the men to meet next?
1. The craftsmen meet to assign and discuss the roles they will have, “… to play in our interlude before the Duke and the Duchess on his wedding day at night.” Quince wrote and is directing this play for Theseus’ and Hippolyta’s wedding, which is to be held during the new moon, four days hence.
2. Quince is the person assigning the roles because he wrote the play with, “…every man’s name which is thought fit …” for certain roles. As the director, it is his job to cast the actors in the parts for which they are most suited—an easy job for him since he is also the dramatist (playwright).
3. Bottom’s reaction to his assigned role is that he wants to know who Pyramus is and, when told, proclaims he will have everyone crying with his portrayal of this lover who dies. To quote, “I will move storms; I will condole...
(The entire section is 492 words.)
Act II, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. How did Puck earn his reputation?
2. Why is Oberon angry with Titania?
3. What is her argument with him?
4. What is it Oberon sends Puck to find?
5. How does Oberon intend to punish his wife?
6. Why does Helena pursue Demetrius?
7. Why does Demetrius want Helena to leave him alone?
8. How is it that Oberon is able to overhear them?
9. What does Oberon decide when Puck returns?
10. How does Oberon instruct Puck to recognize Demetrius?
1. Puck earned his reputation as a hobgoblin by playing pranks, some mean, on both humans and animals as we can see by the fairy’s declaring, “…you are that shrewd and knavish sprite….” The name Puck, which is not Robin Goodfellow’s actual name, means hobgoblin and often is used interchangeably with the hobgoblin’s actual name.
2. Oberon is angry with Titania because she refuses to give up the changeling she has brought with her from India. While she has had many affairs, it is her insistence on keeping the boy that enrages her husband. Oberon, himself, declares, “I do but beg a little changeling boy…” and, more directly, “Give me that boy….”
3. Titania is angry with her husband because she does not want to give up the changeling and she feels Nature “From our debate, from our dissension…“ is turning itself...
(The entire section is 589 words.)
Act II, Scene 2: Questions and Answers
1. What is it Oberon hopes Titania sees immediately upon
2. Why does Lysander want to rest?
3. Why does Hermia ask him to move further away to sleep?
4. Why does Robin Goodfellow (Puck) anoint Lysander’s eye?
5. What does Robin Goodfellow think Hermia’s reason is for sleeping so far removed from Lysander?
6. Why does Helena stop chasing Demetrius?
7. Why does Demetrius leave Helena alone in the wood?
8. Why does Lysander profess his love for Helena?
9. What is Helena’s reaction to Lysander’s protestations of love?
10. Why does Hermia awake?
1. Now that Oberon has anointed Titania’s eye with the love juice, she will fall in love with the first creature she sees upon waking from the sleep she had instructed the fairies to sing her into. The still angry Oberon hopes Titania will see some “vile thing” the moment she opens her eyes.
2. Lysander wants to rest because Hermia is already “faint with wand’ring in the wood” in the attempt to reach his aunt’s house and he, frankly, has forgotten the way and needs to rest himself to remember the way.
3. Hermia, who is running away to avoid her father’s choice of husband in order to marry her own—a crime punishable by death or banishment to a nunnery—asks Lysander, “For my sake, my dear, lie...
(The entire section is 592 words.)
Act III, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Quince feel their rehearsal spot is ideal?
2. Why does Bottom feel they need two Prologues to the play?
3. How do they solve the problems of representing the moonlight and the Wall in their play?
4. Why is Bottom alone when Puck changes his head to that of an ass?
5. How is it that Bottom is alone when Titania awakes?
6. Why hasn’t Bottom followed his friends from the wood?
7. Why does Titania awake?
8. What does Titania offer Bottom?
9. What is his reaction to this offer?
10. What part are the fairies to play in this?
1. Quince feels that the rehearsal spot in the wood is “a marvelous convenient place” for practicing their play because there is a flat area, a green plot, to serve as the stage and shrubs (hawthorne) to represent the tiring house (dressing room).
2. Bottom feels the craftsmen need “a device to make all well” —two Prologues (opening speeches) to the play—to warn the ladies of the audience that there will be a sword scene which is only acting, no one is really going to be hurt, and that the Lion is only an actor, not an actual savage beast who may harm them.
3. The craftsmen solve the problems of the moonlight and the wall by checking the almanac and assuring themselves there will, indeed, be moonlight to shine through the window (casement) on stage the night of the play. “Some man or other must present Wall,” is Bottom’s suggestion. This actor is to be loam...
(The entire section is 653 words.)
Act III, Scene 2: Questions and Answers
1. What is it Puck reports to Oberon?
2. Why is Hermia following Demetrius?
3. What is it Oberon realizes when he sees them together?
4. How is this mistake to be rectified?
5. Why won’t Helena accept Lysander’s advances?
6. Why does she doubt the veracity of Demetrius’ protestations of love?
7. Why do Hermia and Helena argue?
8. Why do each of the young people leave?
9. How does Puck manage to make Lysander and Demetrius sleep?
10. Why do Helena and Hermia also fall asleep?
1. Puck reports to Oberon that he came upon the craftsmen “met together to rehearse...
(The entire section is 775 words.)
Act IV, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. What is it Bottom asks Peaseblossom, Mustardseed, and Cobweb to do?
2. What news does Oberon tell Puck?
3. Why is Titania in love with her husband again?
4. Why are Theseus, Hippolyta, and Egeus in the wood?
5. Why does Theseus think the five sleeping people came to the wood?
6. What does Lysander answer when questioned by Theseus?
7. Why is Egeus so angry?
8. Why won’t Demetrius marry Hermia as he had promised?
9. What is Theseus’ decision?
10. Why does Bottom want Quince to write a ballad?
1. Bottom asks Peaseblossom to scratch his head. He asks Cobweb to...
(The entire section is 674 words.)
Act IV, Scene 2: Questions and Answers
1. How do the actors know Bottom has not yet returned?
2. Why can’t they perform the play?
3. What do his friends say are Bottom’s best qualities?
4. What mistake does Quince make in referring to Bottom’s voice?
5. What is Snug’s news?
6. What is especially disappointing about not being able to present the play?
7. What would Flute have demanded for Bottom?
8. What is Bottom’s reaction upon finding his friends?
9. Why won’t he tell them what has happened to him?
10. What is his advice to his fellow actors?
1. The actors know Bottom has not yet returned...
(The entire section is 430 words.)
Act V, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Theseus doubt the reality of the story the lovers tell him?
2. What are the choices for the revel?
3. Why does Theseus choose the craftsmen’s play?
4. What is the consensus of opinion about the Prologue?
5. Why does Theseus command Demetrius to be silent?
6. What is Hippolyta’s astute comment about the play?
7. How does Robin Starveling defend the use of the lanthorn (lantern) in representing the moon?
8. How does Pyramus die in the play-within-the-play?
9. What does Oberon tell the fairies to do before they sing and dance all night?
10. What two things does Puck ask from the...
(The entire section is 518 words.)