A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream book cover
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Dramatis Personae

  • THESEUS, Duke of Athens
    EGEUS, Father to Hermia
    LYSANDER, in love with Hermia
    DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia
    PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus
    QUINCE, the Carpenter
    SNUG, the Joiner
    BOTTOM, the Weaver
    FLUTE, the Bellows-mender
    SNOUT, the Tinker
    STARVELING, the Tailor


    HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, bethrothed to Theseus
    HERMIA, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander
    HELENA, in love with Demetrius

    OBERON, King of the Fairies
    TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies
    PUCK, or ROBIN GOODFELLOW, a Fairy
    PEASBLOSSOM, Fairy
    COBWEB, Fairy
    MOTH, Fairy
    MUSTARDSEED, Fairy

    PYRAMUS, THISBE, WALL, MOONSHINE, LION; Characters in the Interlude performed by the Clowns

    Other Fairies attending their King and Queen
    Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta

Notes on Stage Directions:

Many share the belief that Shakespeare's stagecraft went hand-in-hand with his wordcraft. For that reason, we believe it is important for the reader to know which stage directions are modern and which derive from Shakespeare's earliest text—the single-play Quartos or the Folio, the first collected works (1623). All stage directions appear in italics, but the brackets enclose modern additions to the stage directions. Readers may assume that the unbracketed stage directions appear in the Quarto and/or Folio versions of the play.

Notes on Scene Locations:

Shakespeare imagined his play, first and foremost, on the stage of his outdoor or indoor theatre. The original printed versions of the plays do not give imaginary scene locations, except when they are occasionally mentioned in the dialogue. As an aid to the reader, this edition does include scene locations at the beginning of each scene, but puts all such locations in brackets to remind the reader that this is not what Shakespeare envisioned and only possibly what he imagined.