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Kidz Notes - A Midsummer's Night's Dream

Shakespeare can be downright confusing, but that won't stop your teacher from making you read his stuff. Kidzworld's got the 411 you need to understand this famous play by William Shakespeare.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Major Characters

  • THESEUS - Duke of Athens
  • EGEUS - Hermia's dad
  • LYSANDER - In love with Hermia
  • DEMETRIUS - Also in love with Hermia
  • PHILOSTRATE - Master of the Revels to Theseus
  • QUINCE - The carpenter
  • SNUG - The joiner (a kind of carpenter)
  • BOTTOM - The weaver
  • FLUTE - The bellows-mender
  • SNOUT - The door-to-door metal repairman
  • STARVELING - The tailor
  • HIPPOLYTA - Queen of the Amazons, engaged to Theseus
  • HERMIA - Egeus' daughter who is 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

Setting: Athens

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Summary

Act One - Scene One: The play opens with Theseus looking forward to marrying Hippolyta. Hermia's dad, Egeus, arrives on the scene and he's choked that his daughter loves Lysander and not Demetrius (who he likes better). Hermina refuses to listen to her dad so they ask the local wise man, Theseus. He says that Hermina must either marry Demetrius or remain unmarried forever. Theseus says Hermina should be given some time to think about it.
Hermina's former friend, Helena, arrives. She wants to get with Demetrius. Hermina tells Helena to chill out - she doesn't want to marry Demetrius anyway. She let's Helena in on her plan to run away into the woods with Lysander. Then Helena (talking to herself - soap opera style) says that she will tell Demetrius about Hermina and Lysander's plan to run away. Helena thinks this will help her get on Demetrius' good side - she's not the brightest girl.

Act One - Scene Two: Now the play takes place at the carpenter, Peter Quince's house. He and his tradesmen pals (Snug, Flute and Bottom) are rehearsing the play they are going to perform at Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding. It's pretty funny, cuz these guys sooo aren't professional actors.

For the summary of scenes two through five click here.

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