Midsummer Night’s Dream Study Guide
1. What can you conclude about Egeus’ attitude towards his daughter Hermia’s ‘place’? Find examples from the play to support you answer.
2. What has Hermia done for which she asks Thesus’ pardon? (Line 60)
3. List the points made by Lysander (Lines 101 – 112) in defending his right to marry Hermia.
4. What is the point of Helena’s first speech? Write one sentence. (Lines 184 – 197)
5. Explain the ways Love is childlike and blind. Use Helena’s speech (Lines 232+) as your reference.
6. Find references to support each point about the Mechanicals:
a. Bottom misuses words (malapropisms)
b. Bottom likes to be in charge
c. Snug is well-suited to be the lion.
d. Snug is concerned for the ladies’ sensibilities.
7. Why must Thisbe be played by a man?
8. What device does Shakespeare use to arrange for the Mechanicals and the lovers to be in the woods together?
9. What are Oberon and Titania fighting about?
10. What image does Puck use to show the Fairy how bad the feelings are between Oberon and Titania (Lines 29 – 32)
11. List the ways Puck interacts with humans. (Lines 33 – 43)
12. What is the tone of Demetrius’ first speech? Locate the pun.
13. Who overhears the fight between Helena and Demetrius? What does he resolve to do about it? (227 – 249+)
14. Compare Lysander’s first lines with those of Demitrius in Scene 1.
15. What does Helena’s pun (Line 94) of the word fond mean?
16. What feeling does Helena’s speech (Line 105 ish) convey to the audience?
17. The lines of the lovers, whether in love, angry, hurt, or confused, all rhyme in couplets. Why did Shakespeare use this form to weave his plot of confusion? Why not use unrhymed verse?
18. Why is it ironic that Lysander claims it is his reason that makes him love Helena?
19. Read Lysander’s speech (142 – 151). In addition to love, what emotion has the magic generated? Look up the words – surfeit and heresy. How is Lysander applying these words to his ‘old love’ for Hermia?
20. To what does the word ‘your’ refer to in line 150?
21. What is the irony in Hermia’s last line in this scene? What ‘plot fact’ does it recall?
22. How does the story of Hermia and Lysander parallel the story of Oberon and Titania?
Helena several times speaks of wanting to be like Hermia. Write a paragraph in which you tell about someone (real) who you would like to be more like. Describe this person, and tell why you admire him/her and how you might go about changing to be more like them. If you are very pleased about yourself as you are, write about what you like most about yourself.