A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Plot Summary And Critique

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Plot Summary
  3. Critique/Analysis
  4. Conclusion
  5. Vocabulary


A Midsummer Night’s Dream (c. 1594–1595) belongs to the period from Shakespeare’s experimental, a similar comedy to his mature, romantic, philosophical, jolly vein. The play develops the motif of love as an imaginative journey from reality into a fantasy world created by the one and only artist, Shakespeare.

Plot Summary

A Midsummer Night’s Dream involved four plots elaborating four groups of characters: the court party of Theseus, the four young lovers, the fairies and the rude mechanicals or would-be actors.

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The story was opened with Theseus and Hippolyta planning their wedding, which takes place in four days. Egeus marches with full of vexation, bringing the complaint against his child, his daughter Hermia along with two young men. Lysander and Demetrius. Demetrius has the consent of Egeus to marry his daughter, Hermia but Hermia is in love with Lysander. Egeus is furious to Lysander because his daughter’s heart which manipulatively filch and turned her obedience, which is due to her fathers. Hermia had to choose or else according to the law, her death will immediately provided. After what happened, when the night hits, the two young lovers decided to escape Athens. They make their intentions known to Hermia’s friend Helena, who is in love with Demetrius and Helena for her last effort to gain Demetrius’ love, she tells him about the eloping. Helena annoyingly follows Demetrius behind.

In the other part of the story are the two different groups of characters, the fairies and the rude mechanicals or would-be actors. Fairy Queen Titania and Fairy King Oberon are arguing because Titania refuses to give Oberon custody of the Indian boy she is raising. Oberon sends Puck, the trouble-maker, out to find a plant called love-in-idleness, the juice of which makes any person dote on the next creature he or she sees. The second are the actors rehearsing a play that they hope to perform for the duke and his bride.

Back to Oberon and Puck, the terrible way of Demetrius treating Helena caught the eye of Oberon, Oberon instructs Puck to put some love juice in Demetrius’ eyes at a moment when Helena will be the first person he sees upon waking. Mistaking Lysander for the Demetrius Puck puts love juice in Lysander’s eyes. Still in pursuit of Demetrius, Helena wanders past and awakens the sleeping Lysander; he immediately falls in love with her. As the night continues, Puck wanted to undo his wrongdoings but in the end he made things even worst. Both Lysander and Demetrius end up falling in love with Helena who believes that Lysander and Demetrius are making fun of her. Now, Hermia challenge Helena to a fight because of jealousy but Puck confuses them by copying their voices until they are lost separately in the forest. The four young lovers fell asleep. While sleeping, Puck reverses the spell on Lysander and casts a spell so none of the lovers will remember what has happened.

But before all that happens, when Puck already obtains the flower, as for revenge, Oberon tells him to spread its juice on the sleeping Titania’s eyelids. As Titania opens her eyes, the first thing she saw was the most ridiculous of the Athenian mechanicals. Titania immediately falls in love with him. Oberons’ plan was successful.

The morning comes, Theseus and Hippolyta discover the sleeping lovers in the forest and take them back to Athens to be married—Demetrius now loves Helena, and Lysander now loves Hermia.

When the ceremony has come to an end, Theseus decides that it is time to the mechanicals or craftsmen to perform their play, the “Pyramus and Thisbe”. The craftsmen finally present their hilarious play.


While reading Shakespeare’s masterpiece, as a reader, it was like riding a roller coaster. The book, for me, was very challenging to read. The words, dictions and definition used was not usual. Patience is highly needed.

Sorrow we know can go beyond itself; so, according to Shakespeare, can pleasure go beyond itself and become something dangerous and unknown The Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (2019). It is connected when we talk about relationships, along the way it clearly depicts how relationships can involve a great amount of cruelty, with the potential to spread discord throughout society and even in ourselves.

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream uses imagery. As we know, imagery uses the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch to describe a scenario or event. It is shown in the story that it clearly uses the imagery, one example would be the fairies. Shakespeare also used literary devices like allusion, assonance and alliteration. Allusion or the reference to an external idea. Assonance, where the words begin with the same vowel such as “arm, ’d” and “aimed”. Alliteration where words begin with the same consonant such as “loos’ed” and “love-shaft”.


In the story, we can say that, our parents has the biggest impact in our lives, ourselves, in our perspective and even when it comes to making decisions. Egues as a father in the story, threatens his own daughter to marry the man she doesn’t even love which made Hermia, her daughter’s name, to fight back. Also, Oberon did brainwash his partner Titania using the love potion just to get and seek revenge. Demetrius chases and forcing his self to someone who don’t even look him and love him as what he is.

People tend to do things the way they want it, the way they like it without any critical thinking, without stopping, looking and even worst without listening for the possible things that may affect because of their doings just to satisfy themselves.

Throughout the play, relationships especially romantically, are portrayed as a force that can spread, like an illness. At one point, you and the whole earth become infected.

It is both amazing and scary when human desire cross the boundary between reality and fantasy. A Midsummer Night’s Dream also shows the heartfelt, extreme and intense human love. It indicates in the story how much love can contagious and how much it affects as an individual.


  1. Nuptial adjective Meaning relating to marriage or weddings
  2. Methinks verb Meaning it seems to me
  3. Dowager noun Meaning a widow with a title or property derived from her late husband
  4. Revenue noun Meaning an increase usually measured in money that comes from labor, business, or property
  5. Merriment noun Meaning a mood characterized by high spirits and amusement and often accompanied by laughter
  6. Melancholy noun Meaning a state or spell of low spirits
  7. Vexation noun Meaning the act of making unwelcome intrusions upon another
  8. Filch verb Meaning to take without right and with an intent to keep
  9. Beseech verb Meaning to make a request in an earnest or urgent manner
  10. Barren adjective Meaning producing inferior or only a small amount of vegetation
  11. Hymns noun Meaning a religious song
  12. Aye adverb Meaning used to express agreement
  13. Vantage noun Meaning the more favourable condition or position in a competition
  14. Avouch verb Meaning to declare to be true or genuine
  15. Devoutly adjective Meaning firm in one’s allegiance to someone or something
  16. Confer verb Meaning to give the ownership or benefit of formally or publicly
  17. Enthral verb Meaning to hold the attention of as if by a spell
  18. Spleen noun Meaning an intense emotional state of displeasure with someone
  19. Edict noun Meaning an order publicly issued by an authority
  20. Progeny noun Meaning the descendants of a person, animal, or plant
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Plot Summary And Critique. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/a-midsummer-nights-dream-plot-summary-and-critique/
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