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Free Study Guide-A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare-Free
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CONFLICT

In this play, Shakespeare has woven together three different worlds to create a most colorful tapestry of words. In these different worlds there are different conflicting interests, but they do not hurt or harm. The play is basically a romantic comedy of situation, where incidents are more important than individuals.

Protagonist

The protagonist is true love, as represented by three couples: Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius, and Hippolyta and Theseus. The whole play centers around the central idea of lovers finding one another and being free to marry.


Antagonist

The antagonist is the group of forces that conspire to prevent the true lovers from being joined in matrimony. As stated in Act I, the course of true love never runs smoothly. Egeus opposes the love between Hermia and Lysander and goes to the extent of demanding Hermia's death if she does not marry Demetrius. He, therefore, also drives a wedge between Helena and Demetrius. The fairies, through their mixed-up magic, also confuse Lysander and Demetrius, who both are made to fall in love with Helena, a fact that causes Hermia to be jealous and angry.

Climax

The climax in A Midsummer Night's Dream occurs when Puck, the fairy, removes the spell from Lysander, allowing true love to run its normal course. Hermia and Lysander are united; accepting that he cannot have Hermia, Demetrius reasserts his love for Helena. Egeus has no choice but to accept Lysander and agrees that he can marry Hermia. Theseus invites the two couples to marry at the same time he marries Hippolyta.

Outcome

The play ends in comedy, for true love prevails, and three couples are happily united.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes


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Free Study Guide-A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare-Free
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