Reading Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 4

Scene 1

Summary: The scene starts off with Titania dotting on Bottom. He’s relaxing in her faerie bed requesting all sorts of crazy stuff from the fairies charged with his enjoyment. After a bit of music, they all fall asleep and Oberon and Puck who were watching the whole scene hidden decide to fix the spell and disenchant Titania.

Oberon wakes Titania up and dismisses the spell. Of course, she is repulsed by the donkey-headed bottom. Puck fixes the spell and takes the donkey head away. Oberon and Titania makeup, and decide to put all the humans in the forest to sleep and make them think that the events of the night were nothing but a dream. They walk away hand in hand as the sun rises. morning

Duke Theseus and his crew are out hunting when the hounds come across the four sleeping lovers. The trumpets wake them up and they are startled by the Duke and his soon to be wife. Hermia’s father is with them and he insists that the Duke punish her for obviously trying to run away with Lysander but Demetrius interrupts and explains that he now loves Helena and that the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. Theseus decides that they should all get married at the same time and invites everybody to the temple.

Once everyone is gone Bottom wakes up, no longer a donkey. He makes a self-speech about his awesome night and heads off towards Athens.

Commentary: This scene is pretty preposterous but this play is, after all, a comedy.  Titania is all like “sure Oberon, you enchanted me in me in my sleep making me have sex with a donkey-headed peasant, but I’m not mad.” Then the equally super tidy Duke Theseus going against Athenian law and inviting everybody to get married, yay weddings for everyone!

Scene 2

Summary: The band of actors is back in town moaping because Bottom is gone. Even worse their play is chosen as the one but nobody else can play the main part. Right when everything looks bad Bottom rolls up and tells them to prepare for the play.

Commentary: This is a transition scene, a buildup to the finale.


Reading Shakespeare

Reading Shakespeare: Part 1

Reading Shakespeare: Part 2

Macbeth: Act 1

Macbeth: Act 2

Macbeth: Act 3

Macbeth: Act 4

Macbeth: Act 5

Reading Shakespeare: Moving on from Macbeth

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 1

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 2

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 3

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