Middle and High School
Study and Discussion Questions
1. What celebration is approaching at the opening of A Midsummer Night's Dream? How is this significant, especially as the play unfolds?
2. How is Puck presented when he first appears? What is the meaning of the label attached to him? Do your perceptions of him change over the course of the play?
3. What is the cause of the quarrel between Oberon and Titania? How is it resolved?
4. Describe the rehearsal of the play conducted by the rustics. To what extent are they aware of the humor they generate?
5. What is your first impression of Theseus and Hippolyta? Do they seem rational, heroic, model characters in their attitudes toward love? How do they treat each other? How do they change by the end of play?
6. How does Titania address Bottom when she awakes from her magical sleep?
What is the effect?
7. What are Oberon's feelings at seeing Titania's infatuation with Bottom, and what does he do to bring the infatuation to an end?
8. Identify and discuss some of the poetic passages in the play. Why do you think Shakespeare used poetry in this play?
9. How are the play's two locations and thematic contrasts (town/forest, city/country, mortal/fairy, light/moonlight, Theseus/Oberon) suggested by the words of the play? Can you identify other contrasts?
10. If you were to cast this play with present-day actors, whom would you choose to play Theseus? Hippolyta? The lovers? Oberon? Titania? Puck? Bottom? Why?