A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, is one his most popular and performed works. It's exact date of completion unknown but generally assumed to be between 1590 and 1597. The play documents the series of events that surround the marriage of Duke of Athens, Theseus, to Hippolya.

Other characters include four youthful Athenian lovers and a set of six novice actors who are nicknamed 'The Mechanicals.' These beings are entirely controlled and their actions manipulated by fairies that rule the forest in which the play is set.

The play begins with a Hermia, who has been ordered by her father Egeus to marry Demetrius though she is in love with Lysander. Egeus is so irritated by his daughter's defiance that he puts into place an ancient Athenian law under the Duke Theseus. The law forces a daughter to wed whatever suitor her father selects for her or face death. Duke Theseus offers Hermia the choice of becoming a nun instead, and living in lifelong chastity.

Peter Quince, a player who plans on performing at the Duke and Queen's wedding, creates a production of "Pyramus and Thisbe," along with four other fellow players. The other players, Francis Flute, Nick Bottom, Robin Starveling, Tom Snout, and Snug, and annoyed by Nick Bottom's over-enthusiasm and don't agree with him that he should play multiple characters. Peter Quince worries that the performance will scare the Duke and Queen into hanging them all.

Meanwhile, Oberon, the king of the fairies has come to the forest outside Athens with his queen Titania. The couple is estranged after a disagreement wherein Titania refuses to hand over her Indian fairy child to Oberon for use as his watchman. Oberon is dismayed by Titania's disobedience and asks Robin Goodfellow, better known as "Puck," to help him create a love potion. The concoction will be able to be applied to the eyelids and when the person anointed awakes they will be in love with the first person they see.

Oberon's plan imagines that Titania will fall in love with an animal she encounters, which will give him a reason to shame her and persuade her to give up her Indian changeling.

Hermia and Lysander also find themselves in the same forest, hoping to elope. Helena, trying to please Demetrius and regain his love, tells him about the plan hoping he'll kill Lysander. Helena continues to pursue Demetrius but he insults her. Oberon sees this action and orders love potion put upon Demetrius, but his servant Puck accidentally anoints Lysander instead. Helena happens upon him and he falls in love with her upon awakening.

Oberon is enraged to find Demetrius still trailing Hermia. He fetches Puck as soon as Demetrius falls asleep to treat his eyes with love potion, and then to fetch Helena to be there upon his awakening. Helena is suddenly pursed by both Lysander and Demetrius and yet she doesn't believe their affections to be sincere. Hermia is upset and blames Helena for her lost love, and the two men duel over Helena. Oberon intervenes and removes the charm from Lysander which brings him back to loving Hermia.

While the players recite their lines, Titania has received Oberon's love potion and has awoken by the song of the jackass Bottom's song. She falls madly in love and Oberon seizes control of her changeling, then releases her from her spell and also orders Helena, Hermia, Demetrius and Lysander to be put to sleep and believing they have been dreaming upon awakening.

After all the fairies disperse, Theseus and Hippolyta arrive and wake the lovers, who all concur they've had quite a dream. While watching the mechanicals perform Pyramus and Thisbe, everyone laughs and retires to bed. Puck end the play by suggesting that everyone, including the audience, has just experienced a dream.