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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

Contents

Act III, scenes ii–iii

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Act III, scenes ii–iii

Act III, scenes ii–iii

Act III, scenes ii–iii

Act III, scenes ii–iii

Act III, scenes ii–iii

Like Act III, scene i, Act III, scene ii serves a mainly developmental role in the plot structure of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, focusing on the increasing confusion among the four Athenian lovers. Now that both men have been magically induced to switch their love from Hermia to Helena, the vanities and insecurities of both women become far more pronounced. Helena’s low self-esteem prevents her from believing that either man could really be in love with her. Hermia, who is used to having both men fawn on her, has her vanity stung by the fact that they are suddenly cold and indifferent toward her. She reveals a latent insecurity about her short stature when she assumes that Helena has used her height (“her personage, her tall personage”) to win Lysander’s love, and her quick temper is revealed in Helena’s fear that Hermia will attack her (III.ii.293). The men’s exaggerated masculine aggression leads them to vow to protect Helena from the dreaded Hermia—a ridiculous state of affairs given that they are two armed men whereas Hermia is a tiny, unarmed woman. Their aggression betrays Helena, however, as the men refocus it on their competition for her love.

The potion is responsible for the confusion of the lovers’ situation; thus, Shakespeare links the theme of magic to the motif of imbalanced love, which dominates the scene. Had the love potion never been brought into play, the Athenian lovers would still be tangled in their romantic mess, but they would all understand it, whereas the fairies’ meddling has left both Hermia and Helena unable to comprehend the situation. Additionally, Puck’s magical ventriloquism is what prevents Lysander and Demetrius from killing each other at the end of the scene. Thus, magic both brings about their mutual hostility (to this point, Lysander has not been antagonistic toward Demetrius) and resolves it.

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ACT III, SCENES II–III QUIZ

What does Oberon realize when he sees Hermia and Demetrius in the clearing?
That Puck has given the love potion to the wrong woman
That Puck has used up all of the love potion
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Act III, scenes ii–iii QUIZ

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A Midsummer Night's Dream Blog

by DanMitchell23, January 02, 2013

I've just bought the complete works of Shakespeare for my University module. Visit my blog to see what I thought about this play ...

http://inbetweenthelines1.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/shakespeare-play-a-midsummer-nights-dream/

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24 out of 48 people found this helpful

A Midsummer Nights Dream

by Matt_1321, March 06, 2014

The idea that would help me and probably lots of others, is to have quizzes for each chapter. The way it is now you have had to read the whole book to take a test/quiz. please improve.

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9 out of 16 people found this helpful

School

by Grayson_Breland, May 24, 2014

This helped a ton I have a test on this and this really helped I am confident in myself that I will get a good grade

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4 out of 4 people found this helpful

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