full title · A Midsummer Night’s Dream
author · William Shakespeare
type of work · Play
genres · Comedy; fantasy; romance; farce
language · English
time and place written · London, 1594 or 1595
date of first publication · 1600
publisher · Thomas Fisher
narrator · None
climax · In the strictest sense, there is no real climax, as the conflicts of the play are all resolved swiftly by magical means in Act IV; the moment of greatest tension is probably the quarrel between the lovers in Act III, scene ii.
protagonist · Because there are three main groups of characters, there is no single protagonist in the play; however, Puck is generally considered the most important character.
antagonist · None; the play’s tensions are mostly the result of circumstances, accidents, and mistakes.
settings (time) · Combines elements of Ancient Greece with elements of Renaissance England
settings (place) · Athens and the forest outside its walls
point of view · Varies from scene to scene
falling action · Act V, scene i, which centers on the craftsmen’s play
tense · Present
foreshadowing · Comments made in Act I, scene i about the difficulties that lovers face
tones · Romantic; comedic; fantastic; satirical; dreamlike; joyful; farcical
symbols · Theseus and Hippolyta represent order, stability, and wakefulness; Theseus’s hounds represent the coming of morning; Oberon’s love potion represents the power and instability of love.
themes · The difficulties of love; magic; the nature of dreams; the relationships between fantasy and reality and between environment and experience
motifs · Love out of balance; contrast (juxtaposed opposites, such as beautiful and ugly, short and tall, clumsy and graceful, ethereal and earthy)