full title A Midsummer Night’s Dream
author William Shakespeare
type of work Play
genres Comedy; fantasy; romance; farce
time and place written London, 1594 or 1595
date of first publication 1600
publisher Thomas Fisher
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
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)