Act I

Scene i

Hermia and Lysander elope. Helena loves Demetrius, but Demetrius loves Hermia, so Helena decides to tell him that Hermia and Lysander have left the city, so that Helena can follow Demetrius and win back his love.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act I: Scene i.

Scene ii

A group of craftsmen prepare to perform in the celebration leading up to Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act I: Scene ii.

Act II

Scene i

Oberon and Titania argue over an Indian boy. Oberon, enlisting the help of Puck, decides to use a magical juice which causes a person to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking up.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act II: Scene i.

Scene ii

Oberon sees Demetrius and Helena in the forest, and decides to make Demetrius fall in love. Acting on Oberon’s orders, Puck applies the potion to Lysander’s eyelids, believing that he is Demetrius. Lysander wakes up and falls in love with Helena.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act II: Scene ii.


Scene i

Puck transforms Nick Bottom’s head into that of an ass. When Bottom’s friends flee in terror, Bottom chases after them and ends up in a glade with the sleeping Titania, who wakes and falls in love with Bottom because of Oberon's potion.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act III: Scene i.

Scene ii

Puck and Oberon put the potion on Demetrius’s eyes while he sleeps, but he sees Helena upon waking and falls in love with her. Helena believes the men are making fun of her, while Hermia (believing that Helena has stolen Lysander) threatens Helena, Demetrius and Lysander head into the forest to have a duel, which Oberon has Puck prevent.

Scene iii

Eventually, all four of the young Athenian lovers wander back separately into the glade and fall asleep. Puck squeezes the love potion onto Lysander’s eyelids, declaring that in the morning all will be well.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act III: Scenes ii & iii.

Act IV

Scene i

Oberon removes the spell from Titania. Theseus and Hippolyta arrive and wake the young Athenians, but they dimly remember the previous night, only recalling that Demetrius and Helena love each other, as do Lysander and Hermia.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act IV: Scene i.

Scene ii

The craftsmen gather in Athens. Bottom arrives and shares that he has an incredible story from the night before, but there is no time now as they have to perform their play.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act IV: Scene ii.

Act V

Scene i

Theseus and Hippolyta discuss the merits and authenticity of the story that the young Athenians lovers have told. Along with the Athenians, they watch a play that is poorly performed by the craftsmen, although Theseus says that their intentions are laudable. Bottom and Flute then dance, and the group exits.

Scene ii

Puck enters and says that, now that night has fallen, the fairies will come to the castle and that he has been “sent with broom before / To sweep the dust behind the door” (V.ii.19–20). Oberon and Titania enter and bless the palace and its occupants with a fairy song, so that the lovers will always be true to one another, their children will be beautiful, and no harm will ever visit Theseus and Hippolyta. Oberon and Titania take their leave.


Puck makes a final address to the audience. He says that if the play has offended, the audience should remember it simply as a dream. He wishes the audience members good night and asks them to give him their hands in applause if they are kind friends.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Act V: Scenes i & ii & Epilogue.