A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Summary : Act 3 – Written by Farrha

Scene 1

The ‘actors’ Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout and Starveling meet to begin rehearsing the play in the same clearing that Titania went to sleep in. Bottom points out that there are parts of the play that the female audience will not like such as his character Pyramus killing himself. Snout points out that the females may also be afraid of the lion. They agree to have two prologues, one explaining to the audience that Pyramus is in fact Bottom and he hasn’t really killed himself and the other with Snug showing half his face out of the lion costume declaring that he isn’t a lion but just Snug, so they don’t fear him.


The troupe of actors decide to change a lot of its play because they are worried about how the female audience will react. What do you think Shakespeare was trying to say by having them discuss this?

What do you think of the changes the acting troupe are making to the Pyramus and Thisby play?

What do you think about Titania falling in love with Bottom (dressed with an Ass’s head)?

How do you think the events of this scene affect the main storyline of Helena, Demetrius, Lysander and Hermia?

Scene 2

Oberon is waiting for Puck to report back. Puck tells him that Titania has fallen for a monster. Oberon thinks his plans are working better after all and asks Puck if he’s put the love-juice on the ‘Athenian’. Puck tells Oberon that he has just as Demetrius and Hermia enter. Oberon realizes that Puck has put the juice on the wrong Athenian.

Hermia believes that Demetrius has killed Lysander or taken him away from her. He tells her that he hasn’t killed Lysander and doesn’t know where he is, and even if he did, what would he get in return. She tells him that she would never bother him again and she leaves. Demetrius doesn’t follow her but goes to sleep.


Why do you think Helena is so suspicious of Lysander, Demetrius and Hermia of trying to mock her, as Bottom felt of his companions in Scene 1 of Act 3?

Do you think Puck will be able to make things better?

What exactly is Oberon trying to do and why was he so upset about Puck’s mistake?

What are your favourite quotes from this chapter?

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