A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Summary : Act 1 – Written by Karolina

Scene 1

Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and his betrothed, Hippolyta, walk through his castle, discussing their marriage- which shall take place in the next moon. They also talking about the celebrations leading up to the nuptials. They are interrupted by a man named Egeus, who is distressed by the situation with his beautiful daughter, Hermia. Hermia has come to the castle with her father, and they are joined by two other men – Demetrius and Lysander. Hermia is to marry Demetrius, with her father’s blessing. Unfortunately for all involved, Hermia is in love with Lysander, a man who has wooed her with flowers and poetry, against her father’s wishes. Theseus, after listening to the story, appeals to Hermia that Demetrius is a good man; to which Hermia counters that Lysander is, too. Theseus gives Hermia three choices – she can marry Demetrius (as her father wishes), be punished by death for defying her family, or become a nun.

Characters: Theseus; duke of Athens, Hippolyta; queen of the Amazonians and Theseus’ betrothed, Egeus, Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander, and Helena (Philostrate, master of Theseus’ revels, is mentioned in this scene)

Place: Theseus’ Palace, Athens


What do you think of the story so far?

What is your favorite quote?

What do you think of the set up of Helena, Lysander, Hermia and Demetrius?

How about the acting troupe? Why do you think Shakespeare has included them?

To read the complete summaries of scenes 1 & 2 click here.