A Midsummer Night's Dream

Full of Vexation


A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens with the Duke, Theseus, and his wife-to-be, Hippolyta, talking about their upcoming wedding. Egeus, Hermia’s father, enters at line 20, complaining about his daughter and making demands of the Duke.

  1. Read lines Act 1, Scene 1, lines 20-127. Describe what happens in this scene and which characters are involved.
  2. The scene quickly shifts from happiness to a more serious tone. Why do you think Shakespeare has done this?
  3. Read up to line 179. Who are the two characters and what do they decide to do?
  4. How does this decision impact the rest of the play?


Act 1, Scene 1 is set in motion after two characters are not allowed to do something they feel is right, because the rules of the world they live in declare it wrong.

Create a story outline for a fictional movie, play or novel. Make sure you do the following:

  • Decide on a time period or setting for your story that is in a world with definite restrictions and rules
  • Create two characters who are in a close relationship (could be partners, friends, brother and sister, etc.)
  • Decide what these two characters want most in the world that goes against the rules of the world
  • Decide whether the two characters fight the rule or agree to it
  • What happens after this point?
  • What could be a possible climax and ending for the story?

Choose one of the following moments in the story and write it in your chosen form:

  • The moment the characters are told they would be going against the rules of their world if they do what they want to do
  • The moment they either decide to fight against or agree to the rule
  • A private moment between the two characters where they discuss why they want to break the rules of their society.

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