A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Guide
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
FOR UNIVERSITY OR HIGH SCHOOL AUDIENCES
1. Why do you think Shakespeare took mythological and folklore tales and put them all in the same
world? Does this seem to work? Why?
2. What do you think are Oberon’s intentions of the cruelty of making Titania falling in love with
Bottom with the Ass’s head? Does he win the battle? Why or Why not? Do you think Titania
completely loses control when under the spell? Would you say that she wins or loses the battle
3. What is the significance of the changeling boy? Do you think he should be onstage or just
mentioned as a symbol of their discontent for one another? Is Shakespeare possibly making a
political statement with the use of the Indian Changeling boy?
4. How do you perceive the way Demetrius treats Helena in Act two Scene one when she follows him into the wood? Demetrius tells Helena:
I will not stay they questions. Let me go;
Or if thou follow me, do not believe
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood
What do you think Demetrius means when he says this?
5. How do you see Hippolyta? What kind of women does she represent?
6. How do you see Theseus? What kind of man does he represent?
7. How many different stories are interwoven to make up the plot of "A Midsummer Night's
Dream"? What effect does the criss‐crossing of plot lines have on the play as a whole?
FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND JUNIOR HIGH AUDIENCES
1. Who are your favorite characters? Which one do you identify with most? Which one would you
most like to perform if you were cast in the play?
2. Describe the scenery and costumes for the production? Is that how you imaged this play when
you planned to come see it? What other ways might it be designed?
3. Describe the music and dance in the production. How did they contribute to the overall effect
of the play?
4. In the play there are many transformations. Can you describe some of them?
5. Could you understand the spoken language of the play? Was that true for all of the play, or just
parts of the play? What contributed to your ability to comprehend the language, or not?
6. Describe the fairies and the Fairy World in the production. How were they depicted? What
signals did the production provide that told you when someone was a fairy? When did you see
the fairies show up in the production? Did that surprise you? Confuse you? Discuss the
importance of the fairies in the production.
7. Is the play a comedy? Where there serious themes being discussed?
8. How should we think about Bottom's experience, before, during, and after his night in the
woods? Is he the same person at the end of the play as he is at the beginning? Why or why
not? Do other characters change as a result of their travels through the play. Who does
change? Who does not?
FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION
1. The play contains at least one "play within a play"‐‐"The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most
Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisby". Are there other "theatrical frames" in the play?
2. How does the fact that this story is told through the medium of live theatre affect the way we
see and understand the story and the ideas it embodies?