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TOPIC: Act 3 Plot summary

Act 3 Plot summary 11 years 5 days ago #190

  • akfarrar
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The workmen enter to start their secret rehearsal, just underneath the old oak tree, and just in front of the sleeping Fairy Queen.

Before they can actually start, Bottom - who has been thinking - raises a few problems but they are soon solved and the rehearsal gets underway.

Puck, invisible, like the Queen, and still looking for Oberon, wanders in and stops to watch - and possibly take part.

Bottom goes off to prepare to 'make an entrance' as Pyramus, the hero - and Puck follows after him to make sure it is an entrance the workmen will never forget.

Thisbe speaks her lines and the time comes for Bottom to reappear - and in he comes, led on a string by Puck - his whole head turned into a grotesque Donkey, his legs and body the strong workman still.

Everyone freezes, looks and then panic!

Running, falling, and bumping into each other and Bottom, being dragged along the ground by Puck; and tripped up, by Puck; and ridden like a Donkey in a race, by Puck. Puck the joker will make them fall into bogs, will push them into bramble patches, and scare the living daylights out of them by pretending to be a whole zoo-full of wild animals.

Off they run leaving Bottom, half man, half Ass, to stand and wonder what is wrong with them all.

He starts to sing a song about woodland birds, his big man's voice interrupted by the neighs of the part animal he has become. And his song wakes Titania, who, true to the magic juice clouding her eyes, falls madly-deeply in love with the monster.

Her arms wind around him and she calls her servants to her and orders them to fetch whatever 'Bottom the Ass' wants. To her he is beautiful, his voice that of an angel, all that she could desire.

Bottom is not sure what is going on but plays along with her - after all, this beautiful woman has a grip stronger than a wrestler and she is offering to feed him, just what he wants, a sack full of fresh hay.

Titania looks at the moon and some memory stirs deep in her - time to take her new lover off to her 'bower' - but better do it silently, so she orders her fairy servants to tie Bottom's mouth shut and lead him after her.

Puck, hidden in the bushes, follows after and leaves the stage empty.

(Scene 2)

Oberon enters thinking about what has woken Titania and is quickly followed by Puck.

Puck, very pleased with himself, tells the King that Titania is now in love with a monster. He explains what has happened, and when Oberon asks about the Athenian youth, tells him that has been sorted too.

Just then Hermia runs in followed by Demetrius – Oberon says this is the man.

Puck, a little puzzled, says this is the woman, but this isn’t the man.

Oberon looks at Puck: Puck looks at Oberon – a little unsure of what will happen.

Helena and Demetrius are in the middle of an argument. Helena wants to know what has happened to Lysander, Demetrius wants Hermia to love him.
She can’t believe Lysander has left her, she begs Demetrius to tell her where he is, she accuses Demetrius of murdering Lysander.

Demetrius denies it and says he is the murdered one, she is so cruel to him.

She now really gets angry and hits him calling him a dog.

Demetrius repeats he is innocent and he doesn’t know where Lysander is - but he asks her what he would get if he helped her.

She tells him the pleasure of never seeing her again – and storms off.

Demetrius, who is very tired and who knows when he is beaten, lies down and instantly falls asleep.

Oberon explodes at Puck – says he has made a real mess of things and orders him to go and find Helena.

Once Puck has gone off, Oberon squeezes the remaining magic juice into the eyes of Demetrius and casts a charm on him.

Puck returns and tells Oberon Helena is here – and the other Athenian youth.

Oberon orders Puck to get out of the way and both of the Fairies hide.

Helena marches in followed by Lysander begging her to love him.
The noise they make wakes Demetrius, he sits up and looks straight into the eyes of Helena – and instantly a mad raging passion grabs hold of him and he is so deeply in love with Helena he can’t see anything else.

Demetrius scrambles to his knees and swears he loves Helena.

Helena turns round, straight into the arms of Lysander. She pushes him off and stamps her foot. Both of them are laughing at her she says. Both of them are making a game out of her. They are not gentlemen; they are unfair.

Lysander tells Demetrius he is unkind – he loves Hermia, and he can have Hermia.

Demetrius says he doesn’t want Hermia he loves Helena

And Hermia stomps in, angry with Demetrius and worried about what has happened to Lysander.

She rushes to her lover, and he steps aside and ignores her.

She asks him why he left, he tells her he loves Helena.

She is amazed and says so.

Then chaos explodes!

Helena accuses Hermia, Hermia accuses Helena, Demetrius and Lysander start to argue, Hermia puts her arms around Lysander, Lysander pulls them off, insults get thrown around and threats are made.

Finally Lysander and Demetrius march off side by side to find a place to fight, and Hermia chases after Helena to scratch her eyes out!

Puck’s face has a great grin across it – until Oberon grabs his ear and asks if this is all a mistake – or did he do it on purpose?

Puck bounces up and down on tiptoes and promises his Lord it is a mistake – Oberon said a man in Athenian clothes, he didn’t know there was more than one in the woods – honestly.

Oberon gives new orders. Puck is to stop the lovers from meeting. He is to cover the forest in a black fog so that human’s cannot see their hands in front of their faces. He is to exhaust the four young people and make them sleep, then he is to restore Lysander’s eyesight only – so Lysander loves Hermia again.

Oberon gives Puck part of another flower which will remove the effects of the first, and Oberon goes off to see Titania and get the boy off her whilst she is still in love with Bottom, the Ass-Man.

Puck does as his master orders – no mistakes this time. He forces Demetrius and Lysander to run around after their own shadows exhausting them until finally they collapse on the floor and fall into a deep sleep; Helena stumbles in, sinks to floor and sleeps; and finally Hermia almost crawls in to sink exhausted into a deep, deep sleep . . .

Puck releases Demetrius from the charm, looks around at the four young people, smiles and rushes off to find Oberon.
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Act 3 Plot summary 11 years 5 days ago #192

  • William Shakespeare
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Great! It's almost like a shooting script...shot by shot... :)
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Act 3 Plot summary 11 years 2 days ago #198

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That was a very useful comment - I hadn't totally got into focus what I was doing and that comment solidified it for me.


But it has made the last act very difficult.
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