A Midsummer Night's Dream is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare written sometime in the 1590s. It portrays the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors in a moonlit forest, and their interactions with the fairies who inhabit it and Duke of the Athenians. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular and is widely performed across the world.
The play features three interlocking plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazonian queen Hippolyta.
In the opening scene, Hermia refuses to comply with her father Egeus's wish for her to marry his chosen man, Demetrius. In response, Egeus quotes before Theseus an ancient Athenian law whereby a daughter must marry the suitor chosen by her father, or else face death or lifelong chastity worshipping Diana as a nun. The word in this sense is an anachronism. Hermia and her lover Lysander therefore decide to elope by escaping through the forest at night. Hermia informs her best friend Helena, but Helena has recently been rejected by Demetrius and decides to win back his favor by revealing the plan to him. Demetrius, followed doggedly by Helena, chases Hermia, who, in turn, chases Lysander, from whom she becomes separated.
Meanwhile, Oberon, king of the fairies, and his queen, Titania, arrive in the same forest to attend Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding. Oberon and Titania are estranged because Titania refuses to give her Indian page-boy to Oberon for use as his "knight" or "henchman," since the child's mother was one of Titania's worshippers. Oberon seeks to punish Titania's disobedience and recruits the mischievous Puck （also called Hobgoblin and Robin Goodfellow） to help him apply a magical juice from a flower called "love-in-idleness," which makes the victim fall in love with the first living thing he sees when he awakens. Oberon applies the juice to Titania in order to distract her and force her to give up the page-boy.
Having seen Demetrius act cruelly toward Helena, Oberon orders Puck to spread some of the juice on the eyelids of the young Athenian man. Instead, Puck puts the juice on the eyes of Lysander, who then falls in love with Helena. When Oberon finds this out, he makes Puck apply the juice to Demetrius. Due to Puck's errors, Hermia's two lovers temporarily turn against her in favor of Helena. Helena, however, is convinced that her two suitors are mocking her, as neither loved her originally. The four pursue and quarrel with each other all night, losing themselves in the dark and in the maze of their romantic entanglements.
Meanwhile, a band of "rude mechanicals" （lower-class labourers） have arranged to perform a crude play about Pyramus and Thisbe for Theseus' wedding, and venture into the forest, near Titania's bower, for their rehearsal. Nick Bottom, a stage-struck weaver, is spotted by Puck, who transforms his head into that of an ass （donkey）。 Titania is awoken by Bottom's singing, and she immediately falls in love with him. She treats him as if he is a nobleman and lavishes attention upon him. While in this state of devotion, she encounters Oberon and casually gives him the Indian boy.
Having achieved his goals, Oberon releases Titania and orders Puck to remove the ass's head from Bottom. The magical enchantment is removed from Lysander but is allowed to remain on Demetrius, so that he may reciprocate Helena's love. The fairies then disappear, and Theseus and Hippolyta arrive on the scene, during an early morning hunt. They wake the lovers and, since Demetrius doesn't love Hermia anymore, Theseus over-rules Egeus's demands and arranges a group wedding. The lovers decide that the night's events must have been a dream. After they all exit, Bottom awakes, and he too decides that he must have experienced a dream "past the wit of man."
In Athens, Theseus, Hippolyta and the lovers watch the mechanicals perform "Pyramus and Thisbe." It is ridiculous and badly performed but gives everyone pleasure regardless, and after the mechanicals dance a Bergomask （rustic dance）， everyone retires to bed. Finally, as night falls, Oberon and Titania bless the house, its occupants, and the future children of the newlyweds, and Puck delivers an epilogue to the audience asking for applause