Investigate Character Relationships

  • Titania

    Titania is the Queen of the Fairies. At the start of the play we find her having an argument with Oberon. She refuses to give him a changeling boy that she has promised to look after. She leaves Oberon’s company with her fairies. She tells them to sing her a lullaby to help her sleep. While she is asleep, Oberon puts a magic love potion from a flower in her eyes. When she wakes up, she sees Bottom with an ass’ head and immediately falls in love with him. She showers him with gifts and makes her fairies tend on him. While in this state, Oberon convinces her to give him the changeling boy. At the end of the play the magic is reversed and she is repulsed by Bottom’s appearance. Finally, she and Oberon bless the marriages of Theseus and Hippolyta, and the other lovers.

    Facts we learn about Titania at the start of the play:

    • She wants to end the argument with Oberon as it’s having a negative effect on the natural world.
    • She promised the changeling boy’s mother that she would look after him.
    • She is served by a number of fairies and has her own ‘bower’ where she sleeps in the forest.

    Things they say:

    'Then I must be thy lady…' (Titania, 2:1).

    Titania is Oberon’s equal, in her opinion.

    'I am a spirit of no common rate.' (Titania, 3:1)

    Titania is incredibly powerful and magical.

    Things others say about them:

    '…rash wanton…' (Oberon, 2:1)

    Titania is argumentative and Oberon thinks she is impulsive.

  • Oberon

    Oberon is the King of the Fairies. At the start of the play we find him arguing with Titania, the Queen of the Fairies because she refuses to give him a changeling boy that he wants for himself. As revenge for refusing him, he decides to play a trick on her. He asks his servant, Puck, to find a magic flower which, when the juice of it is put in someone’s eyes when they are asleep, makes them fall in love with the first living thing they see when they awake. While he’s waiting he overhears Demetrius and Helena arguing and decides to help her by using the juice on Demetrius. He puts some juice in Titania’s eye and she falls in love with Bottom while he has an ass’ head. By the end of the play Oberon has undone all the magic and made peace with Titania. Finally, he and Titania bless the marriages of the Theseus and Hippolyta and the other lovers.

    Facts we learn about Oberon at the start of the play:

    • Oberon is angry that Titania has refused him the changeling boy he wants for himself.
    • Oberon has been arguing with Titania for a long time.
    • Oberon is jealous that Titania is giving the changeling boy more attention than him.

    Things they say:

    '...I am invisible; And will overhear their conference.' (Oberon, 2:1)

    Oberon has magical powers.

    'Her dotage now I do begin to pity.' (Oberon, 4:1)

    Oberon feels bad about how he’s treated Titania.

    Things others say about them:

    'For Oberon is passing fell and wrath.' (Puck, 2:1)

    Oberon is extremely angry about the fact that Titania won’t give him the changeling boy.

    'And jealous Oberon would have that child…Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy.' (Puck, 2:1)

    Oberon is jealous of the attention Titania is giving the changeling boy.

  • Bottom

    Nick Bottom is a weaver in Athens who has ambitions to be an actor. At the start of the play we see Bottom trying to convince Peter Quince that he should play all the characters in the play to celebrate the Duke’s wedding. During one of the mechanical’s rehearsals he is magically transformed into an ass, and in this state Titania, Queen of the Fairies, falls in love with him. By the end of the play he is turned back into a human and able to perform the part of Pyramus in the play.

    Facts we learn about Nick Bottom at the start of the play:

    • He has a very high opinion of his capabilities as an actor.
    • He wants to play all the parts in the play.
    • He wants to take control of the rehearsals.

    Things they say:

    'If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes: I will move storms; I will condole in some measure.' (Bottom, 1:2).

    Bottom has a lot of self-belief and ego, and makes very big claims about how good his acting is.

    Things others say about them:

    'You can play no part but Pyramus, for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man, a proper man, as one shall see in a summer’s day.' (Quince, 1: 2)

    Bottom believes he is the best actor to play every part.

    'You have not a man in all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.' (Quince, 4:2)

    Bottom is a good actor, in Quince’s opinion.

  • Puck

    Puck is Oberon’s servant. At the start of the play we find him showing off to another fairy about the mischievous tricks he’s played on humans. Oberon asks him to find a magic flower, the juice of which is used on the eyes of a sleeping person to make them fall in love with the first living thing they see when they wake up. Oberon then asks him to put some of the juice in Demetrius’ eyes but he puts it in Lysander’s by mistake which causes all kinds of problems. He then transforms Bottom’s head into an ass's head. Using magic he overcasts the night and fixes all the issues. At the end of the play he talks directly to the audience in the epilogue.

    Facts we learn about Puck at the start of the play:

    • He is mischievous and likes playing tricks on humans.
    • He is loyal to Oberon.
    • He is capable of great magic of his own.

    Things they say:

    'I am that merry wanderer of the night.' (Puck, 2:1)

    Puck is a sprite of night-time.

    'I jest to Oberon and make him smile.' (Puck, 2:1)

    Puck acts as a jester for Oberon and makes him laugh.

    Things others say about them:

    'You are that shrewd and knavish sprite call’d Robin Goodfellow.' (Fairy, 2:1)

    Puck is known as being mischievous and has a reputation.

    'My gentle Puck.' (Oberon, 2:1)

    Oberon holds Puck in high regard.

  • Demetrius

    Demetrius is a young gentleman in the court, who used to be in a relationship with Helena. He is now in love with Hermia and has her father’s blessing to marry her. He follows Hermia into the forest when he learns from Helena that she has run away with Lysander. While in the forest he has a magic spell put on him that makes him fall in love with Helena. At the end of the play he recognises that he has loved Helena all along and they get married.

    Facts we learn about Demetrius at the start of the play:

    • He has been engaged to Helena in the past.
    • He is favoured by Egeus over his rival Lysander.
    • He is angry at Helena for following him and loving him despite how badly he treats her.

    Things they say:

    'But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.' (Demetrius, 2:1)

    Demetrius threatens Helena when she chases him in the wood.

    'Now I do wish it, love it, long for it / And will for evermore be true to it.' (Demetrius, 4:2)

    Demetrius reveals how much he loves Helena.

    Things others say about them:

    'Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. (Theseus, 1:1)

    In court, Demetrius is well thought of.

    'The wildest hath not such a heart as you.' (Helena, 2:1)

    Demetrius’ behaviour towards Helena is not kind.

    'Demetrius, I’ll avouch it to his head / Made love to Nedar’s daughter, Helena, And won her soul.' (Lysander, 1:1)

    Demetrius has had a relationship with Helena in the past and it seemed serious to Lysander.

  • Hermia

    Hermia is a young woman in Athens and Egeus’ daughter. She is in love with Lysander but unfortunately Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius. Egeus invokes an ancient law that states he can choose his daughter’s husband or she will be put to death. The Duke Theseus upholds the law and condemns Hermia to death. She and Lysander decide to elope to escape the judgement. In the woods they are chased by Demetrius and Helena, Hermia’s best friend. Whilst there Lysander and Demetrius fall under a magic spell that makes them both fall in love with Helena. A huge argument ensues before more magic is used to work out all the problems. At the end of the play Theseus overrules Egeus, with Hermia and Lysander marrying.

    Facts we learn about Hermia at the start of the play:

    • She believes she has the right to choose her own husband.
    • She stands up for herself against all the odds and defies her father to run away with Lysander.
    • Hermia and Helena have grown up together as best friends.

    Things they say:

    'I know not by what power I am made bold.' (Hermia, 1:1).

    Hermia argues her case, even in front of the Duke.

    'I frown upon him, yet he loves me still…I give him curses, yet he gives me love…The more I hate, the more he follows me. His folly, Helena, is none of mine.' (Hermia, 1:1)

    Hermia has done nothing to make Demetrius love her and she does not want to upset her best friend.

    Things others say about them:

    'O, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd. She was a vixen when she went to school, And though she be but little, she is fierce.' (Helena, 3:2).

    Hermia is feisty and stands up for herself.

  • Lysander

    Lysander is a young gentleman in the court. He is in love with Hermia and she with him. Unfortunately, Hermia’s father, Egeus, wants her to marry Demetrius. Lysander and Hermia decide to run away together but they are followed by Demetrius and Helena. Whilst there, Lysander has a magic spell put on him which makes him accidently fall in love with Helena. The spell is eventually lifted and by the end of the play he and Hermia have married each other.

    Facts we learn about Lysander at the start of the play:

    • He is equally ranked to Demetrius but Egeus has chosen Demetrius to marry his daughter Hermia.
    • He has an aunt who lives outside of Athens. She considers him her heir.
    • Lysander and Hermia love each other.

    Things they say:

    'I am, my lord, as well derived as he, As well possessed: my love is more than his, My fortunes every way as fairly ranked, If not with vantage, as Demetrius.' (Lysander, 1:1)

    Lysander and Demetrius are equally ranked.

    Things others say about them:

    'With cunning hast thou filched my daughter’s heart.' (Egeus, 1:1)

    Lysander is loved by Hermia, but Egeus thinks it was a cunning plan.

  • Helena

    Helena is a young woman in Athens. She is in love with Demetrius but he is not in love with her. Instead, he loves her best friend Hermia. As a way of convincing Demetrius to love her, Helena tells him about Hermia’s plan to run away with Lysander and together they go into the forest to find her. While there, Lysander and Demetrius fall under a magic spell that makes them both fall in love with Helena. She is confused, enraged and upset by this turn of events, eventually falling out with Hermia. By the end of the play, Demetrius falls in love with her and they get married.

    Facts we learn about Helena at the start of the play:

    • She is desperate for Demetrius’ love and would follow him anywhere.
    • She betrays her best friend’s secret to make Demetrius happy.
    • She is well-regarded throughout Athens as being Hermia’s equal.

    Things they say:

    'Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.' (Helena, 1:1)

    Helena is just as attractive as Hermia. She cannot understand what it is that makes Demetrius love Hermia and not her.

    'I am your spaniel, and, Demetrius, The more you beat me, I will fawn on you.' (Helena, 2:1)

    She puts being loved by Demetrius ahead of her own safety and self-worth.

    Things others say about them:

    '…and she, sweet lady, dotes, Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry…' (Lysander, 1:1)

    Helena is desperately in love with Demetrius and the court know about it.

    'Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, For I am sick when I do look on thee.' (Demetrius, 2:1)

    Helena annoys Demetrius and he can’t bear the sight of her.

  • Theseus

    Theseus is the Duke of Athens. At the start of the play we find him talking to Hippolyta, his fiancée, about their upcoming marriage. He is soon interrupted by Egeus and has to make a judgement about Hermia’s behaviour. At the end of the play he overrules Egeus and allows the lovers to get married at the same time as him and Hippolyta.

    Facts we learn about Theseus at the start of the play:

    • He has conquered Hippolyta’s Army and she is the ‘prize’ for the defeat.
    • He wishes to make up for the injuries he has inflicted upon her.
    • He has a constitutional role to play when upholding the law and has to weigh this up against his own feelings when making the judgement of Hermia.

    Things they say:

    'Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword, And won thy love doing thee injuries.' (Theseus, 1: 1)

    Theseus won Hippolyta’s hand in marriage through fighting against her people.

    Things others say about them:

    'Happy be Theseus, our renowned Duke!' (Egeus, 1:1)

    Theseus is well respected by his people.

  • Egeus

    Egeus is a courtier in Athens. His daughter Hermia is in love with Lysander, a gentleman of the court, but he wants her to marry Demetrius. He asks the Duke’s permission for his daughter to either marry Demetrius or be put to her death – as is decreed in an old law. By the end of the play he still wants Hermia to marry Demetrius but he is overruled by Duke Theseus.

    Facts we learn about Egeus at the start of the play:

    • He is determined for Hermia to marry Demetrius.
    • He is willing to sacrifice his daughter rather than listen to her views.
    • He is well-regarded by the Duke.

    Things they say:

    'Full of vexation come I.' (Egeus, 1:1)

    Egeus is acting out of anger at Hermia’s refusal to marry Demetrius rather than rationally.

    Things others say about them:

    '…good Egeus…' (Theseus, 1:1)

    Egeus is well-regarded by the court and the Duke of Athens.

Explore their relationships

Titania

  • Titania - Oberon

    At the start of the play, Oberon and Titania’s relationship is strained. They have been arguing over a little changeling boy, who both of them want to keep. Titania will not tell him where the boy is when he visits her.

    ‘Tarry, rash wanton.’ (Oberon, 2:1)
    ‘…with they brawls they have disturbed our sport.’ (Titania, 2:1)

    Oberon decides to put the magic potion in Titania’s eyes with the help of his servant Puck. He seems to want to teach her a lesson.

    ‘Wake when some vile thing is near.’ (Oberon, 2:2)

    Once Titania has seen and fallen in love with Bottom, Oberon seems to forgive her and wants to put an end to their arguments. They reunite before the end of the play.

    ‘Come my queen, take hands with me…’ (Oberon, 4:1)

  • Titania - Bottom

    When Titania first sees Bottom she falls in love with him instantly because of the potion, even though he has the head of a donkey. Bottom is confused as to why someone so beautiful would love him but is also besotted with the fairy queen and her attention.

    ‘And thy fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me, On first view to say, to swear, I love thee.’ (Titania, 3:1)
    ‘…reason and love keep little company these days.’ (Bottom, 3:1)

    Titania showers Bottom with gifts and gives him everything he wants, much to the amusement of her fairy servants.

    ‘Or say, sweet love, what thou desir’st to eat?’ (Titania, 4:1)

    When the potion is reversed and Titania sees Bottom clearly, still with his donkey’s head, she falls instantly out of love with him and thinks he is horrible.

    ‘O how mine eyes do loathe his viasge now!’ (Titania, 4:1)

Oberon

  • Oberon - Titania

    At the start of the play, Oberon and Titania’s relationship is strained. They have been arguing over a little changeling boy, who both of them want to keep. Titania will not tell him where the boy is when he visits her.

    ‘Tarry, rash wanton.’ (Oberon, 2:1)
    ‘…with they brawls they have disturbed our sport.’ (Titania, 2:1)

    Oberon decides to put the magic potion in Titania’s eyes with the help of his servant Puck. He seems to want to teach her a lesson.

    ‘Wake when some vile thing is near.’ (Oberon, 2:2)

    Once Titania has seen and fallen in love with Bottom, Oberon seems to forgive her and wants to put an end to their arguments. They reunite before the end of the play.

    ‘Come my queen, take hands with me…’ (Oberon, 4:1)

  • Oberon - Puck

    Puck is Oberon’s servant and seems willing to do anything for his master, although Puck’s mischievous side comes across clearly. Oberon tasks Puck with his own errands and seems to trust him.

    ‘I’ll put a girdle round about the earth, In forty minutes.’ (Puck, 2:1)
    ‘My gentle Puck, come hither’. (Oberon, 2:1)

    Oberon is annoyed at Puck when he mistakes Lysander for Demetrius and directs him to go and fix it.

    ‘I go, I go, look how I go! Swifter than an arrow from a Tartar’s bow.’ (Puck, 3:2)
    ‘This is thy negligence.’ (Oberon, 3:2)

    Once Puck has fixed his mistake their relationship seems to be restored and Oberon treats Puck with the same respect he did before.

    ‘Welcome, good Robin.’ (Oberon, 4:1)

Bottom

  • Bottom - Titania

    When Titania first sees Bottom she falls in love with him instantly because of the potion, even though he has the head of a donkey. Bottom is confused as to why someone so beautiful would love him but is also besotted with the fairy queen and her attention.

    ‘And thy fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me, On first view to say, to swear, I love thee.’ (Titania, 3:1)
    ‘…reason and love keep little company these days.’ (Bottom, 3:1)

    Titania showers Bottom with gifts and gives him everything he wants, much to the amusement of her fairy servants.

    ‘Or say, sweet love, what thou desir’st to eat?’ (Titania, 4:1)

    When the potion is reversed and Titania sees Bottom clearly, still with his donkey’s head, she falls instantly out of love with him and thinks he is horrible.

    ‘O how mine eyes do loathe his viasge now!’ (Titania, 4:1)

Puck

  • Puck - Oberon

    Puck is Oberon’s servant and seems willing to do anything for his master, although Puck’s mischievous side comes across clearly. Oberon tasks Puck with his own errands and seems to trust him.

    ‘I’ll put a girdle round about the earth, In forty minutes.’ (Puck, 2:1)
    ‘My gentle Puck, come hither’. (Oberon, 2:1)

    Oberon is annoyed at Puck when he mistakes Lysander for Demetrius and directs him to go and fix it.

    ‘I go, I go, look how I go! Swifter than an arrow from a Tartar’s bow.’ (Puck, 3:2)
    ‘This is thy negligence.’ (Oberon, 3:2)

    Once Puck has fixed his mistake their relationship seems to be restored and Oberon treats Puck with the same respect he did before.

    ‘Welcome, good Robin.’ (Oberon, 4:1)

Demetrius

  • Demetrius - Hermia

    At the start of the play, Demetrius wants to marry Hermia but she is in love with Lysander.

    ‘…I refuse to wed Demetrius.’ (Hermia, 1:1)
    ‘Relent sweet Hermia.’ (Demetrius, 1:1)

    Demetrius follows Hermia after learning she has run away with Lysander. When Lysander disappears Hermia blames Demetrius for killing him and does not trust him.

    ‘Out dog! Out Cur!’ (Hermia, 3:2)

    When Demetrius wakes and falls in love with Helena, Hermia is more concerned about Lysander than Demetrius and blames Helena for what is happening.

    ‘My love to Hermia melted as the snow.’ (Demetrius, 4:1)

  • Demetrius - Helena

    At the start of the play Helena is in love with Demetrius, who she was once engaged to, but he does not love her anymore. She tells him that Hermia is running away into the forest and he goes to follow her instead.

    ‘Through Athens I am thought as fair as she…Demetrius thinks not so.’ (Helena, 1:1)

    Helena and Demetrius’ relationship gets worse in the forest. She follows after him and Demetrius tells her to go home. She claims she will just love him more.

    ‘I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.’ (Demetrius, 2:1)
    ‘You draw me you hard-hearted adamant.’ (Helena, 2:1)

    Demetrius is affected by the love potion that Puck has given him and he suddenly falls in love with Helena. His behaviour has changed so quickly, she thinks it’s a cruel joke.

    ‘Oh Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!’ (Demetrius, 3:2)
    ‘O spite! O hell! I see you are all bent to set against me for your merriment.’ (Helena, 3:2)

    By the end of the play Demetrius and Helena’s relationship has been restored and they are in love with each other.

    ‘The object and the pleasure of mine eye, Is only Helena.’ (Demetrius, 4:1)
    ‘I have found Demetrius like a jewel, Mine own, and not mine own.’ (Helena, 4:1)

Hermia

  • Hermia - Lysander

    At the start of the play, Lysander and Hermia’s relationship seems strong. They have decided to marry each other even though Hermia's father wants her to marry Demetrius and the Duke, Theseus, has threatened that she will die if she doesn’t obey her father.

    ‘…gentle Hermia, may I marry thee.’ (Lysander, 1:1)
    ‘Before the time I did Lysander see, seem’d, Athens as a paradise to me…He hath turned a heaven unto a hell.’ (Hermia, 1:1)

    Lysander and Hermia run away together into the forest to escape her father’s plan and Theseus’ decision. They stay together in the forest but Hermia asks that they sleep apart and Lysander respects this.

    ‘One turf shall serve as pillow for us both.’ (Lysander, 2:2)

    Lysander is affected by the love potion that Puck gives to him by mistake. It causes him to fall in love with Helena instead, because she is the first thing he sees. This hurts Hermia, who is confused and upset.

    ‘Content with Hermia? No, I do repent the tedious minutes I with her have spent.’ (Lysander, 2:2)
    ‘…can you do me greater harm than hate?’ (Hermia, 3:2)

    When the effects of the potion wear off, Lysnader’s feelings for Hermia return and the two of them get married, with Theseus conducting the service.

    ‘For in the temple, by and by, with us, these couples shall eternally be knit.’ (Theseus, 4:1)

  • Hermia - Egeus

    Egeus has complete power over Hermia, and is able to decide who she will marry. At the start of the play he chooses to use an ancient law to threaten her with death if she does not obey him in marrying Demetrius.

    ‘I beg the ancient privilege of Athens: As she is mine, I may dispose of her.’ (Egeus, 1:1)
    ‘Be advis’d fair maid. To you your father should be as a God.’ (Theseus, 1:1)
    ‘I would my father look’d but with my eyes.’ (Hermia, 1:1)

    Hermia pulls back some power by running away with Lysander, to escape Egeus’ commands.

    ‘Lysander and myself will fly this place.’ (Hermia, 1:1)

    Egeus’ power over Hermia is removed by Theseus’ decree at the end of the play, which allows her to marry Lysander and disobey her father.

    ‘Fair lover, you are fortunately met…For in the temple…These couple shall eternally be knit.’ (Theseus, 4:1)

  • Hermia - Demetrius

    At the start of the play, Demetrius wants to marry Hermia but she is in love with Lysander.

    ‘…I refuse to wed Demetrius.’ (Hermia, 1:1)
    ‘Relent sweet Hermia.’ (Demetrius, 1:1)

    Demetrius follows Hermia after learning she has run away with Lysander. When Lysander disappears Hermia blames Demetrius for killing him and does not trust him.

    ‘Out dog! Out Cur!’ (Hermia, 3:2)

    When Demetrius wakes and falls in love with Helena, Hermia is more concerned about Lysander than Demetrius and blames Helena for what is happening.

    ‘My love to Hermia melted as the snow.’ (Demetrius, 4:1)

Lysander

  • Lysander - Hermia

    At the start of the play, Lysander and Hermia’s relationship seems strong. They have decided to marry each other even though Hermia's father wants her to marry Demetrius and the Duke, Theseus, has threatened that she will die if she doesn’t obey her father.

    ‘…gentle Hermia, may I marry thee.’ (Lysander, 1:1)
    ‘Before the time I did Lysander see, seem’d, Athens as a paradise to me…He hath turned a heaven unto a hell.’ (Hermia, 1:1)

    Lysander and Hermia run away together into the forest to escape her father’s plan and Theseus’ decision. They stay together in the forest but Hermia asks that they sleep apart and Lysander respects this.

    ‘One turf shall serve as pillow for us both.’ (Lysander, 2:2)

    Lysander is affected by the love potion that Puck gives to him by mistake. It causes him to fall in love with Helena instead, because she is the first thing he sees. This hurts Hermia, who is confused and upset.

    ‘Content with Hermia? No, I do repent the tedious minutes I with her have spent.’ (Lysander, 2:2)
    ‘…can you do me greater harm than hate?’ (Hermia, 3:2)

    When the effects of the potion wear off, Lysnader’s feelings for Hermia return and the two of them get married, with Theseus conducting the service.

    ‘For in the temple, by and by, with us, these couples shall eternally be knit.’ (Theseus, 4:1)

  • Lysander - Helena

    Lysander knows Helena as the best friend of Hermia, who he wants to marry. Helena is the only person who knows when Hermia and Lysander run away together. He respects her and seems to want things to work out between her and Demetrius.

    ‘Helen adieu. As you on him, Demetrius dote on you.’ (Lysander, 1:1)

    Lysander and Helena’s relationship changes when Puck gives him the love potion and makes him fall in love with her. Helena is confused because she knows how much he loved Hermia, her best friend.

    ‘And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.’ (Lysander, 2:2)
    ‘I thought you lord of more true gentleness.’ (Helena, 2:2)

    Helena becomes more confused as Lysander makes great declarations of love, thinking the whole thing must be a joke.

    ‘O spite! O hell! I see you are all bent to set against me for your merriment.’ (Helena, 3:2)

    Lysander and Helena’s relationship returns to normal as the love potion is reversed and Lysander returns to loving Hermia.

Helena

  • Helena - Demetrius

    At the start of the play Helena is in love with Demetrius, who she was once engaged to, but he does not love her anymore. She tells him that Hermia is running away into the forest and he goes to follow her instead.

    ‘Through Athens I am thought as fair as she…Demetrius thinks not so.’ (Helena, 1:1)

    Helena and Demetrius’ relationship gets worse in the forest. She follows after him and Demetrius tells her to go home. She claims she will just love him more.

    ‘I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.’ (Demetrius, 2:1)
    ‘You draw me you hard-hearted adamant.’ (Helena, 2:1)

    Demetrius is affected by the love potion that Puck has given him and he suddenly falls in love with Helena. His behaviour has changed so quickly, she thinks it’s a cruel joke.

    ‘Oh Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!’ (Demetrius, 3:2)
    ‘O spite! O hell! I see you are all bent to set against me for your merriment.’ (Helena, 3:2)

    By the end of the play Demetrius and Helena’s relationship has been restored and they are in love with each other.

    ‘The object and the pleasure of mine eye, Is only Helena.’ (Demetrius, 4:1)
    ‘I have found Demetrius like a jewel, Mine own, and not mine own.’ (Helena, 4:1)

  • Helena - Lysander

    Lysander knows Helena as the best friend of Hermia, who he wants to marry. Helena is the only person who knows when Hermia and Lysander run away together. He respects her and seems to want things to work out between her and Demetrius.

    ‘Helen adieu. As you on him, Demetrius dote on you.’ (Lysander, 1:1)

    Lysander and Helena’s relationship changes when Puck gives him the love potion and makes him fall in love with her. Helena is confused because she knows how much he loved Hermia, her best friend.

    ‘And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.’ (Lysander, 2:2)
    ‘I thought you lord of more true gentleness.’ (Helena, 2:2)

    Helena becomes more confused as Lysander makes great declarations of love, thinking the whole thing must be a joke.

    ‘O spite! O hell! I see you are all bent to set against me for your merriment.’ (Helena, 3:2)

    Lysander and Helena’s relationship returns to normal as the love potion is reversed and Lysander returns to loving Hermia.

Theseus

  • Theseus - Egeus

    At the start of the play, Egeus has come to Theseus to get his approval and support as he is trying to make Hermia marry Demetrius. As the Duke of Athens, Theseus has a lot of power in this situation.

    ‘Thanks good Egeus. What’s the news with thee’. (Theseus, 1:1)
    ‘Full of vexation come I, with complaint, Against my child.’ (Egeus, 1:1)

    At the end of the play, Theseus uses his power over Egeus and overrules his decision, allowing Hermia and Lysander to marry.

    ‘Egeus, I will overbear your will.’ (Theseus, 4:1)

Egeus

  • Egeus - Theseus

    At the start of the play, Egeus has come to Theseus to get his approval and support as he is trying to make Hermia marry Demetrius. As the Duke of Athens, Theseus has a lot of power in this situation.

    ‘Thanks good Egeus. What’s the news with thee’. (Theseus, 1:1)
    ‘Full of vexation come I, with complaint, Against my child.’ (Egeus, 1:1)

    At the end of the play, Theseus uses his power over Egeus and overrules his decision, allowing Hermia and Lysander to marry.

    ‘Egeus, I will overbear your will.’ (Theseus, 4:1)

  • Egeus - Hermia

    Egeus has complete power over Hermia, and is able to decide who she will marry. At the start of the play he chooses to use an ancient law to threaten her with death if she does not obey him in marrying Demetrius.

    ‘I beg the ancient privilege of Athens: As she is mine, I may dispose of her.’ (Egeus, 1:1)
    ‘Be advis’d fair maid. To you your father should be as a God.’ (Theseus, 1:1)
    ‘I would my father look’d but with my eyes.’ (Hermia, 1:1)

    Hermia pulls back some power by running away with Lysander, to escape Egeus’ commands.

    ‘Lysander and myself will fly this place.’ (Hermia, 1:1)

    Egeus’ power over Hermia is removed by Theseus’ decree at the end of the play, which allows her to marry Lysander and disobey her father.

    ‘Fair lover, you are fortunately met…For in the temple…These couple shall eternally be knit.’ (Theseus, 4:1)

Teacher Notes

On this page students can arrange the characters on the screen, showing the connections between the characters and their relationships. They can then print this using the button on the page and label them with their own quotes.

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