A quick overview of what happens in the plot of A Midsummer Night's Dream. 
  • Egeus asks Duke Theseus to uphold an old law that says he can choose his daughter’s husband. He chooses Demetrius to marry Hermia.

  • Lysander and Hermia decide to run away together through the woods so that Hermia doesn’t have to marry Demetrius. Hermia tells Helena their plan and Helena tells Demetrius.

  • The mechanicals, including a weaver called Nick Bottom, meet in the woods to rehearse a play to celebrate the wedding of Duke Theseus to Hippolyta.

  • In the woods, Oberon and Titania have an argument about a changeling boy that Oberon wants for himself but Titania refuses to give up.

  • Oberon decides to get his revenge on Titania. He sends his servant Puck to find a flower which has the power to make someone fall in love with the first living thing they see when they wake up.

  • Demetrius chases Hermia into the woods, and is followed by Helena. Oberon sees Demetrius and Helena arguing and decides to help her by using the potion on Demetrius. Unfortunately, Puck mistakenly gives it to Lysander who then falls in love with Helena.

  • Puck uses magic to turn Bottom's head into a Donkey head, while he is rehearsing in the forest. Titania sees Bottom when she wakes up and she falls in love with him.

  • Puck tries to fix his mistake with Lysander and puts some potion in Demetrius’ eyes as well. Demetrius then also falls in love with Helena which causes more confusion between the four lovers.

  • Oberon and Puck use more magic and love potion to reconcile the lovers and remove the donkey’s head from Bottom. Oberon then reunites with Titania.

  • Theseus finds the lovers in the forest and blesses their marriages. The mechanicals then perform their play for Theseus at his wedding to Hippolyta.

Teacher Notes

The following synopsis can be a great way to introduce the story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to a group of students who are getting to know the play and its themes.

Schools’ Synopsis

The events of the play can divided up between groups of students, allowing them to create their own 2 minute versions of each section and then presenting them back.

You can also print the ten lines on this page and ask students to work in pairs to arrange them in the order they take place in the play.