“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is
a comedy about four Athenians,
two men and two women.
At first, both men Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia,
she only loves Lysander though,
and wants nothing to do with Demetrius.
The other woman Helena loves Demetrius,
but of course, he doesn’t love her.
The real confusion in the play
starts when a fairy, named Robin Goodfellow,
uses magic to try to make Demetrius love Helena back.
Only he gets the wrong guy,
he makes Lysander fall in love with Helena.
He tries to fix the mess,
and does make Demetrius fall in love with Helena,
but now both men love Helena, and neither loves Hermia.
Almost everyone is miserable
until Robin finally resolves the mix-up,
and the four Athenians pair off into couples,
making everyone happy.
The play starts with Theseus, the Duke of Athens,
telling his master of ceremonies to
get the city ready for his upcoming wedding to Hippolyta,
the queen of the Amazons whom he has just conquered.
Egeus, a nobleman,
complains to Theseus because his daughter Hermia insists on
loving Lysander instead of Demetrius
the men he wants her to marry.
Hermia says she can’t marry Demetrius,
she’d rather die than marry anyone but Lysander.
Lysander points out that
Demetrius used to like another woman named Helena,
who’s still in love with him.
Theseus says Hermia has to obey her father,
otherwise her choices are to die or become a nun.
Hermia and Lysander decide to run away from Athens,
so they can be together.
Helena comes in and complains about
how Demetrius loves Hermia instead of her.
Hermia and Lysander tell her it’s okay,
they’re running away tonight.
Helena decides to tell Demetrius where they’re going,
just so she can have a chance to see him.
Some laborers get together to plan a play
that they hope to perform at Theseus’s wedding.
Bottom, the weaver, is especially enthusiastic
about playing the lead part.
He’s ignorant and comical,
but the other laborers look to him as their leader.
In the forest, Oberon and Titania,the king and queen of the fairies,
are having a fight
because Oberon wants Titania to give him a changeling boy,
and she won’t do it.
A changeling is a child that the fairies have stolen
and replaced with a fake child.
To get revenge on Titania,
Oberon sends a fairy named Robin Goodfellow
to fetch a flower with magic properties.
When Oberon puts the flower’s juice on Titania’s eyes,
she’ll fall in love with
the next creature she sees whatever it is.
Robin is the type of mischievous fairy called a Puck,
his name is not Puck.
Helena had come through the forest following Demetrius.
He’s looking for Hermia and Lysander,
so he can stop them from eloping.
And she’s just following him,
he keeps telling her to get lost,
he dosen’t like her and she’s annoying,
but she won’t stop following.
Oberon sees all this and when Robin brings him the flower,
he tells him to take some of the juice,
go find the young Athenian man in the forest,
and make him love the woman who’s chasing him.
Oberon squeezes the juice on Titania’s eyes as she sleeps.
Hermia and Lysander come in and lie down
to sleep a little apart from each other.
Robin comes in and puts the juice on Lysander’s eyes
instead of Demetrius’s.
Demetrius comes running through this glade,
trying to get away from Helena.
She can’t keep up with him,
but she discovers Lysander sleeping on the ground,
and Lysander jumps up and says he loves her.
Lysander keeps insisting he’s in love with her,
but she thinks he’s mocking her and tells him to stop.
Then leaves with him following.
Hermia weaks up and finds him gone
and goes off to search for him.
The next morning, the laborers come to
the same spot in the woods to practise their play,
while Robin hides and watches them.
Bottom goes into the woods to wait for his cue
and when he returns,
Robin has given him an ass’s head.
Titania wakes up and
since Bottom is the first thing she sees,
she falls in love with him.
She says he has to stay in the wood
where her fairies will wait on him.
Robin and Oberon discuss how their tricks are going.
And Hermia comes in, pursued by Demetrius,
she’s still looking for Lysander,
and she think Demetrius must have killed him.
Oberon tells Robin he messed up,
because he didn’t make Demetrius love Helena.
Hermia storms off angrily and Demetrius sleeps.
Oberon sends Robin to go find Helena,
then he puts the love juice set in Demetrius’s eyes.
Lysander and Helena come into the glade,
he’s still telling her he loves her,
and she’s still trying to
get him to leave her alone.
德米特里厄斯醒来 看见了她 就爱上了她
Demetrius wakes up, sees her and falls in love.
Now Lysander and Demetrius both love Helena,
and she thinks they’re ganging up
to make fun of her,
while they start bickering about which one really loves her.
Hermia comes in, and Lysander tells her
he doesn’t love her anymore.
Hermia is shocked, and Helena thinks
Hermia is part of the conspiracy to make fun of her.
Hermia gets angry at Helena for stealing her man,
and Lysander holds Hermia back, so she can’t attack Helena.
Then Demetrius and Lysander decide
they have to settle things in a duel,
they wind up going off into the forest
to find a place to fight.
And Helena runs away from Hermia
because she’s afraid of her,
and Hermia wanders off too.
Oberon tells Robin to fix what he’s done,
so he imitates Demetrius’s and Lysander’s voices
to lead them apart in the wood until they’re hopelessly lost.
And they lie down to sleep.
By this point they’re near each other,
but don’t know it.
He leads Helena and Hermia into the same spot too,
so they all sleep.
Robin puts another flower’s juice into Lysander’s eyes
to take away the effect of the love juice.
Titania lies down to sleep with Bottom in the same glade.
Oberon tells Robin how she gave him the changeling
and he thinks he’s punished her enough.
Oberon gives Titania the antidote and wakes her up,
and she can’t understand why she ever liked Bottom.
Robin takes off Bottom’s ass head
and the fairies do a dance.
Theseus comes into the glade with Hippolyta
and his lords on a hunt and wakes the lovers up.
Lysander explains how he was running away with Hermia,
and Demetrius says he loves Helena now.
Egeus still wants Hermia to marry Demetrius,
but Theseus overrides him and
says the couples will get married with him.
Theseus lets the workmen
perform their play for him after the wedding,
it’s the most ridiculous play ever.
One actor plays the part of the wall
that keeps Pyramus and Thisbe apart from each other,
and he has to make a chink
that the lovers can kiss through.
The audience laugh their way through it,
then Theseus sends everyone to bed.
Robin Goodfellow says the last word to the audience,
apologizing for the silliness of the play.
For more information about “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”,
check out the “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” SparkNote
For a translation of the entire play into mordern English,
就上nfs.sparknotes.com网站搜索No Fear Shakespeare吧
go to No Fear Shakespeare at nfs.sparknotes.com.