A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 4 Summary

     Scene one begins with Titania still in love with Bottom who is being attended to by the other fairies. Bottom says some uncharacteristic things about his hairy face and craving peas and oats but still doesn't seem to realize that he has a donkey head. Finally, he and Titania fall asleep, and the fairies leave. Oberon comes and reveals that he has stolen the boy away from her, so he is ready to release her from the charm. Titania wakes up thinking she had a dream that she was in love with a donkey, so Oberon points out her lover. Oberon then orders Puck to remove the donkey head from Bottom, and they exit.

     Egeus enters the woods with Theseus and Hippolyta and brings them to where his daughter is lying asleep near Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena. Egeus isn't sure how or why they are there, but he needs an answer from his daughter as to her decision about marrying Demetrius. The four awake as confused as everyone else as to how they came to be there. Demetrius admits that Helena revealed to him that Lysander and Hermia were planning to run away together, so he followed them into the woods, but when he did, his love for Hermia melted away, and he no longer wishes to marry her. Theseus decides that these two new couples will join his wedding, and it will become a triple wedding. The couples are thrilled. They discuss their strange dreams from the night before as they leave. Bottom also awakes from what he believes was a dream about having a donkey head. He decides he will ask his friend Peter Quince to write a song about it that he can sing at the end of the play.

     Scene two takes place at Quince's house as the actors prepare for their performance. They are wondering what happened to Bottom as they have not seen him since the previous night. Snug mentions that he heard two additional couples are going to be married at the feast with the duke and duchess that evening. Bottom arrives, and the men are relieved. They want to hear where he's been, but he tells them that they must hurry to the palace for their performance.

     Dramatic irony is at play in Bottom's comments about his appearance and food cravings since he is unaware that he looks like a donkey. The audience is aware that his comments are funny while Bottom is not.



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