Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Author: William Shakespeare

Year: 1600

Famous for: Quarreling lovers, mischievous fairies, and a guy who’s a real, um, donkey.

Main character: The four lovers—Demetrius, Lysander, Helena, and Hermia—who are in a bit of a romantic tangle

The scoop:

If love were simple, Shakespeare might have been out of business. Thankfully for the Bard, love is anything but. Sometimes comedic, sometimes tragic, love definitely makes for great drama—especially in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In this play, Shakespeare takes the comedic route, with two young couples who fall in and out of love, a father who disapproves of his daughter’s romantic choices, and a forest full of fairies where mischief—and match-making—run amok.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens as Demetrius, Lysander, Helena, and Hermia find themselves in a hopeless romantic knot. Demetrius and Lysander both love Hermia, but while Hermia is promised to Demetrius, she is—alas—in love with Lysander. Meanwhile, poor Helena is head-over for Demetrius, but he can’t be bothered to give her a second look.

The action becomes increasingly ridiculous from there, as the couples flee into the enchanted forest and various fairies try to intercede on the lovers’ behalf. So what happens? Leave it to Shakespeare to make love turn out happily in the end—and to keep you laughing as this play tumbles toward its fantastical and farcical conclusion.


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