A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

 
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare c. 1595 or 1596. The play is set in Athens, and consists of several subplots that revolve around the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta. One subplot involves a conflict among four Athenian lovers. Another follows a group of six amateur actors rehearsing the play which they are to perform before the wedding. Both groups find themselves in a forest inhabited by fairies who manipulate the humans and are engaged in their own domestic intrigue. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular and is widely performed.

William Shakespeare


TROUBLE IN ATHENS

Everyone in the city of Athens was getting ready for the wonderful celebration. In a few days, their duke, Theseus, was going to marry the beautiful Hippolyta. Theseus and Hippolyta walked through the city streets together, hand in hand. “Four days!” said Theseus. “It’s a long time. I want to marry you now!” Hippolyta smiled at him.
 Just then they saw Theseus’s friend, Egeus. He was walking quickly towards them and he looked very angry. He was holding his daughter, Hermia, by her arm. She didn´t want to go with him. Hermia was quite short with blonde hair. She was small and very pretty, but she was a strong person inside.
 
Two young men followed Hermia and her father. They were Lysander andDemetrius, and they both loved Hermia. Lysander didn't have much money, but he was very handsome and kind. Demetrius was also handsome, and he was rich, but sometimes he was unkind and he often got angry easily.
“Duke Theseus, you must help me!” said Egeus. “It’s my daughter Hermia! I chose this man, Demetrius, for her. He wants to marry her but she won’t do it!”
 
“Why, Hermia?” asked Theseus. “Demetrius is a good man.”
 
“Lysander is a good man, too” said Hermia, “and I love him. I don't love Demetriusand I will never marry him.”
 
“I agree,” said Lysander. “Hermia’s father likes Demetrius. That’s fine. He can marry her . I’ll take Hermia.”
 
“I’ll fight you for that!” said Demetrius.
 
'Demetrius, you're forgetting about Helena!' said Hermia. Helena was Hermia's best friend. A few months before, Helena and Demetrius were in love. Then Demetrius suddenly fell in love with Hermia instead. Now Demetrius never talked to Helena. 'Helena still loves you very much,' said Hermia. 'You broke her heart.'
 
'That was a long time ago,' said Demetrius. 'It was a mistake. You’re going to marry me, Hermia! Your father wants it and I want it.'
 
Egeus turned to Thseus. 'Duke, please help me.'
 
'I'm sorry, Hermia. You must listen to your father,' said Theseus.
 
Later, Hermia and Lysander were alone together on a quiet street. Hermia felt afraid and sad. She began to cry. 'Lysander, I can't marry that man! I want to be with you.'
 
Lysander put his arms around her. He had a plan. 'We can run away together,' he told Hermia. 'I have an aunt who lives far away. We can go there. We'll be safe with her. Then, I can marry you. Meet me tomorrow night. We'll leave this city and we'll never come back!'
'Of course I'll be there!' said Hermia. 'I'll go anywhere " with you!'
 
Just then they saw Helena. Helena was a tall, pretty girl, with red hair. She often looked sad, because she thought about Demetrius day and night.
 
 
'You're so lucky, Hermia,' Helena said. 'Demetrius loves you, and he doesn't even want to look at me. And now he's going to marry you.'
 
'Don't worry,' said Lysander. 'That will never happen.' They told Helena about their plan.
 
'I'll miss you, Helena,' Hermia said. 'But think of it! I'll be far away. Demetrius will forget about me. He'll love you again!' But Helena was not so sure. 
 
Hermia and Lysander walked away, hand in hand. They were smiling and talking about their new life together. Helena sat alone and watched them. She thought about Demetrius for a long time. Then, she had an idea.
 
'I'll tell Demetrius about Hermia's plan. He'll go to her, but he'll thank me. He'll talk to me. He'll smile at me. I'll tell him now!'
 
Helena ran to Demetrius's house.

TROUBLE IN THE WOOD

In the wood, two other people were unhappy because of love, but they weren't real people. They were the King and Queen of the fairies, beautiful Titania and dark, handsome Oberon. They loved each other very much, but today they were arguing. Titania had a new servant, a beautiful Indian boy. Oberon needed a servant and he wanted the Indian boy for himself. Titania did not agree.
 
In the evening, they saw each other in the wood. Titania was walking with her fairies. They were dancing all around her. 'My Queen,' said Oberon.
 
Titania saw Oberon, and turned away. 'I won't speak to you!' she said.
 
'Why are we fighting? Just give me the boy!' said Oberon.
 
'I will never give him to you. Goodbye,' said Titania. The Queen and her fairies walked away.
Oberon felt very angry. 'Why won't she give me the boy?' he said to himself. 'Why is she so cold to me? She'll be sorry for this!' Then he remembered a special place in the wood. A small purple flower grew there. This flower was magic. Oberon had an idea.
 
He called his servant, Puck. Puck was a goblin. He was a very mischievous goblin and loved making trouble. Oberon told Puck about the flower. 'If you put the juice of this flower on someone's eyes, they will fall in love with anyone. Or anything! Find it for me, Puck!' said Oberon.
 
'I'll bring you that flower immediately!' said Puck. 'I can fly around the world in forty minutes!' Puck flew off.
Oberon waited for Puck. Then suddenly a young man ran past him. He couldn't see Oberon because of his magic. A pretty young woman with red hair followed the man. She looked sad and tired.
 
The two young people were Demetrius and Helena. Demetrius was looking for Hermia and Lysander. He wanted to stop them. Helena only wanted to be with Demetrius.
'Don't follow me!' Demetrius shouted. 
 
'Go home, Helena!'
 
'Please, Demetrius!' said Helena. 'I want to come with you.'
 
'Where are Lysander and Hermia?' said Demetrius. 'I'll kill Lysander! And I'll bring Hermia back to Athens. She'll be my wife, not his! Where are they?'
 
'I don't know,' said Helena. 'I only know that they are in this wood. Please, I only want to be near you.'
 
'I don't love you!' said Demetrius. 'I don't even want to look at you!'
 
Helena began to cry. 'I love you, Demetrius,' she said.
 
Demetrius pushed Helena and she fell. 'Don't follow me,' he said. 'Please. Don't come near me!' He ran away.
 
Helena slowly stood up. 'I need to be near him,' she thought. She followed Demetrius into the wood.
 
Oberon watched Helena. 'That poor sweet lady!' he said to himself. He wanted to help her. Just then Puck returned. He had the magic flower. Oberon smiled. 'Excellent!' he said. 'Titania will go to sleep soon. I'll find her and put the juice of this flower on her eyes. She'll wake up , and she'll fall in love ...
 
with anything! Perhaps a bear, or a bird, or even a monkey! It doesn't matter. When she sees it, she will love it!' He laughed. Then he remembered Helena.
 
'I saw a young man and a young woman here,' he said to Puck. 'They're from Athens. The woman loves the man, but he hates her. Put the juice of this flower on the man's eyes. He'll fall in love with her. Can you do this? '
 
'Of course!' said Puck. 'It's easy! I'll look for the two young people from Athens,' He flew away.
 
Later, Oberon found Titania. She was sleeping on a bed of flowers near the river. Oberon put the juice of the flower on Titania's eyes. 'Soon you'll fall in love,' he said to her. 'I hope that you will love something horrible!'

PUCK'S MISTAKE

An another part of the wood, Lysander and Hermia were lost. They walked together for hours through the trees, but they couldn't find a way out of the wood. They both felt very tired. Their feet hurt. They wanted to sleep, but they continued walking. Finally they stopped at a quiet place near a river.
'Let's rest here, Hermia,' said Lysander. 'We can start again tomorrow.'
 
'That's a good idea,' said Hermia. She lay down on the soft grass by the side of the river. 'Goodnight, Lysander,' she said, and she fell asleep immediately.
 
Lysander looked at her for a moment. 'I'll always love her,' he thought. Soon he was asleep, too, not far from Hermia.
 
At the same time, Puck was flying through the trees with the magic flower in his hand. He was looking for a young man and a young woman from Athens, but he couldn't see anyone. 'Where are they?' he thought, 'Oberon will be angry if I don't find them!' Then he saw Lysander and Hermia. 'At last!' he said. 'A young man and young woman from Athens!'
 
He flew down and looked at Lysander. 'Now what did Oberon say?' he asked himself. 'She loves him, but he hates her. Well, that will change!' Puck put the juice of the magic flower on Lysander's eyes. 'There!' he said. 'He'll wake up, he'll see her, and he'll fall in love!' He flew away.
 
Demetrius was still looking for Hermia and Lysander. Poor Helena was still following Demetrius. Sometimes Demetrius ran too quickly and sometimes he shouted at her, but she still followed him. They came to the place by the river where Hermia and Lysander were sleeping. lt was very dark, and so Demetrius and Helena didn't see them.
 
'Please wait for me, Demetrius,' Helena said.
 
'For the last time, Helena, go home!' Demetrius shouted. He ran away quickly.
 
This time Helena didn't follow him. She was too tired. She sat down on a rock I and looked at the river. 'He's running away from me!' she thought, 'And he's running to her! Lucky Hermia.' Then she saw Lysander. He was sleeping on the grass. She was very surprised.
 
'Lysander, what are you doing here? Are you alright? ' she asked.
 
Lysander opened his eyes slowly. The most beautiful woman in the world was looking at him. It was Helena! 'She's so lovely. She's wonderful!' he thought, 'Why didn't I see it before?' He remembered that Helena loved Demetrius. Suddenly he got very angry.
 
'Wake up, Lysander!' said Helena.
 
Lysander stood up quickly. 'Anything for you, Helena! Where is Demetrius? I'll kill him!'
 
Helena didn't understand Lysander's strange words, or the strange look in his eyes. 'No, Lysander, don't be angry with Demetrius,' she said. 'I know he loves Hermia, but she only wants you.'
 
'Hermia?' said Lysander. 'I'm not interested in Hermia! I love you, not her!'
 
'That's not funny, Lysander! Don't joke about that,' said Helena.
 
'It's not a joke! I love you!' said Lysander.
 
Helena got very angry. 'This is too much! First Demetrius ran away from me. Now you're laughing at me!' Helena turned and ran.
 
'No, wait!' said Lysander. Then he remembered Hermia. She was still asleep on the grass. Lysander looked at her. 'Did I really love this girl? She's nothing!' he thought. He followed Helena into the wood.
 
Later, Hermia woke up with a scream. 'Lysander, I had a bad dream,' she said, 'Lysander, where are you?' Lysander didn't answer her. She couldn't see him or hear him anywhere. He was gone.
 
She suddenly felt afraid. 'What happened to him? Is he in danger? Where is he?' she thought. 'I have to find him!'

THE ACTORS

By the river, on her bed of flowers, Queen Titania was sleeping. The juice of the magic flower was on her eyes. Puck watched her. 'Soon she'll wake up, and she'll fall in love,' he thought.
 
'Will it be a bear? Or a dog? Or a bird? When it happens, I must tell Oberon!' Suddenly he heard voices. A group of men from Athens were talking, very close to the place where Titania was sleeping. Puck decided to listen to them.
 
The men were practising a play. They wanted to show this play at Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding. These men weren't really actors; this was just their hobby. They all had different jobs. One of the men was a tailor, one was a carpenter, one had a shop,
 
others built walls and houses. They were not the best actors in the world - in fact they were very bad! But they loved acting and they always tried their best.
 
One of the actors, Bottom, loved acting the most. He was a large kind man with a round face who always smiled.
 
'Bottom, you will be the hero of this play,' said his friend, Peter Quince. 'There is also a lady, and a lion.'
 
'I can be all of them!' said Bottom. 'I'll be a handsome hero, and a pretty lady, and a dangerous lion! Theseus will love it!'
 
'You'll be the hero, Bottom.' said Peter. 'Only the hero. Now, go behind that tree and practise. I'll call you when we need you.'
 
Bottom went behind a large tree. Puck was watching. 'Is this the hero?' he thought. He laughed. 'I have a wonderful idea!' Puck used his magic.
 
Bottom suddenly felt very strange. His ears began to grow. His nose got bigger and bigger. His teeth got larger and hair began to grow all over his face. 'What's happening?' he said, and his voice was very strange. Soon poor Bottom had a large ugly donkey's head! Puck smiled.
 
'Where's the hero?' called Peter Quince. 'Bottom, We need you!'
 
Bottom came out from behind the tree. 'Here I am!' he said in his strange voice. 'I'm the hero! Where's my lady?'
 
His friends screamed. 'He's a monster!' they said. They ran away quickly. 'Bottom, look at yourself!' said Peter Quince, and then he followed the others.
 
Bottom couldn't see himself. 'Why are they running?' he thought. 'Are they playing a joke?'
 
'I know that you're joking!' Bottom shouted. 'I'm not afraid! Do you hear me? I feel fine. I'll sing!' And Bottom began to sing loudly. It was a terrible noise. He walked up and down and sang. Soon he came to the place where Titania was asleep. Her eyes opened.
 
'That song!' she thought. 'That voice! It's beautiful!' Then she saw Bottom. She looked at Bottom's ugly long ears and his long nose and his big teeth. She thought that he was the most beautiful person in the world.
 
Titania stood up quickly. 'Sing again!' she said. 'Please sing again. Your song is so lovely, and you are so handsome. I don't know you, but I love you!'
 
Bottom was very surprised. 'Me? Do you think I'm handsome? Do you love me?' he said. He smiled, and showed his big yellow teeth. 'This is a dream,' he thought, 'and it's a very good dream!'
 
'Yes, of course I love you!' Titania said. 'Please, stay here in the wood with me. I am the Queen of the fairies . My servants will bring you anything.' Titania called her fairy servants. Suddenly there were fairies everywhere. They flew and danced around Titania. 'This is my love,' she said to them. 'Bring him food and flowers.'
 
Bottom couldn't believe his luck. He walked through the wood, hand in hand with beautiful Titania.
Puck laughed and laughed. He flew through the trees. Then he found Oberon, and he told him the whole story.
 
'This is wonderful,' said Oberon. He laughed. 'The Queen of the fairies is in love with an ugly monster! Good work, Puck!'

HELENA'S TWO LOVES

Hermia was looking for Lysander. It was very dark and she was afraid. She called his name many times. There was no answer. After a few hours she saw someone and she began to feel happy.
 
But it wasn't Lysander. It was Demetrius.
 
Demetrius saw her and he smiled.
 
'Hermia, my love! I found you!' he said. 'Come with me. We need to go back to Athens. We need to get married.'
 
Hermia wanted to cry. 'Where is Lysander?' she asked.
 
'Lysander?' said Demetrius. 'I don't know! Forget about Lysander! You're going to be my wife, not his!'
She suddenly felt afraid. 'Demetrius, did you hurt Lysander?' she said. 'Did you kill him?'
 
'Me? No!' said Demetrius.
 
Oberon and Puck were near Hermia and Demetrius. They were still laughing about poor Titania. 'Yes, good work, Puck!' said Oberon. 'And did you help the young lady from Athens? Did you put the juice of the flower on the man's eyes?'
 
'Yes, of course! It was easy!' said Puck.
 
Oberon looked through the trees. He saw Demetrius and Hermia. 'That's strange.' he said, 'There's the young man, but he's not with the right woman.' They listened to Demetrius and Hermia.
 
'Listen to me, Demetrius,' Hermia was saying, 'I don't love you. I'll never love you.'
 
'Don't say that, Hermia!' said Demetrius.
 
'I don't want to see you ever again,' said Hermia. She walked away into the wood.
 
Demetrius watched her. 'I can't follow her. She's too angry!' he thought. Demetrius sat down on the grass. He put his head in his hands. 'It's true,' he thought. 'She doesn't love me at all!' Demetrius felt very sad and very tired. In a few minutes, he was asleep.
 
Oberon was starting to feel angry. 'Puck, you chose the wrong man!' he said.
 
'Did I? ' said Puck.
 
'Go and find Helena!' said Oberon. 'She's a tall girl with red hair. Find her and bring her to this place! Go now!' Puck flew away quickly. He was afraid of Oberon.
 
Oberon looked at Demetrius. He put the juice of the magic flower on his eyes. 'Now you will love Helena,' he said. 'You will only love Helena.'
 
In a few minutes, Puck came back. He was laughing. 'Here she is, my King! Helena is coming!' he said. 'But she's not alone!'
 
It was true. Lysander, was following Helena. 'My love, wait for me!' said Lysander. 'I need to be near you!'
 
Helena was very angry now. 'For the last time, this isn't funny! Stop joking and leave me alone!' she shouted.
 
Just then Demetrius opened his eyes. He saw a very beautiful young woman. Was it a fairy or a princess? No, it was Helena! 'Did I really run away from her?' Demetrius thought. 'I was very wrong! She's wonderful!' He stood up suddenly.
 
'Helena!' he shouted. 'My love! My Queen! I want to kiss you!'
 
Helena screamed. 'Oh, no!' she said. 'Not you too! Now you're both laughing at me!' She began to cry.
 
'Yes, Demetrius,' said Lysander. 'Don't joke! Everyone knows that you love Hermia. Well, I have good news for you. She's yours. I only love Helena.' Lysander took Helena's hand.
 
'Keep your Hermia,' said Demetrius. 'This is my true love.' He took Helena's other hand. They both pulled on Helena's arms.
 
'Stop it!' shouted Helena. At that moment, Hermia was walking somewhere near the wood. She heard voices. 'Is it Lysander?' she thought. 'Yes, it's him! He's safe!'
 
She ran towards the voices of her friends.

FIGHTING

Hermia ran towards Lysander and she put her arms around him. 'Lysander! You're safe!' she said. 'But why did you leave me? I was all alone. I thought something terrible happened to you.' Lysander's eyes were cold.
 
He turned away from her.
 
'I left because of love,' he said.
 
Hermia didn't understand. 'What do you mean? You love me,' she said.
 
'You?' Lysander laughed. 'No, I don't love you. I love Helena!'
 
Helena was watching them. She felt very hurt and angry. 'Oh, now I see!' Helena said. 'She's part of this joke too! Was this your idea, Hermia?'
 
'What are you talking about? What joke?' asked Hermia.
 
'You know very well!' said Helena. 'I know Demetrius doesn't love me. Do you really think it's funny? You're my best friend! Why are you doing this to me?'
 
'No, Helena, you're wrong,' said Hermia. 'I don't know anything about a joke. Lysander, stop this. Don't laugh at Helena.'
 
'Yes, don't even talk to her, Lysander!' said Demetrius. 'I'll fight you now. Helena's mine!'
 
'Yes, I'll fight you! Right now!' said Lysander. But Hermia stopped him. She held his arms.
 
'Don't do it, Lysander!' she said. 'He'll hurt you! Stay here with me!'
 
Lysander tried to get away from her. Demetrius laughed. Helena thought it was all part of the joke. 'Let go of me!' Lysander shouted at Hermia, 'Why are you here? I don't want you!'
 
 
'Lysander? I don't understand this,' said Hermia. 'Are you joking?' 'Yes, he is, and you're joking too!' said Helena angrily. 'Joking?' said Lysander. 
 
'No! Why can't you understand? I don't love you. I'm starting to hate you! And I love Helena!' Hermia let go of Lysander. She felt sad and very surprised. 'It's true,' she thought, 'he doesn't love me at all.'
 
Then she turned to Helena. 'You!' she said, in a loud, angry voice. 'Why does he love you now? What did you do to him?' 'I didn't do anything!' said Helena. She was starting to feel afraid of her friend.
 
'You stole him from me! I'll fight you!' said Hermia. She ran towards Helena.
 
 
'Help!' said Helena. She hid behind Demetrius and Lysander. 'I know her! She's small, but she's dangerous!'
 
'Small? You think I'm short?' said Hermia. 'I'm not short! You're too tall! Come here! Fight me!'
 
Lysander stood between Hermia and Helena. 'Leave her alone, you little cat!' he said to Hermia. 'Stay away from my beautiful Helena!'
 
 
'She's not yours!' said Demetrius. 'Come and fight me! Let's go over there. The prize will be beautiful Helena!'
 
'Yes, let's go!' said Lysander. He turned and followed Demetrius into the wood. Hermia did not try to stop him this time.
 
Helena and Hermia were alone together for a moment. Helena looked at Hermia's angry face. Then she quickly ran away into the wood.
 
Now Hermia was alone. 'I don't understand this!' she thought. 'What's happening to us?'
 
At the same time, Oberon and Puck were watching everything. Oberon was very angry. 'Did you do this, Puck?' he said.
 
'I think it's funny!' said Puck.
 
'Well, you must make everything right again,' said Oberon. 'Find the two men. Keep them away from each other. They must not fight.' Oberon gave Puck some small green leaves. They were leaves from a magic plant. This plant could change the magic of the purple flower.
 
'When they fall asleep, put the juice of this plant on Lysander's eyes. The magic will leave him. Go!'
'Yes, my King!' said Puck. He flew away into the night.

THE END OF THE MAGIC

Lysander ran through the wood. He was very angry and he wanted to fight Demetrius. But where was he? He could hear Demetrius's voice, but he couldn't see him.
 
Lysander didn't know it, but the voice was not really the voice of Demetrius. It was Puck's voice. He was using his magic to speak in Demetrius's voice. Lysander couldn't see him, but he followed him everywhere.
 
'Come on!' Puck said in Demetrius's voice, 'Fight me! Are you afraid?'
 
'I'm not afraid!' said Lysander. 'Where are you?' The voice was always in front of him. He ran and ran.
He followed the voice all over the wood. After several hours, Lysander was very tired. He couldn't run. He couldn't even walk. He lay down on the grass near a river and fell asleep.
 
Then Puck did the same thing to Demetrius. He flew in front of Demetrius and spoke in Lysander's voice. Demetrius ran for hours, but of course, he never found Lysander. He followed Puck to the same place where Lysander was sleeping. It was dark and so he didn't see him. By then Demetrius was also very, very tired. He lay down on the grass and fell asleep, not far from Lysander.
 
Next, Puck looked for Helena and Hermia. They were both walking in different parts of the wood by themselves, and they were both very tired and sad. Puck used his magic, and they followed him to the place where Lysander and Demetrius were sleeping. First Helena arrived and went to sleep, and then Hermia did the same.
 
Puck looked at the four friends and he laughed. Then he put the juice of the magic leaves on Lysander's eyes. 'The magic will leave you,' said Puck. 'You'll think that this night was just a dream.' Then Puck flew away. He wanted to tell Oberon the good news.
 
Soon he found Oberon, not far from the place where the four friends were sleeping. Oberon had a new servant with him. It was the beautiful Indian boy.
 
'Titania gave you the boy!' Puck said. 'You won!'
 
But Oberon did not look happy. 'Yes. She gave me the boy very easily. She forgot that we were arguing. She forgot about me! She can only think about that monster!' He pointed at Titania and Bottom. They were sitting under a large tree.
 
Titania was looking at Bottom's horrible face and smiling. 'What do you want, my dear?' she said in her soft voice. 'Some music? Flowers? Titania's fairy servants came. They sang and played beautiful music for Bottom. Some fairies brought flowers, and Titania put them around Bottom's big ears.
 
'And what would you like to eat?' asked Titania.
 
'I'd like some grass, please. Some nice, tall grass. Or I could eat these flowers.' said Bottom in his strange donkey's voice.
 
'Anything!' said Titania. She looked at Bottom and smiled. 'You're so beautiful. Your eyes, your voice, your wonderful ears! I love you so much!'
 
Bottom ate a good meal of grass and flowers, and then he and Titania fell asleep under the tree. The fairies sang to them.
 
Oberon looked at Titania and Bottom. 'I thought it was funny at first,' he said to Puck, 'but now I'm sorry. It's time to stop the magic.' He put the magic leaves on Titania's eyes, and the magic of the flower left her.
 
'Wake up, my Queen,' Oberon said softly. Titania woke up and smiled.
 
'Oberon! I had such a strange dream. In my dream, I loved a monster!' she said. Then she saw Bottom and she screamed. 'Oh, he's horrible!' She jumped up and hid her face. Oberon put his arms around her.
 
'The bad dreams are over, my love,' he said. 'It's almost time for Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding. We must go to Athens. We'll bring good luck to Theseus and Hippolyta at their wedding tomorrow.' Oberon called Puck and spoke to him. Puck used his magic and he took the donkey's head away from Bottom.
Then Oberon and Titania walked through the wood together.
 
Titania saw Lysander, Demetrius, Helena and Hermia on the grass, and she laughed.
 
'Who are they?' she asked.
 
'They are four friends who had a very bad night and they need to sleep,' said Oberon.
 
Titania called her servants. 'Sing to them, fairies,' she said, 'They must sleep until the morning.' The fairies sang and played music and the four friends slept all night.

THREE WEDDINGS

Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius continued to sleep. The morning came, and then it was noon. The wood was quiet. Then, suddenly there was the noise of horses and people.
 
It was Theseus and Hippolyta, with their servants and some of their friends. Egeus, Hermia's father, was with them. They were hunting in the wood. They all stopped when they saw the four young people on the grass.
 
'That's my daughter!' said Egeus. 'What is she doing here? And Lysander! And Demetrius!'
 
'Wake them!' said Theseus, and his servants blew their horns. The four young people woke up and looked around. They were very surprised. 'What are you all doing here? ' said Theseus.
 
Lysander stood up. 'I came here with Hermia. We wanted to run away together. I love her very much and I want to marry her.' he said.
 
Hermia smiled. 'So, he doesn't love Helena!' she thought, 'It was all a dream!' But Egeus was very angry. 'Never!' he said, 'Hermia, you're going to marry Demetrius! Isn't that right, Demetrius?'
 
Demetrius stood up. He spoke to Egeus, but he looked only at Helena. 'I'm sorry, sir, but it's not true. I did love Hermia, but that love is gone. Now I love Helena, and I will always love her.'
 
Finally, Helena understood that Demetrius was not joking. She wanted to cry with happiness. She put her arms around Demetrius.
 
'Well!' said Theseus. 'Then there will be three weddings today and not just one. Come back to Athens and we will all celebrate together!'
 
They all went back to the city. On the way, the four friends talked about their strange dream.
 
At the same time, Bottom was still asleep under the tree. He woke up suddenly and looked around. 'What a dream!' he thought. 'Strange and wonderful!' He remembered the donkey's head, and the beautiful fairy Queen. 'I'll tell Peter Quince about my dream. He can write a song about it. I can sing it for Theseus...' Then he remembered the wedding.
 
Theseus's wedding!' he shouted, 'The play! I have to find my friends!' Bottom ran towards the city.
 
The three weddings were full of music and dancing and flowers. Even Egeus was happy. After the weddings, there was another party at Theseus's beautiful house. Theseus decided to watch the play.
 
Bottom's friends were at Peter Quince's house. They were trying to practise, but the play needed a hero. Then someone came to the door. It was Theseus's servant, and he had a letter for them. Peter Quince read the letter. Then he sat down with his head in his hands. 'This is terrible news!' he said. 'The Duke wants to see our play. But we can't do the play without Bottom! Who'll be our hero?'
 
'I will!' said a voice at the door. They all turned to look. It was Bottom!
 
'Bottom! You're safe! You're not a monster!' his friends said, and they all put their arms around him. Bottom smiled.
 
'Does Theseus really want to see our play?' he said. 'Then we don't have much time! Let's get ready!'
 
Theseus, Hippolyta, Lysander, Hermia, Helena and Demetrius all watched the play together. Bottom and his friends made a lot of mistakes, and sometimes Lysander or Demetrius laughed. But the actors tried very hard. Afterwards, Theseus gave them a large bag of gold. They were all very happy, but the happiest was Bottom.
 
Soon it was time to go to bed. The moon was high in the sky. Everyone fell asleep.
 
Then Titania, Oberon, Puck, and all the fairies arrived. They danced through all the rooms of the house. They danced until morning. They brought good luck to the house, and good luck to everyone who slept there.

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