Maharashtra Board Text books

Maharashtra Board Class 11 Solution English Chapter 4.3 Extracts of Drama – (A) A Midsummer – Night’s Dream

Textbook Questions and Answers


1. Choose the odd one out.

Question (i)
Bottom, Moth, Mustard seed, Cobweb


Question (ii)
Flute, Snug, Quince, Cobweb


Question 2.
Match the columns.

Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
(a) Theseus1. Robin Goodfellow
(b) Titania2. Queen of the Amazons
(c) Puck3. Duke of Athens
(d) Hippolyta4. Fairies
(e) Cobweb, Moth5. Queen of the fairies


Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
(a) Theseus3. Duke of Athens
(b) Titania5. Queen of the fairies
(c) Puck1. Robin Goodfellow
(d) Hippolyta2. Queen of the Amazons
(e) Cobweb, Moth4. Fairies

Question 3.
Draw a character sketch of Oberon as an enemy of his wife but a friend of lovers.

Oberon, the king of fairies, is shown having two faces. On the one hand, he is shown hatching a plan with the help of Puck by using ‘Love in Idleness’ ensuring that the proper lovers end up loving each other. He is also shown sympathising Helena on seeing Demetrius’ cold behaviour towards her. He brings blessings, good health and peace to all the newly married couples towards the end.

On the other hand, in his dealings with his wife Titania, Oberon is potrayed as a wicked man. At the beginning of the play, Oberon is shown fighting with Titania over the custody of an Indian boy. Here, he is however, trying to prove his authority as a male and win the boy. He also tricks his wife by casting a spell upon her that leaves her fall in love with Bottom. He then releases the spell off her when he gets what he has wanted – The boy.

Question 4.
Comment on the loving pair of Lysander and Helena from the point of view of developing their character sketch.

Hermia and Lysander loved each other and they eloped in the forest to get married. Helena loved Demetrius but it was the effect of the love potion which was applied to Lysander’s eyes when he slept. Therefore, as he woke up he saw Helena and he started developing feelings for her. But Helena loved Demetrius. On her part Helena was very right. At the end both found their right companions Helena – Demetrius and Lysander – Hermia.


1. Correct the given sentences with justification.

Question (i)
The play is restricted to only a part of the woods.

The play is not restricted to only a part of the woods because the references, Quince’s cottage, in the another part of the wood etc., are there in the play.

Question (ii)
Since there is a reference to the Indian boy, there are some scenes from India too.

The reference to the Indian boy is found in Act II scene I as Puck says “A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king” and when Titania said that his mother was a votaress of my order and in the spiced Indian air. The reference of Titania’s Indian friend is also found.

Question 2.
The characters are a part of the stage setting. How does this reflect when the characters of the play range from the Duke and the Indian boy to the fairies?

Characters are a part of stage setting. This reflects in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ from the Duke in the palace as he instructs Philostrate to arrange for the celebration with great revelry. However, in the another part of the wood Oberon and Titania struggle for the custody of the Indian boy. Oberon uses love potion on the eyelids of Titania when she sleeps. As the setting of the stage changes the characters change accordingly. Because of the presence of the fairies and an Indian boy, the characters in the play range from real to imaginary.

Question 3.
What changes in the stage setting would you suggest.

The characters are the part of stage setting and the play starts with Theseus, Duke of Athens as he wins the queen of Amazons, Hippolyta. But later, in their marriage celebration there are the king and the queen of fairies, Oberon and Titania as well as other fairies and elves as imaginary characters. Characters are arranged from real to imaginary. I suggest that all characters should be real humans.

Question 4.
Comment on the versality and the aptness of the stage setting, as per the requirement of the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

As per the requirement of the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ the versality and the aptness of the stage setting go hand in hand. The play starts in the palace and then the stage of the play develops in two different parts of the wood. The stage-setting has been arranged according to the need of the characters and the plot. The characters are set accordingly onto the stage.


Question 1.
State whether the following statements are True/False.

  1. Lysander and Demetrius fall in love with Helena as a result of the love potion.
  2. Oberon transforms Bottom’s head into that of an ass.
  3. Titania falls in love with an ass.
  4. Both Demetrius and Lysander fight for Helena.


  1. True
  2. False
  3. False
  4. True

2. Give reasons:

Question (i)
Oberon and Titania fight for the custody of the Indian boy because –

(a) Oberon wants the custody of the Indian boy so that Titania would give him a lot time along with the boy.
(b) Titania wants the Indian boy because of her love and duty towards the small boy.

Question 3.
The consequences of Oberon ‘s jealousy for Titania are comic rather than tragic, comment.

Oberon was jealous of his queen Titania because she refused to give the boy to him . She fell in love with Bottom. Oberon decided to seek revenge on his queen. It was Oberon himself who made Titania to fall in love with Bottom who wa§ having the head of a donkey. Comic incident was created by that scene in the drama.

Question 4.
There were some reasons why Theseus was initially against but later gave consent for the marrige of Hermia with Lysander. Explain.

The reasons why Theseus was initially against but later gave consent for the marrige of Hermia with Lysander because Hermia’s father’s wish was that she should marry with Demetrius and she disobeyed her father. The Duke wants that Hermia should follow the rules and decision of her father. But she eloped with Lysander. It was Hermia’s true love for Lysander that made Theseus to change his decision and agreed that Hermia should marry with Lysander.


1. Select the correct options.

Question (i)
A Midsummers Night’s Dream is a _______

(a) poetic drama
(b) comedy of errors
(c) comedy based on fantasy
(d) a character play
(e) a revenge tragedy
(f) belongs to realm of dreams.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy of errors.

Question 2.
Find 2/4 expressions of humour from the extract.

Expressions of humour from the extract are:
1. Helena: You do advance your cunning more and more –
Lysander: I had no judgement when to her I swore.
2. Hermia: What’s this to my Lysander? Where is he? Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me ?
Demetrius: I had rather give his carcass to my bounds.
Hermia: Out dog / out cur/ thou drivest me past the bounds.

Question 3.
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is one of the best examples of Shakespeare’s comedy of errors. Comment.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the best examples of Shakespear’s comedy of errors because it has all the features of comedy of errors like conflict between characters, resolution over the problem, cleared confusions between the love triangle, reunion and marriage. It all seem very funny and interesting.


Question 1.
Shakespeare is acknowledged as the greatest writer because he understood human nature better than anyone else. Explain the statement in context of the of play.

Many authors have tried to potray love as human nature, however, none could display it better than Shakespeare does in his plays. In this play – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ he explains human nature of ‘control’ through love. He has given a clear picturisation of how love controls a person in the character of Theseus as he forgives Hermia and allows her to marry her love Lysander. It reveals that true love prevails and finds solace.

Shakespeare also explains human nature of conflicts between family and friends. He gives a clear picturisation of conflict when the magic potion ‘Love in Idleness’ was wrongly used on Lysander and he falls in love with Helena because of which Hermia and Helena start a quarrel. Another conflict potrayed, is between the family, when Hermia is given three choices by her father – marry Demetrius, become a nun or die to which she rebels against her father and decides to elope to the woods to marry her love Lysander. Hence, Shakespeare is acknowledged as the greatest writer of human nature.

Question 2.
Prove with the theme of the play/ extract that the deeper human emotion which profoundly interested Shakespeare, was jealousy.

The theme of the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is love. Shakespeare portrays how people fall in love with those who appear beautiful to them. However, if one rejects other’s true love, then jealousy starts in the minds of the lovers. The same situation arises if one does not spend quality time with the other. In this play the example of Oberon and Titania is apt to describe human emotion.


Question 1.
Interpret the following lines in Simple English.
Puck: I’ll follow you.
Bottom: The finch, the sparrow.

The song is sung by Bottom to try to keep his courage up as Puck has just turned his head into that of an ass. This transformation scared everyone around him and he is alone in the forest. But his song awakens Titania who falls in love with him immediately and the use of appropriate words and songs are there for the other parts of the wood also.

2. Comment on the literary device, used in the following lines.

Question (i)
Titania: Be kind and courteous to this gentleman

Tautology. The words kind and courteous denote the same meaning to give dramatic effect.

Question (ii)
Titania: Come wait upon him: lead him to my bower.

Repetition. The word him is repeated two times to give dramatic effect.
Apostrophe. Time has been addressed by Titania to other fairies.

Question 3.
Shakespeare’s poetry has come to be valued for its own sake on the stage. Comment with reference to the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Shakespeare’s poetry, in his ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is found outstanding and valued for it’s own sake on the stage. The expressions of love through poetry made his drama lively and interesting. Through the poetic language Shakespeare underlined the truth of human nature and through poetic expressions made the critical moments easier.

Important Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Then will two at once woo one;
That must needs be sport alone:

Reference : These lines are taken from William Shakespeare’s famous comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Act III scene II.
Context: The lines are said by Puck as he applied love potion on the eyelids of Demetrius with negligence. Explanation : In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, a comic character Puck was told by Oberon, the king of fairies to use the love potion on the eyelides of Demetrius so that he wakes up and sees Helena and will fall in love with her.
But Puck uses the love potion on the eyelids of Lysander, supposing him to be Demetrius. Helena sees the first person Lysander after waking up and falls in love with her instantly. A misunderstanding of Puck made a chaotic situation between the lovers.

Question 2.
Shakespeare’s poetry has come to be valued for its own sake on the stage. Comment with reference to the play ‘A midsummer Night’s Dream’

In midsummer night’s dream, Shakespeare’s used theatrical circle simply as fantasy. In order to made it more effective he used poetic lines for enlightening the beauty of the actions in the drama. These poetic lines revealed the nature of characters and developed poetic structure of the drama.

Summary in English

In the Palace:

Theseus, Duke of Athens wins Hippolyta in war and they are to be married. So, he instructs Philostrate to arrange for the celebration.

Egeus, the father of Hermia wants his daughter to be married with Demetrius. But she refuses to marry Demetrius as she is in love with Lysander. The Duke Theseus urges her to obey her father and gives her three alternatives: (1) marry Demetrius (2) become a nun or (3) suffer a death sentence. Hermia has time to decide until Theseus, The Duke of Athen’s marriage.

Hermia and Lysander decide to elope to the woods and get married but, Demetrius who used to love Helena, now rejected her love and is interested in Hermia. Hermia tries to win back the love of Demetrius for Helena. As Hermia elopes with Lysander, Demetrius follows her and Helena follows Demetrius.

At the Quinces Cottage:

The workmen from Athens wish to perform a play ‘Pyramus and Thisby’ at the Duke’s wedding. They all plan to meet in the forest for the rehearsal.

In the Woods:

A different world has been seen in the woods. The king of fairies, Oberon and Queen of fairies, Titania are having a fight over the custody of an Indian boy. To teach a lesson to her, Oberon, with the help of Puck, a mischievous spirit, plans to use the magic potion ‘Love in Idleness’, the juice if poured on the eyelids of a sleeping person, makes his/her fall madly in love with the first person he/she sees after waking up. He thus plans to madden Titania and get the custody of the Indian boy.

Oberon then sees Demetrius’ cold behaviour towards Helena and tries to help them by developing feelings in the heart of Demetrius for her. Therefore, he asks Puck to squeeze the magic juice on the eyelids of Demetrius Taking Lysander for Demetrius, Puck squeezes the magic juice on his eyelids.

Helena who enters the wood following Demetrius, proves to be the first person Lysander sees after waking up and falls in love with her instantly. Titania found too much interested in Bottom, one of the workmen of Athens. Puck bewitches him by transforming his head into that of an ass and it bewildered Titania.

In the Another Part of the Wood:

Puck wins the heart of Oberon for punishing Titania and Bottom. But when Oberon realises Puck’s mistake of using magic potion for Lysander instead of Demetrius, he himself squeezes it on the eyelids of Demetrius and orders Puck to fetch Helena as he wakes up to restore the love of Demetrius for Helena. He also corrects the relations of Lysander with Hermia as well as orders Puck to restore Bottom’s head and feels sorry for Titania.

Theseus, Hippolyta and Egeus enter and see the four Athenians and the love between them. He allows Demetrius and Helena and Hermia and Lysander to marry. At last, in the final scene, ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ was performed for the marriage ceremony of Theseus and Hippolyta in the presence of Oberon and Titania with their fairies and elves to sing and dance and bless the newly wedded. Thus, the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ends on a happy note.


  1. night-rule – dark deeds,
  2. consecrated – sacred,
  3. dote on – to love,
  4. extremity – whole heartedly,
  5. patches – clowns,
  6. nuptial – marriage/ matrimonial/ moments of nuptial bliss,
  7. nole – head,
  8. mimic – commie actor,
  9. russet-pated choughs – birds of the crow family with reddish, brown (or grey) heads,
  10. sever – separate from each other,
  11. stamp – a noise made by bringing one’s foot heavily on the ground but, here – thing like ‘trick’ (i.e. giving
  12. Bottom an ass’s head),
  13. yielders – those who yield (giving up or surrender),
  14. latch’d – leached, anointed (love juice),
  15. ey’d – seen,
  16. antipodes – the opposite side of the earth,
  17. venus – the evening star,
  18. carcass – dead body,
  19. mispris’d – mistaken,
  20. an – and (or) even,
  21. adder – circuit,
  22. debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe – sleepless due to sorrow,
  23. confounding – confusing and breaking,
  24. Ioi tartars bow – weapon used by the Asian warriors who invaded Europe in the 13 century,
  25. cupid’s archery – Roman God of love,
  26. a lover’s fee – love requited,
  27. fond pageant – silly behaviour,
  28. tales – untrue stories,
  29. sport alone – fun by itself,
  30. devilish holy – a conflict between two truths,
  31. nymph – nature goddess,
  32. Taurus – a mountain range in Turkey,
  33. superpraise – praise excessively,
  34. conjure – summon/call,
  35. disparage – regards being of little worth,
  36. englids – brightens,
  37. confederacy – plot/plan,
  38. chid – rebuked/scold,
  39. artificial gods – creators of works of art,
  40. union in partition – two in one,
  41. incorporate – united,
  42. so in grace – so much in favour/in a good condition,
  43. ethiope – black face, but actually a scornful reference to her dark hair,
  44. canker blossom – a flower blighted by a worm lodged in the bud,
  45. stealth – stealing away,
  46. fond – foolish,
  47. suffer her to flout – allow her to mock,
  48. knot grass – a weed which creeps and makes entangling roots,
  49. officious – meddlesome/self assertive enthusiastic,
  50. aby – pay a heavy penalty,
  51. check by jowl – closely,
  52. king of shadows – fairy kings,
  53. sort – occur,
  54. welkin – sky,
  55. Acheron – the world of dead,
  56. rail thou – use violent language,
  57. Aurora’s harbinger – forerunner of the dawn (the morning star),
  58. wormy beds – graves,
  59. Neptune – the ocean, in ancient mythology,
  60. hither (archaic word) – to or towards this place,
  61. constraineth (archaic word) – to impose limitations,
  62. crust – (archaic words)to curse,
  63. a knavish lad – a mischievous boy,
  64. woe – great sorrow,
  65. bedabbled – sensuous,
  66. briers – wild shrubs,
  67. mare – an adult female horse,
  68. stalls – work-benches,
  69. barren – stupid/brainless,
  70. Anon – quickly,
  71. the creeping fowler eye – wild geese keep a close watch on hunter who is creeping up to shoot,
  72. of force she must be ey’d – inevitably (perforce) she will be seen,
  73. lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe – speak so bitterly to no one but your bitter enemy,
  74. may be bored – may have a hold driven right through it,
  75. dead – pale and bloodless,
  76. touch – feat,
  77. tender – attention and care,
  78. look – be sure,
  79. cheer – countenance.