A Midsummer’s Night Dream was written and first performed in the mid 1590’s. Shakespeare used the device of magic extensively in this early comedy. There are four separate but intertwined plots.
The main plot is the marriage of Duke Theseus of Athens to Hippolyta, the Amazonian queen. Theseus is looking forward to his wedding and has ordered his master of the revels to prepare a wonderful wedding feast. While Theseus waits, he is approached by Egeus, father of Hermia. Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, who loves Hermia. Hermia, however, wants to marry Lysander. Under Athenian law, a woman must marry according to her father’s wishes.
This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.