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Summary Act 5

Scene I

Theseus and Hippolyta exchange wonders on the events of the day in Theseus's Place, as told to them by Helena, Hermia, Lysander and Demetrius. Then Theseus asks them all to come over to him. The four step to Theseus and Hippolyta. Theseus greets them warmly and asks

Philostrate what he has planned for the occasion.

Philostrate gives Theseus a list of what he has planned, and Theseus asks about the play of Pyramus and Thisbe. Philostrate explains the play is short, only ten words, but is tedious, and Pyramus dies at the end. Theseus decides to hear the play despite Philostrate's discouragement. Theseus quickly explains that he enjoys things which are from the heart more than practiced and perfect.

Philostrate introduces the players, who have a comedic introduction to the play. It is comedic because it makes very little sense to the audience. The prologue is no better, and the audience of Theseus, Hippolyta, Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena wonder at the play.

There is an exchange of Thisbe and Pyramus through a wall where they decide to meet at the tomb of Ninus. Theseus explains the best way to enjoy these plays is with some imagination. The Lion and the Moon introduce their characters. Thisbe goes to the tomb in Ninus and is attacked by the Lion who takes her mantle off and Thisbe runs. Pyramus seeing her mantle stained with blood kills himself.

Lysander, Demetrius, Hippolyta and Theseus comment on his death in a humorous manner . They pause as Thisbe finds the body of Pyramus, and takes her own life as well. The audience makes a few jokes and decides to go to bed.

In comes Puck, and announces that the fairies have arrived. Oberon and Titania enter with their train. The fairies sing and dance, blessing Theseus' palace, making sure all the children born of these couples is good looking, each fairy going to a room to bless the people. Oberon warns that the break of day is coming, so all fairies leave, except puck, who gives an exit speech to end the play.

William Shakespeare