Climax and resolution

By the close of Act III, Shakespeare's play grows darker, with loss and separation, suggestions of bestiality and unnatural pairings. Oberon is beginning to show regret for the havoc he has unleashed, and sets Puck to make amends. (Act III, scene 2, 344-462).

First to be released from her enchantment is Titania - Oberon's jealousy and anger are transformed into pity as he watches her dote upon Bottom. The original grounds for their quarrel have been removed, and the pair are reunited (Act IV, scene 1, 1-99).

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, resolution is marked literally by the dawning of a new day. The forces of order and reason, personified by Theseus and Hippolyta, intrude into the wood and awaken the lovers from their enchanted sleep. The forces of disorder are pushed away, as lovers are reunited, and Hermia is forgiven by her father. Demetrius however remains bewitched, allowing Shakespeare to offer resolution on the pairings of lovers.

The close of the play sees Order and Reason reigning anew - the mechanicals have performed their play, Theseus and Hippolyta have invited the lovers to share their wedding day, and Oberon and Titania's reconciliation has restored nature's harmony. The final words of the play are left to the fairies - with their blessing, the worlds of Reason and Nature are reconciled, guaranteeing a happy ending for all (Act V, scene 1, 360-427).

Fairy on Hoop

Test Yourself