Vanessa Diaz on A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 2

Published by admin_main on Thu 02 Sep, 2010

7. In Act 2, Scene 1, we meet Puck or Robin Goodfellow. Who is he, and what powers does he possess? What task is he charged to perform in this scene, and why?

8. In Act 2, Scene 2, what error does Puck make in discharging his responsibility as set forth by Oberon in the previous scene? Why does he make this mistake, and what are its effects?

Question seven: In Act II Scene I Puck is introduced, he is also known as Robin Goodfellow, he is Oberon's (the king of the fairies) jester and also the one that Oberon seems to trust in fulfilling certain tasks that he might have. Puck has the power to turn invisible and it seems as though he can travel very easily to complete any tasks that he is given. In this scene Oberon wants Puck to find and bring back a flower that Cupid accidentally struck with his bow and arrow called love-in-idleness. The flower has "love juice" in it and Oberon wants to use the liquid to fool his wife into falling in love with a beast-like creature and give up her page to him. He does this because of his jealousy of the love that his wife shows the page and not him, but also because of the young page's attractiveness.

Oberon wants to make the young Indian boy one of his knights. This is found out through a conversation that Puck and one of Titania's fairies have on lines 21-25 in Act II Scene I, Puck tells the fairy, "A lovely boy stolen from an Indian King; she never have so sweet a changeling; and jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild…" however, Titania does not want to give him up so Oberon had to devise a plan to get her page. Meanwhile, as Puck is retrieving the flower, Oberon sees a young woman named Helena chase after Demetrius: a man that she loves but does not love her back. Oberon takes pity on her, possibly because of his situation with his own wife. So when he sees Puck again, he tells him to find this Athenian man and put the "love juice" on his eyes while he is sleeping so that when he wakes up and sees Helena, he will fall in love with her as well as she for him.

Question eight: In Act II Scene II Puck accidentally gives the love juice to the wrong male Athenian. Puck gave the love juice to Lysander instead of Demetrius because he walked though out the whole forest and could not find one Athenian until he stumbled on Lysander, and then spotted Hermia who was lying further away from him. In Act II Scene II Puck is speaking to himself in lines 66-79, "Through the forest have I gone but Athenian found I none, oh whose eyes I might approve the flower's force in stirring love. Night and silence.—Who is there? Weeds of Athens he doth wear: This is he, my master said despised the Athenian maid; and here the maiden, sleeping sound, on the dank and dirty ground. Pretty soul! She durst not lie near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy. Churl, upon his eyes I throw all the power this charm doth owe." So he thought that they were not lovers but the two people that Oberon explained to him, because he grew restless in finding another Athenian and because of the distance and place at which they were sleeping. Puck's mistake made Lysander fall in love with Helena and renounce his love for Hermia. Which Oberon had to correct but in his doing so creates another love triangle but for Helena, which creates more problems that must be corrected.