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Characters / A Midsummer Night's Dream

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    Hermia 

Hermia

  • Ambiguously Brown: She is derisively called names like "ethiope" and "tawny tartar", and the "raven" to Helena's "dove" implying that she is darker in complexion, though no exact ethnicity is specified. "Ethiope" and "tartar" refer to African and Central Asian ethnicities respectively.
  • Elopement: Hermia and Lysander run off to do this, since Hermia is going to be forced into an Arranged Marriage to Demetrius (or put into a convent). However, events work out so that Demetrius cancels the wedding and the two are able to get married in Athens after all.
  • Height Angst: Hermia is very self-conscious about her short stature and believes that Helena must have wooed Lysander and Demetrius with her height.
  • Runaway Fiancée: To avoid marrying Demetrius, she dashes into the forest away from him before the marriage takes place.
  • Tsundere: Tender to Lysander and her best friend Helena... until she thinks they've betrayed her. Then the claws come out.

    Lysander 

Lysander

  • Elopement: Hermia and Lysander run off to do this, since Hermia is going to be forced into an Arranged Marriage to Demetrius (or put into a convent). However, events work out so that Demetrius cancels the wedding and the two are able to get married in Athens after all.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: He argues that he can spend a chaste night out in the woods next to his beloved; Hermia replies that he 'riddles very prettily' and asks him to sleep at a distance.
  • Marry for Love: He makes this argument in the opening scene, by saying that the difference between him and Demetrius is that Hermia loves him not Demetrius.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: He argues that he is neither poorer nor lower in social status than Demetrius so Hermia's father has no reason not to choose him over Demetrius.
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    Demetrius 

Demetrius

    Helena 

Helena

  • Clingy Jealous Girl: An Unbuilt Trope edition — she was with Demetrius, possibly even engaged to him, before Egeus stepped in. Her dogged pursuit of Demetrius is less jealousy and more outrage that the man who claimed to love her would dump her when she became an inconvenience.
  • Love Martyr: At one point she claims she wouldn't mind if Demetrius treated her like a dog so long as she could be his dog. She also seems pretty unconcerned when he threatens to rape her. Granted, it's because she doesn't think he'd go through with it, but still.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Demetrius wants Helena to stop following him because she's in danger of rape going out at night. And this while he still hates her.
  • Statuesque Stunner: In contrast to the shorter Hermia, Helena is a "painted maypole."

    Oberon 

Oberon

The king of the fairies, Oberon is a petty matchmaker who meddles with mortal love lives while tormenting Queen Titania over a changeling he wants to have as his henchman because... just because.
  • The Chessmaster: He orchestrates all the plots that happen in the woods... which means he has to deal with the aftermath.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Most of the play is about him trying to do this for the mortals by telling Puck to straighten out the romantic entanglements. He gets there in the end.
  • Evil Is Petty: More amoral than evil, but most of the supernatural shenanigans happen because his wife won't give him something he wants.
  • The Fair Folk: Is its king and is one of the most immoral and inhumane characters in the play
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Puck is his most trusted henchman, for all the good it does him.
  • Karma Houdini: Oberon humiliates his wife for an extremely petty reason, and gets exactly what he wanted out of it. Titania doesn't seem to care at all once the spell is removed.
  • The Matchmaker: He pairs up Helena and Demetrius... after previously pairing up Helena and Lysander, and his own wife with an enchanted common laborer.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Averted. He is just a petty and immoral sadist committing various atrocities for amusement.
  • Pet the Dog: Oberon is hardly the nicest of characters, but he does feel sorry for Helena and attempts to help her by getting Demetrius to fall in love with her. Unfortunately, that just makes things worse.
  • Shipper on Deck: Oberon really wants to see Helena's love for Demetrius reciprocated.

    Titania 

Titania

The queen of the fairies, this woman sticks to her guns, which results in her husband slipping her a Love Potion while she's asleep, causing her to fall in love with Bottom.
  • The Fair Folk: Queen of the Fairies. While she doesn't toy with the moral realm as much as her husband does, she explicitly forbids Bottom to leave and tells him she will keep him by force if she has to.
  • I Gave My Word: To her friend who died in childbirth that she would raise her son. In her fight with Oberon, it could be interpreted as Honor Before Reason, considering she most likely knows it will only get worse.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Played straight, she is the most positive character among the fairies.

    Puck 

Puck

Oberon's henchman who mistakenly gives the Love Potion to Lysander, and then Demetrius, causing them to fall in love with Helena. It doesn't bother him much...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: He does so in his final speech, addressing the audience.
  • Comedic Sociopath: He completely tangles the love lives of four young people, but he largely finds it funny and the audience is probably supposed to do the same.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Some productions will have all fairies fall under this trope, but Puck in particular.
  • The Dragon: He is Oberon's main confidant and right-hand man. While Oberon mostly means well with his plotting, Puck doesn't mind so much that the plan has gone astray because he enjoys the resulting chaos.
  • The Gadfly: Enjoys messing with people, either for Oberon's entertainment or his own.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: "I jest to Oberon and make him smile" pretty much sums it up. They might as well share a box of popcorn as they watch all the chaos they've caused play out.
  • It Amused Me: Puck's screwing up with the love potion. Sure it was a mistake but he's enjoying the results. "Then will two at once woo one. That must needs be sport alone. All these things do best please me, that which falls preposterously."
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    Bottom 

Bottom

  • Baleful Polymorph: Bottom's head turned into that of an ass.
  • Malaproper: He is the poster boy for this trope, saying, for example, "odious" for "odours" and "Ninny's tomb" for "Ninus' tomb" (Ninus was the legendary founder of Nineveh). Bottom goes onto say that the lion "deflowered my dear!" Instead of "devoured".
  • Meaningful Name: This is a case of words not changing meaning since Shakespeare's time. Ass meant both donkey and butt/bottom then, just like now.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Nick Bottom is so confident of his abilities to the point that he believes that he can do anything. He can't.

    Theseus 

Theseus

  • Amazon Chaser: Hippolyta's courtship with Thesus was based on fighting and one of his first lines is how his marriage proposal was their duel.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Slayer of the Minotaur, son of Poseidon (and some other guy too), kinsman of Hercules, husband of the Amazon Queen... doesn't believe in fairies, apparently.

    Hippolyta 

Hippolyta

  • All Amazons Want Hercules: "Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword/And won thy love, doing thee injuries..." Also specifically invoked when Theseus tries to impress Hippolyta with his hounds. She teasingly tells him that she went hunting with Hercules and his hounds were better. (In Greek mythology, Hippolyta was always paired with either Theseus or Hercules.)
  • Archer Archetype: Hippolyta's status as this in mythology is referenced when she likens the waning moon to "a silver bow/New-bent in heaven".
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Theseus "wooed her with his sword" and they're about to be married.
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