A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act by Act Quote Questions
written by: Sarah Degnan Moje
• edited by: Tricia Goss
• updated: 7/28/2015
Studying Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream invites students to study some of the most beautiful and lyrical language in any of Shakespeare’s plays. As with any work of Shakespeare’s, it takes some time for students to adjust to the language and truly master the art of reading the Bard.
slide 1 of 3
More poetic than any other of his works, and written in iambic pentameter, this 1595 version of a screwball comedy is a lilting romp through the woods. From Athens, a place of order and rules into the woods ruled by fairies where chaos reigns, students who truly take the time to savor the language will walk away from this short play with a true appreciation of Shakespeare’s wit.
slide 2 of 3
Asking the Right Questions
When I teach this play, I use content questions broken down into acts. However, I do not just require students to answer the questions, since a quick trip to SparkNotes would take care of that for them with no trouble.
Instead, I ask them to find the line or lines of text that define, support or state the direct answer. In this way, I can ensure that they are both reading the play and comprehending the language. It is tedious work for the students, especially during Act I and Act II, but by the third Act, I have always seen my students become more confident in their ability to analyze and interpret Shakespeare’s texts.