A Midsummer Night's Dream: Character Profiles
Nick Bottom: Nick Bottom is a weaver, and one of the artisans who put on the play, "Pyramus and Thisbe." He is a strong and confident character, and at the first rehearsal he exasperates Peter Quince by wanting to play almost all the parts himself. In the wood during a rehearsal, the mischievous Puck magically transforms Bottom's head into an ass's head, which scares his fellow players away but wins him the love of Titania. When Pyramus and Thisbe is performed, Bottom plays the role of Pyramus with great energy and enthusiasm but little skill.
Cobweb is one of the fairies that attend Titania and wait on Bottom.
Demetrius is an aristocratic young man who once loved Helena but now is in love with Hermia. He rejects Helena, even though she still loves him. During the course of the play, as a result of the love-juice placed by Puck on his eyelids, Demetrius rediscovers his love for Helena, and the two eventually marry.
Egeus is the stern-minded father of Hermia, who tells her that she must either marry Demetrius or die.
Francis Flute: Francis Flute is a bellows-mender, and one of the artisans who put on the play "Pyramus and Thisbe" for Theseus's wedding celebrations. Flute plays the role of Thisbe.
Hermia is in love with Lysander but her father, Egeus, decides that she must marry Demetrius instead. She and Lysander decide to elope, and go to the wood outside Athens. Hermia is bewildered when Lysander deserts her, and quarrels with her friend Helena, accusing her of enticing Lysander away from her. Hermia is short and dark, in contrast to Helena. She is also hot-tempered.
Helena: Helena is in love with Demetrius, but he rejects her. However, she does not give up, and follows him to the wood. In the wood, she is astonished to find that first Lysander and then Demetrius (through the effects of the love-juice) confess their love for her. She thinks they are playing a cruel joke on her. Helena lacks confidence in herself as a result of being jilted by Demetrius, so she cannot believe in love when it does comes to her. In contrast to Hermia, Helena is tall and fair.
Hippolyta is the Amazon queen who marries Theseus.
Lysander is an aristocratic young man who is in love with Hermia. He is tricked by the flower-juice that Puck puts on his eyelids into believing that he loves Helena, and he rejects Hermia. Then when Puck puts another herb on his eyelids that removes all error, he realizes once more that he really loves Hermia. He and Hermia marry.
Moth is one of the fairies that attend Titania and wait on Bottom.
Mustardseed is one of the fairies that attend Titania and wait on Bottom.
Oberon: Oberon is the king of the fairies. He has quarreled with the fairy queen, Titania, over who should have possession of a changeling boy that Titania is raising. Eventually Titania gives in to Oberon's demands, but not before he has played a cruel trick on her with the love-juice. Oberon uses Puck to manipulate the four lovers in the wood, but his intentions are benign. At the end of the play, he and his train enter Theseus's house in order to bless it.
Peaseblossom is one of the fairies that attend Titania and wait on Bottom.
Philostrate is Theseus's Master of the Revels.
Puck is a mischievous spirit also known as Robin Goodfellow. He is Oberon's lieutenant and does his bidding. He takes a lot of pleasure in the confusion he brings to mortals.
Peter Quince: Peter Quince is a carpenter. His name is derived from "quines" or "quoins," which are wooden wedges used by carpenters. He is in charge of the production of the play, "Pyramus and Thisbe," and takes the role of the Prologue, although according to the watching aristocrats, he reads his lines very badly.
Snug is a joiner, and one of the artisans who put on the play "Pyramus and Thisbe." He plays Lion.
Tom Snout: Tom Snout is a tinker. His name means nozzle or spout, and so suggests his trade of mending kettles. He is one of the artisans who put on the play "Pyramus and Thisbe." He plays Wall.
Robin Starveling is a tailor, and one of the artisans who put on the play "Pyramus and Thisbe." He plays Moonshine. His name is derived from the tradition that tailors were thin and feeble.
Theseus is the Duke of Athens, who marries Hippolyta. He is a gracious man, who appears to be a good ruler. He tries to mediate the dispute between Egeus and Hermia, and is willing to give the artisans some credit for their farcical theatrical performance. Theseus is also a rational, down-to-earth man; he does not put any trust or faith in the imaginative world occupied by poets or lovers.
Titania is the fairy queen. She has quarreled with Oberon because Oberon wants her to hand over a changeling boy that Titania has been raising since his mother died in childbirth. Titania eventually allows Oberon to have the boy, but not before Oberon has played a trick on her, causing her to fall in love with Bottom, who is wearing an ass's head.