Scene 1: Theseus (the Duke of Athens) announces he will marry Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons whom he first conquered in bqttle but hqs now fallen in love with, in four days. He hears Egeus' complaint that his daughter Hermia refuses to marry his chosen suitor, Demetrius, since she's in love with Lysander, who Egeus dislikes. Theseus declares Hermia must obey her father, or choose between death or joining a nunnery. Lysander asks Hermia to meet him in the forest, so that they can travel to his aunt's house to marry. Hermia's friend, Helena, learns of this and decides to inform Demetrius, whom she loves passionately despite his rejection of her. Demetrius insists that he now loves Hermia, although he previously had wooed and won Helena.
Scene 2: Working men from Athens, Quince, Bottom, Flute, Starveling, Snug, and Snout are organizing a play to be offered to be performed at Theseus' wedding. They agree to meet in the forest to rehearse.
Scene 1: In the forest, Oberon (the King of the Fairies) argues with Titania (the Fairy Queen) that he should have her orphan child as his page. Titania objects, asserting she is queen. It emerges that Oberon is attracted to Hippolyta and Titania loves Theseus. To obtain the boy, Oberon orders the fairy Puck (Robin Goodfellow) to obtain a flower, the juice of which applied to the eyes causes that person to fall in love with the first person they see. Oberon plans to use it on Titania, hoping she will fall in love with something and give him the child. Demetrius and Helena appear, Helena pursuing Demetrius and he fleeing her. Puck arrives with the flower, and Oberon orders Puck to anoint Demetrius's eyes with it so that he will love Helena rather than Hermia.
Scene 2: After hearing her fairies sing, Titania falls asleep. Oberon then anoints Titania's eyes with the juice of the flower. In the forest, Lysander and Hermia have lost their way. They lie down to rest. Puck, thinking Lysander is Demetrius, anoints his eyes with the flower. Helena appears and awakes Lysander, who immediately falls in love with her and purues her, leaving Hermia alone.
Scene 1: In the forest, the troupe of players discuss the effect of their play on the audience. They worry that the ladies might be frightened by the lion. Puck appears and gives Bottom an ass's head. The actors flee. Titania awakes and falls in love with Bottom and orders her fairy servants to attend to him.
Scene 2: Puck tells Oberon of his success. They observe Demetrius pursuing Hermia, while she accuses him of murdering Lysander, and Oberon realizes Puck gave the juice to the wrong man. Hermia runs away, Demetrius falls asleep. Oberon tries to remedy things by anointing Demetrius's eyes with the flower so he'll fall in love with Helena. She enters, pursued by Lysander wooing her, Demetrius wakes and he duly falls in love with her. Now both men claim they love Helena, while she believes both are mocking her. Hermia arrives and Helena accuses her of conspiring with the men to tease her. They squabble, while the two men prepare to kill one another. Oberon, realizing Puck has caused these problems, orders him to make a thick fog to separate the four and send them into a deep sleep. Puck squeezes a curative juice on Lysander's eyes so that he will love Hermia again on waking.
Scene 1: Titania is seen doting on Bottom with his long ears. They sleep. Oberon enjoys the sight, then releases Titania from the spell by juice from another flower, and transforms Bottom back. Oberon and Titania are reconciled and vanish. Theseus, Hippolyta, and Egeus appear, hunting in the early morning, and discover the four. Demetrius and Lysander inform Theseus of their loves for Helena and Hermia, respectively. He agrees to let them be married with him. Separately, Bottom awakes and remember's the night's occurrences.
Scene 2: Bottom returns to Athens and the players.
Scene 1: After the wedding, at dinner, Theseus decides to watch Quince's tedious, brief, tragical play. In it, Thisbe (played by Flute) and Pyramus (played by Bottom) whisper their love through a chink in a wall (played by Snout). They vow to meet at Ninny's tomb, but a lion (played by Snug) attacks Thisbe. Pyramus arrives and finds her scarf, assumes she's dead, and kills himself. Thisbe arrives, finds him dead, and kills herself.
Scene 2: After the play, all go to bed, then the fairies appear to bless the couples and frolic.