CROSS-EFFECTS OF OBERON'S SPELL
Analyze the scenes constituting this Act. Observe that scene i. takes
up Bottom and his fellows, the group not as yet brought into relation
with the fairy group, and initiates them in the magic of fairy land by
means of the new but appropriate head Puck bestows upon Bottom. Why is
Bottom picked out for this favor? The 'ass-head' as a symbolic piece
of stage furniture. Show how this transformation makes the mismating
of Titania with Bottom more gross and obvious to the audience; also
how this is the next direct effect of Oberon's revenge.
Notice that scene ii. takes up the cross-effect already worked upon
Lysander by Puck's mistake, instead of on Demetrius, as Oberon
intended, and sets forth its further effects upon Helena and Hermia.
The dialogues between the two pairs of lovers now overheard by Oberon
makes the error clear, and so enables him to take the first step in
clearing up the tangle. Meantime, the poet and his audience agree with
Puck that they are so far 'glad it so did sort, As this their
jangling' is esteemed 'a sport.'
POINTS 1. Explain 'It shall be written in eight and sixe,' III. i.
23-4. 2. The custom in Shakespeare's day as to the women's parts.
Would it have been as amusing to the audience then as it would be to
us when Quince says 'Robin Starveling, you play Thisbies mother'? 3.
Pyramus and Thisbe. This may have been derived from Ovid, or from
Chaucer's "Legend of Good Women," or C. Robinson's "Handful of
Pleasant Delights." (1504.) 4. Explain 'Two of the first like coats in
heraldry,' III. ii. 220. 5. Describe the personal appearance of the
heroines from the references made.