A Midsummer Night's Dream. 7: Lifting the Fog
Puck sends the lovers to sleep and Oberon releases Titania from the spell.
7: Lifting the Fog
Puck leads the lovers through the foggy night, using ventriloquism to keep them from bumping into one another. One by one, they enter a clearing and fall asleep. Puck applies the magic flower to Lysander’s eyes, so that he might fall in love with Hermia again when he wakes.
Titania and her fairies wait on the transformed Bottom until both he and the bewitched queen fall asleep. Oberon witnesses the scene, takes pity on Titania and releases her from the flower’s spell. She wakes, sees Oberon, instantly loves him again and is reconciled. She recoils at the sight of the sleeping Bottom with his donkey head. Oberon tells Puck to change Bottom back to his former state.
Activities - KS2
The lovers have been on a long journey before they are finally gathered together by Puck to fall asleep at the end of this episode. The class could discuss each of their narrative arcs and talk about how their relationships have changed over the course of the play.
As an aid to comprehension, each storyline could be summarised in a few sentences on different cards and those cards put together to create a complete storyline. The class could then be asked to make predictions about what happens next. Will the lovers be reconciled? What about Theseus’s ruling from the beginning of the play? Will Bottom make it back in time to perform Pyramus?
Pupils could be asked to devise comic and tragic endings for the play, building on the discussion about comedy and tragedy from Episode 2.
Activities - KS3
Working in groups of 4 or 5, students could be provided with the first two pages of the transcript of Episode 7, complete with stage directions. After discussing some of the structural features of a play text, each student could then be asked to pick a character and imagine how the rest of Episode 7 might unfold from that character’s point of view, working collaboratively to draft a new ending for the episode, complete with stage directions.
The group could also be asked to semi-stage or fully perform the resulting scene to the class.