Puck was thrilled with the results of his trick on Bottom, and he ran off to
find Oberon. He wanted to tell him everything that had happened.
'So you gave Bottom a donkey's head,' Oberon laughed. 'Then what
'Bottom's friends ran away when they saw him, 'Puck explained, 'and
Bottom was left alone in the wood. He started singing, and the noise he made
woke Titania. As soon as she woke up, she saw him and she.
'... she fell in love with him!' cried Oberon with pleasure. 'An idiot with a
donkey's head! That is a good joke, Puck. That'll teach Titania to be so horrible
to me! Well done, well done indeed!'
Puck smiled happily at Oberon. He was pleased with himself.
'And the boy from Athens?' asked Oberon. 'Did you find him, as I told you,
and put the magic juice into his eyes?'
'Yes,' said Puck, 'I found him and the girl. He'll fall in love with her as soon
as he wakes up.'
Just at that moment Demetrius and Hermia came into sight. Oberon and
Puck both saw them.
'That's strange,' commented Oberon. 'It's the same boy, all right - but I've
never seen that girl before!'
Puck was confused, as well.
'It is strange.' he said. 'That's the same girl, but I don't know who the boy is
- I've never seen him before!'
The King and his servant looked at each other. They did not understand
what had happened. Then they approached the young couple. They wanted to
hear what Demetrius and Hermia were saying to each other.
'Why are you so cruel to me Hermia?' complained Demetrius. 'You know I
'Love me?' Hermia replied angrily. 'I don't care if you do love me. I want to
know where Lysander is. When I woke up, he was gone - I was alone in the
'No, I haven't killed him,' Demetrius said. 'I don't know where he is and I
don't care where he is - but I certainly haven't killed him, Hermia.'
'Then where can he be?' Hermia cried desperately. 'I can't understand
what's happened to him. Help me find him, Demetrius. Please help me find him.'
'And if I do help you.' Demetrius asked, 'what will you do for me, Hermia?
Remember that I love you.'
Hermia was very angry with Demetrius now.
'Leave me alone!' she cried. 'Can't you understand that I hate you,
Demetrius? Just leave me alone!'
Hermia ran away through the wood.
'There's no point in following her now,' Demetrius thought. 'It wouldn't do
any good to speak to her just now. I'll rest here a while, and then I'll look for her
when she's calmer. Perhaps she'll listen to me then.'
He lay down on the ground, and in a few minutes he fell asleep.
Oberon and Puck were surprised by what they had heard. Neither of them
spoke. Then Oberon pointed angrily at his servant.
'Now look what you've done!' he said. 'You put the magic juice into the
wrong man's eyes, Puck! I wanted you to make Helena happy, but you haven't
done that at all. Go and find her. Use your magic to bring her here, and I'll make
sure that Demetrius falls in love with her. Go quickly, Puck, there isn't much
time before morning!'
Puck flew through the wood in search of Helena. He was soon back at the
King's side. Oberon could see that Puck was trying hard not to laugh.
'What is it now?' demanded the King. 'What's so funny?'
'She's coming. Helena's coming,' Puck announced. 'But there's someone
with her, Oberon.'
Now Puck began to laugh. 'I did make a mistake with the magic juice -
now this other boy's terribly in love with her! Let's listen to what they say, shall
every word of the conversation between Helena and Lysander.
miserably. 'I tell you I love you.'
'What about all your promises to Hermia?' Helena asked him angrily.
'What happened to them, Lysander?'
'It's true,' Lysander said. 'I thought I loved Hermia once. Now she means
nothing to me. It's you I love. Helena, only you.'
'I don't believe you. Lysander,' Helena told him. 'You're playing some
unkind game, and I think it's wrong of you.'
Helena and Lysander were walking near the place where Demetrius was
sleeping, and the noise of their talking woke him up. Oberon had worked his
magic on Demetrius, so that when he saw Helena, the young man fell in love
with her immediately.
'Helena!' he cried. 'My love, Helena!'
This was too much for Helena. She thought that Demetrius and Lysander
were being cruel to her. She was very offended with them.
'Stop it, both of you - just stop this game!' Helena shouted at Demetrius
and Lysander. 'I don't know why you've decided to be so cruel to me - but stop it,
everywhere, and she was very happy to see him alive and well.
'Lysander! I've been looking everywhere for you. Why did you leave me
like that?' she asked.
'Why shouldn't I leave you?' Lysander replied coldly. 'Love made me leave
'Love made you leave me,' she repeated slowly. 'What do you mean? Aren't
I the girl you love, Lysander?'
'You!' Lysander mocked her. 'I love Helena, not you.'
Hermia could not believe what she was hearing.
'It can't be true!' she whispered. 'It can't be true. Last night you loved me,
and now you say everything is changed, and you love Helena?"
Helena interrupted the conversation between Lysander and Hermia. Now
and she was angry and offended.
'I would never have thought it of you, Hermia,' she said. 'What made you
turn against me and make fun of me like this? We've always been such good
friends. Why are you treating me so badly?'
'I don't understand you.' Hermia told her. 'What do you mean, Helena?'
'You know very well that Demetrius and Lysander are both in love with
you.' Helena said. 'Why have you made them both pretend to be in love with me?
What kind of cruel game are you playing?'
'I still don't know what you're talking about,' Hermia replied.
'That's right, make fun of me, all of you!' Helena shouted. 'I know now that
you all hate me. I won't stay here to be the victim of your cruel jokes.'
Then Lysander and Demetrius began to argue with each other.
'You ran away from Athens with Hermia.' Demetrius said. 'Stay with her. I
'You wanted to marry Hermia,' Lysander said. 'There she is, take her and be
happy. I love Helena now!'
They looked at each other fiercely, and Lysander reached for his sword.
Demetrius then reached for his sword as well. The two young men wanted to kill
'Stop it! Stop it, both of you!' Hermia shouted. She ran to Lysander, and
held onto his arm.
Lysander was now furious with Hermia as well as Demetrius.
'Don't touch me! Get away from me! I hate you!'
Hate me? How can you say that you hale me! Lysander?'
'Get away, I tell you,' Lysander repeated, and he pushed Hermia angrily.
'Then it's true?' she asked him. 'It's really true that you don't love me any
more, Lysander? And you're in love with Helena?'
'Yes, it's true,' Lysander said. 'Now leave me alone.'
Hermia turned to Helena. She was very pale and angry.
'You!" she cried. 'I thought you were my friend - but you've stolen
Oberon knew that the four young people would soon begin fighting, and he
decided to interfere.
'We must use some more magic, Puck,' he said. 'If we don't do something,
they'll really hurt each other.'
He thought for a moment, then he gave his orders. He told Puck to make
the wood very dark, and to put a thick mist everywhere. Then he told his servant
to go to Lysander and Demetrius in turn.
'They won't be able to see anything in the mist,' he said. 'When you go to
Lysander, pretend to be Demetrius. Tell Lysander that you want to fight him.
He'll follow you. Then go to Demetrius, and pretend to be Lysander. Tell him the
same thing, and make him follow you in a different direction. You can keep them
apart that way.'
Oberon told Puck to make the young men chase after him until they
became tired and fell asleep.
'Once they're asleep,' he said, 'I'll use the magic juice to put things right. I'll
make Lysander fall in love with Hermia again. When they all wake up, they'll
remember what happened here as if it had all been a dream. While they're all
sleeping, I'll go to Titania, and make peace with her.'
Puck carried out Oberon's orders very carefully. He prevented Demetrius
and Lysander from fighting, and soon all the young people were safely asleep in