A boy dreams the play. Authority in Athens is shaky: Hermia rejects her father's choice, the Duke backs her father, and the Duchess sides with Hermia. Dad's choice, Demetrius, pursues Hermia but is loved by Helena. When Hermia and her lover meet in the woods the next night, Helena tells Demetrius in hopes she can follow and change his mind. Also in the woods are craftsmen preparing a play, plus the fairies: the fairy rulers, Oberon and Titania, are at odds, so Oberon conjures a spell and Titania falls for a craftsman bewitched with the ears of an ass. Oberon's sprite, Puck, also tries to bring the four young lovers into compatible couples but makes an error before all is right.