Hermia and Lysander are in love. Helena loves Demetrius but Demetrius has eyes only for Hermia. The situation is compounded by Egeus, the father of Hermia, who wishes Hermia to wed Demetrius and threatens her with death as penalty for disobeying a parent according to Athenian law.
Take time to pause; and, by the nest new moon--/ The sealing-day betwist my love and me, / For everlasting bond of fellowship – / Upon that day either prepare to die / For disobedience to your father’s will, / Or else to wed Demetrius as he would; Or on Diana’s altar to protest /For aye austerity and single life.
Theseus’s decision to stall is a latent manifestation that this seemingly insurmountable odd will somehow be resolved and everyone is restored to their rightful places with their lovers. After giving this admonition to Hermia, Theseus exits.
This is when the dream instigator ignites in an attempt to thwart off the obstacles by fleeing and pursuing what is truly desirable. The first flight is seen in Lysander planning to elope with Hermia, to escape the laws of Athens and pursue a life together. The second flight is Demetrius on the trail of Hermia after Helena betrays the couple’s plans. Blinded by love for Hermia, Demetrius takes flight. Helena, utterly devoted to Demetrius, compares herself to a spaniel and follows doggedly. The star crossed lovers who converge in the forest are completely displaced, far from Athens and deep in fairyland.
The unfulfilled wishes of the lovers have condensed to manifest a litany of fairy characters, Oberon, King of the Fairies, Titiania, Queen of the Fairies, Oberon’s servant Puck and Titania’s train of fairies. Like the lovers, Oberon also has an unfulfilled wish. He is at angst with the Fairy Queen over a changeling, whom he wants for a henchman. The Fairy Queen adamantly refuses his request and Oberon