At his palace, Theseus speaks with Hippolyta about the story that the Athenian youths have told them concerning the magical romantic mix-ups of the previous night. Theseus says that he does not believe the story, adding that darkness and love have a way of exciting the imagination.
The youths enter and Theseus greets them. He says that they should pass the time before bed with a performance, and he summons Egeus to read him a list of plays, each of which Theseus deems unacceptable.
Quince enters to present a prologue, and speaks
The other players then enter, including two characters performing the roles of Wall and Moonshine.
They act out a clumsy version of the story, during which the noblemen and women joke among themselves about the actors’ strange speeches
Snug, as the lion, enters and pours forth a speech explaining to the ladies that he is not really a lion. He roars, scaring Thisbe away, and clumsily rends her mantle.