DAY 1.--Act I. sc. i. Athens. In the first two speeches the proposed duration of the action seems pretty clearly set forth. By [them] I understand that four clear days are to intervene between the time of this scene and the day of the wedding. The night of this day No. 1 would, however, suppose five nights to come between.
DAY 2.--Act II., Act III., and part of sc. i. Act IV., are on the morrow night in the woods, and are occupied with the adventures of the lovers; with Oberon, Titania, and Puck; the Clowns. Daybreak being at hand, the fairies trip after the night's shade and leave the lovers and Bottom asleep.
DAY 3.--Act IV. sc. i. continued. Morning. May-day. Theseus, Hippolyta, etc., enter and awake the lovers with their hunting-horns.
In Act I. it will be remembered that four days were to elapse before Theseus's nuptials and Hermia's resolve; but here we see the plot is altered, for we are now only in the second day from the opening scene, and only one clear day has intervened between day No. 1 and this, the wedding day.
Act IV. sc. ii.--Athens. Later in the day.
Act V.--In the Palace. Evening.
According to the opening speeches of Theseus and Hippolyta in Act I., we should have expected the dramatic action to have comprised five days, exclusive of that Act; as it is, we have only three days inclusive of it.