A Midsummer Night's Dream


William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedic play that takes place in Athens and the surrounding forest. There are three main plot lines that intersect throughout the play. The first involves the impending marriage of Duke Theseus and Hippolyta, which sets the stage for the other two plots.

The second plot follows a group of young Athenian lovers who become entangled in a love triangle. Hermia is in love with Lysander, but her father wants her to marry Demetrius. Meanwhile, Helena is in love with Demetrius, who has no interest in her. The four of them end up in the forest, where they become victims of the fairy king and queen's mischief.

The third plot involves the fairy kingdom and their antics. The fairy king, Oberon, and his queen, Titania, are at odds over a changeling boy. Oberon enlists the help of Puck, a mischievous fairy, to use a love potion on Titania to make her fall in love with the first person she sees upon waking up. Puck mistakenly uses the potion on Lysander and then on Demetrius, leading to even more confusion between the lovers.

All three plot lines come together in the forest, where the characters become mixed up in each other's affairs due to the fairy's meddling. Eventually, everything is resolved, and the lovers are reunited with their correct partners. Duke Theseus and Hippolyta, along with the other characters, then watch a comical play put on by a group of amateur actors before the play ends.

Act I

Act 1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream opens with Theseus, the Duke of Athens, discussing his upcoming wedding to Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. They talk about how they won the battle that brought them together. Then, Egeus, a nobleman, enters with his daughter Hermia and two other men, Demetrius and Lysander. Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, but she is in love with Lysander and refuses. Theseus gives her until his wedding day to decide, warning her that she must follow her father's wishes or face punishment.

Lysander and Hermia decide to run away to Lysander's aunt's house, where they can get married. They confide in Hermia's friend, Helena, who is in love with Demetrius. Helena tells Demetrius about their plan, hoping to win his favor, but he goes after Hermia and Lysander instead. Helena follows him into the woods, where they encounter Oberon, the fairy king, and his queen, Titania. Oberon and Titania are fighting over a young Indian boy, whom Titania has taken into her care. Oberon decides to use a magical flower to make Titania fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes up, hoping to get the boy from her.

Oberon sends his servant, Puck, to find the flower while he watches the lovers in the woods. Puck mistakenly puts the flower's potion on Lysander's eyes instead of Demetrius', causing him to fall in love with Helena instead of Hermia. Meanwhile, Titania wakes up and falls in love with Bottom, a member of a group of amateur actors who are rehearsing a play in the woods. Puck also transforms Bottom's head into that of a donkey, causing Titania to be even more smitten.

The act ends with the lovers confused and lost in the woods, and the actors preparing to perform their play for the Duke's wedding.

SCENE I. Athens. The palace of THESEUS.

The first scene of Act 1 takes place in Athens, Greece. The Duke of Athens, Theseus, is discussing his upcoming marriage to Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. He is eager for their wedding day to arrive and for the moon to reach its full phase, as he believes this will bring good luck to their union.

As they discuss their marriage plans, Egeus enters with his daughter Hermia and two suitors, Demetrius and Lysander. Egeus is angry with Hermia because she refuses to marry Demetrius, the man he has chosen for her. Instead, she is in love with Lysander and wishes to marry him instead.

Theseus tells Hermia that she must obey her father's wishes or face punishment, which could include being sent to a convent or even death. Hermia and Lysander are devastated by this news and decide to elope that night and run away from Athens.

Meanwhile, a group of amateur actors, led by Peter Quince, are also preparing for a performance they hope to present at Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding. They plan to perform the tragic tale of Pyramus and Thisbe.

As the scene ends, Puck, a mischievous fairy, enters and converses with a fairy queen, Titania. They discuss the ongoing dispute between them over a young Indian boy, whom Titania has taken under her wing. Puck is sent on a mission to retrieve a magical flower that can be used to cast a spell on Titania and make her fall in love with the first creature she sees upon waking up.


Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
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Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
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Another moon: but, O, methinks, how slow
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This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires,
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Like to a step-dame or a dowager
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Long withering out a young man revenue.
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Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
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Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
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And then the moon, like to a silver bow
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New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
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Of our solemnities.
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Go, Philostrate,
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Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
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Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
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Turn melancholy forth to funerals;
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The pale companion is not for our pomp.
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Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
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And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
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But I will wed thee in another key,
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With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.
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Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
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Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee?
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Full of vexation come I, with complaint
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Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
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Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
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This man hath my consent to marry her.
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Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke,
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This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child;
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Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,
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And interchanged love-tokens with my child:
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Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
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With feigning voice verses of feigning love,
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And stolen the impression of her fantasy
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With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
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Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
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Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
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With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
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Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
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To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke,
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Be it so she; will not here before your grace
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Consent to marry with Demetrius,
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I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
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As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
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Which shall be either to this gentleman
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Or to her death, according to our law
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Immediately provided in that case.
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What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid:
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To you your father should be as a god;
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One that composed your beauties, yea, and one
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To whom you are but as a form in wax
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By him imprinted and within his power
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To leave the figure or disfigure it.
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Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
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So is Lysander.
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In himself he is;
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But in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
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The other must be held the worthier.
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I would my father look'd but with my eyes.
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Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.
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I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
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I know not by what power I am made bold,
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Nor how it may concern my modesty,
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In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;
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But I beseech your grace that I may know
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The worst that may befall me in this case,
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If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
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Either to die the death or to abjure
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For ever the society of men.
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Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
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Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
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Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
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You can endure the livery of a nun,
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For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,
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To live a barren sister all your life,
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Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
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Thrice-blessed they that master so their blood,
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To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
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But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
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Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
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Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.
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So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
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Ere I will my virgin patent up
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Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
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My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
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Take time to pause; and, by the nest new moon--
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The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
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For everlasting bond of fellowship--
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Upon that day either prepare to die
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For disobedience to your father's will,
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Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;
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Or on Diana's altar to protest
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For aye austerity and single life.
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Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield
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Thy crazed title to my certain right.
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You have her father's love, Demetrius;
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Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.
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Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love,
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And what is mine my love shall render him.
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And she is mine, and all my right of her
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I do estate unto Demetrius.
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I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
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As well possess'd; my love is more than his;
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My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,
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If not with vantage, as Demetrius';
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And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
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I am beloved of beauteous Hermia:
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Why should not I then prosecute my right?
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Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
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Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
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And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
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Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
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Upon this spotted and inconstant man.
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I must confess that I have heard so much,
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And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
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But, being over-full of self-affairs,
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My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
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And come, Egeus; you shall go with me,
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I have some private schooling for you both.
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For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
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To fit your fancies to your father's will;
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Or else the law of Athens yields you up--
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Which by no means we may extenuate--
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To death, or to a vow of single life.
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Come, my Hippolyta: what cheer, my love?
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Demetrius and Egeus, go along:
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I must employ you in some business
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Against our nuptial and confer with you
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Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
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With duty and desire we follow you.
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Exeunt all but LYSANDER and HERMIA

How now, my love! why is your cheek so pale?
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How chance the roses there do fade so fast?
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Belike for want of rain, which I could well
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Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.
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Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
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Could ever hear by tale or history,
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The course of true love never did run smooth;
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But, either it was different in blood,--
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O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low.
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Or else misgraffed in respect of years,--
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O spite! too old to be engaged to young.
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Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,--
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O hell! to choose love by another's eyes.
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Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
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War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
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Making it momentany as a sound,
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Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
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Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
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That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
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And ere a man hath power to say 'Behold!'
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The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
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So quick bright things come to confusion.
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If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
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It stands as an edict in destiny:
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Then let us teach our trial patience,
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Because it is a customary cross,
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As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
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Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers.
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A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia.
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I have a widow aunt, a dowager
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Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
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From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
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And she respects me as her only son.
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There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
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And to that place the sharp Athenian law
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Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me then,
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Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
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And in the wood, a league without the town,
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Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
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To do observance to a morn of May,
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There will I stay for thee.
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My good Lysander!
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I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
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By his best arrow with the golden head,
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By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
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By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
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And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
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When the false Troyan under sail was seen,
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By all the vows that ever men have broke,
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In number more than ever women spoke,
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In that same place thou hast appointed me,
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To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
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Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.
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God speed fair Helena! whither away?
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Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
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Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
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Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air
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More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
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When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
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Sickness is catching: O, were favour so,
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Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
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My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
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My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
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Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
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The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
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O, teach me how you look, and with what art
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You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.
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I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
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O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!
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I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
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O that my prayers could such affection move!
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The more I hate, the more he follows me.
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The more I love, the more he hateth me.
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His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
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None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!
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Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
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Lysander and myself will fly this place.
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Before the time I did Lysander see,
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Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me:
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O, then, what graces in my love do dwell,
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That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell!
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Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
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To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
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Her silver visage in the watery glass,
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Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
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A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,
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Through Athens' gates have we devised to steal.
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And in the wood, where often you and I
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Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
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Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
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There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
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And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
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To seek new friends and stranger companies.
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Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us;
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And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
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Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
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From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.
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I will, my Hermia.
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Helena, adieu:
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As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!
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How happy some o'er other some can be!
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Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
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But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
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He will not know what all but he do know:
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And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
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So I, admiring of his qualities:
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Things base and vile, folding no quantity,
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Love can transpose to form and dignity:
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Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
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And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:
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Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste;
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Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
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And therefore is Love said to be a child,
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Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
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As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
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So the boy Love is perjured every where:
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For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
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He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
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And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
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So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
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I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
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Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
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Pursue her; and for this intelligence
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If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
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But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
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To have his sight thither and back again.
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SCENE II. Athens. QUINCE'S house.

Scene 2 of Act 1 takes place in the home of a man named Quince. He is organizing a group of amateur actors to put on a play for the Duke's wedding. The group consists of six men, including Bottom, who is very enthusiastic about playing all the parts himself. Quince assigns each actor a role and explains the plot of the play, which involves a tragic love story.

As they rehearse, a man named Nick Bottom begins to annoy the other actors with his over-the-top acting and constant interruptions. Eventually, they decide to take a break and leave Bottom alone on stage. While he is there, the fairy Puck appears and decides to play a prank on him by transforming his head into that of a donkey.

The other actors return and are frightened by Bottom's new appearance, but eventually realize that it is just a trick. They continue rehearsing, unaware of the magical events that are about to unfold in the forest surrounding them.


Is all our company here?
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You were best to call them generally, man by man,
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according to the scrip.
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Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is
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thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our
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interlude before the duke and the duchess, on his
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wedding-day at night.
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First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats
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on, then read the names of the actors, and so grow
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to a point.
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Marry, our play is, The most lamentable comedy, and
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most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
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A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a
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merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your
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actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.
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Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.
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Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.
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You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
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What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?
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A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.
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That will ask some tears in the true performing of
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it: if I do it, let the audience look to their
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eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some
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measure. To the rest: yet my chief humour is for a
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tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to
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tear a cat in, to make all split.
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The raging rocks
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And shivering shocks
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Shall break the locks
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Of prison gates;
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And Phibbus' car
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Shall shine from far
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And make and mar
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The foolish Fates.
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This was lofty! Now name the rest of the players.
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This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is
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more condoling.
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Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
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Here, Peter Quince.
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Flute, you must take Thisby on you.
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What is Thisby? a wandering knight?
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It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
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Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming.
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That's all one: you shall play it in a mask, and
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you may speak as small as you will.
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An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too, I'll
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speak in a monstrous little voice. 'Thisne,
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Thisne;' 'Ah, Pyramus, lover dear! thy Thisby dear,
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and lady dear!'
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No, no; you must play Pyramus: and, Flute, you Thisby.
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Well, proceed.
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Robin Starveling, the tailor.
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Here, Peter Quince.
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Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.
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Tom Snout, the tinker.
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Here, Peter Quince.
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You, Pyramus' father: myself, Thisby's father:
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Snug, the joiner; you, the lion's part: and, I
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hope, here is a play fitted.
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Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it
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be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
Link: 1.2.61

You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
Link: 1.2.62

Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will
Link: 1.2.63
do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar,
Link: 1.2.64
that I will make the duke say 'Let him roar again,
Link: 1.2.65
let him roar again.'
Link: 1.2.66

An you should do it too terribly, you would fright
Link: 1.2.67
the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek;
Link: 1.2.68
and that were enough to hang us all.
Link: 1.2.69

That would hang us, every mother's son.
Link: 1.2.70

I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the
Link: 1.2.71
ladies out of their wits, they would have no more
Link: 1.2.72
discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my
Link: 1.2.73
voice so that I will roar you as gently as any
Link: 1.2.74
sucking dove; I will roar you an 'twere any
Link: 1.2.75
Link: 1.2.76

You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
Link: 1.2.77
sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a
Link: 1.2.78
summer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man:
Link: 1.2.79
therefore you must needs play Pyramus.
Link: 1.2.80

Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best
Link: 1.2.81
to play it in?
Link: 1.2.82

Why, what you will.
Link: 1.2.83

I will discharge it in either your straw-colour
Link: 1.2.84
beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain
Link: 1.2.85
beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your
Link: 1.2.86
perfect yellow.
Link: 1.2.87

Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and
Link: 1.2.88
then you will play bare-faced. But, masters, here
Link: 1.2.89
are your parts: and I am to entreat you, request
Link: 1.2.90
you and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night;
Link: 1.2.91
and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the
Link: 1.2.92
town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse, for if
Link: 1.2.93
we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with
Link: 1.2.94
company, and our devices known. In the meantime I
Link: 1.2.95
will draw a bill of properties, such as our play
Link: 1.2.96
wants. I pray you, fail me not.
Link: 1.2.97

We will meet; and there we may rehearse most
Link: 1.2.98
obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfect: adieu.
Link: 1.2.99

At the duke's oak we meet.
Link: 1.2.100

Enough; hold or cut bow-strings.
Link: 1.2.101


Act II

In Act 2 of A Midsummer Night's Dream, chaos ensues as the fairy king, Oberon, and his queen, Titania, quarrel over a changeling boy. Oberon seeks revenge on Titania and orders his servant, Puck, to find a magical flower that will make a person fall in love with the first thing they see. Oberon plans to use this on Titania to make her fall in love with an animal.

Meanwhile, four young Athenians are also in the woods. Hermia and Lysander are in love and plan to elope, while Demetrius is in love with Hermia and Helena is in love with Demetrius. Puck mistakenly uses the magical flower on Lysander, causing him to fall in love with Helena instead of Hermia. Chaos ensues as the four lovers argue and chase each other through the woods.

Titania, under the influence of the love potion, falls in love with Bottom, a weaver who has been transformed into a half-donkey by Puck. Bottom is unaware of Titania's love for him and is more concerned about rehearsing for a play that he and his fellow mechanicals plan to perform for the Duke's wedding.

The act ends with the four lovers asleep in the woods and Bottom alone, with Titania fawning over him. Oberon observes the chaos he has caused and decides to intervene to set things right.

SCENE I. A wood near Athens.

Scene 1 of Act 2 of this play takes place in the woods, where the fairy king and queen are having an argument. The queen, Titania, has taken a young boy as her servant, and the king, Oberon, wants him for his own. They argue over the boy, and Oberon decides to use a love potion on Titania to distract her while he takes the boy.

Meanwhile, four young lovers are also in the woods. Hermia and Lysander have decided to run away together, but Helena, who is in love with Demetrius, tells him about their plan in the hopes of winning his affection. Demetrius goes after Hermia and Lysander, and Helena follows him.

Oberon sees the four lovers and decides to use the love potion on them as well. He tells his fairy servant, Puck, to put the potion on the eyes of the young man Demetrius, so that he will fall in love with Helena. However, Puck accidentally puts the potion on the eyes of Lysander instead.

When Lysander wakes up and sees Helena, he falls in love with her and forgets all about Hermia. Helena, confused and upset, thinks that Lysander and Demetrius are playing a cruel joke on her. The two men end up fighting over her, and Hermia is left alone and confused.

The scene ends with the four lovers asleep in the woods, and the fairy king and queen reconciling after their argument. Oberon takes the boy from Titania, and they both go to sleep as well.

Enter, from opposite sides, a Fairy, and PUCK

How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Link: 2.1.1

Over hill, over dale,
Link: 2.1.2
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Link: 2.1.3
Over park, over pale,
Link: 2.1.4
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
Link: 2.1.5
I do wander everywhere,
Link: 2.1.6
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
Link: 2.1.7
And I serve the fairy queen,
Link: 2.1.8
To dew her orbs upon the green.
Link: 2.1.9
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
Link: 2.1.10
In their gold coats spots you see;
Link: 2.1.11
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
Link: 2.1.12
In those freckles live their savours:
Link: 2.1.13
I must go seek some dewdrops here
Link: 2.1.14
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Link: 2.1.15
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
Link: 2.1.16
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
Link: 2.1.17

The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
Link: 2.1.18
Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
Link: 2.1.19
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Link: 2.1.20
Because that she as her attendant hath
Link: 2.1.21
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
Link: 2.1.22
She never had so sweet a changeling;
Link: 2.1.23
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Link: 2.1.24
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
Link: 2.1.25
But she perforce withholds the loved boy,
Link: 2.1.26
Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy:
Link: 2.1.27
And now they never meet in grove or green,
Link: 2.1.28
By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
Link: 2.1.29
But, they do square, that all their elves for fear
Link: 2.1.30
Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.
Link: 2.1.31

Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Link: 2.1.32
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Link: 2.1.33
Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
Link: 2.1.34
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Link: 2.1.35
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
Link: 2.1.36
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
Link: 2.1.37
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
Link: 2.1.38
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Link: 2.1.39
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
Link: 2.1.40
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Link: 2.1.41
Are not you he?
Link: 2.1.42

Thou speak'st aright;
Link: 2.1.43
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
Link: 2.1.44
I jest to Oberon and make him smile
Link: 2.1.45
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Link: 2.1.46
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
Link: 2.1.47
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
Link: 2.1.48
In very likeness of a roasted crab,
Link: 2.1.49
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
Link: 2.1.50
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
Link: 2.1.51
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Link: 2.1.52
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Link: 2.1.53
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
Link: 2.1.54
And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
Link: 2.1.55
And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
Link: 2.1.56
And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
Link: 2.1.57
A merrier hour was never wasted there.
Link: 2.1.58
But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.
Link: 2.1.59

And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!
Link: 2.1.60

Enter, from one side, OBERON, with his train; from the other, TITANIA, with hers

Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
Link: 2.1.61

What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
Link: 2.1.62
I have forsworn his bed and company.
Link: 2.1.63

Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?
Link: 2.1.64

Then I must be thy lady: but I know
Link: 2.1.65
When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
Link: 2.1.66
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
Link: 2.1.67
Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
Link: 2.1.68
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Link: 2.1.69
Come from the farthest Steppe of India?
Link: 2.1.70
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Link: 2.1.71
Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
Link: 2.1.72
To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
Link: 2.1.73
To give their bed joy and prosperity.
Link: 2.1.74

How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
Link: 2.1.75
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Link: 2.1.76
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
Link: 2.1.77
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
Link: 2.1.78
From Perigenia, whom he ravished?
Link: 2.1.79
And make him with fair AEgle break his faith,
Link: 2.1.80
With Ariadne and Antiopa?
Link: 2.1.81

These are the forgeries of jealousy:
Link: 2.1.82
And never, since the middle summer's spring,
Link: 2.1.83
Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
Link: 2.1.84
By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
Link: 2.1.85
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
Link: 2.1.86
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
Link: 2.1.87
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Link: 2.1.88
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
Link: 2.1.89
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Link: 2.1.90
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
Link: 2.1.91
Have every pelting river made so proud
Link: 2.1.92
That they have overborne their continents:
Link: 2.1.93
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
Link: 2.1.94
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Link: 2.1.95
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
Link: 2.1.96
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
Link: 2.1.97
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
Link: 2.1.98
The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
Link: 2.1.99
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
Link: 2.1.100
For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
Link: 2.1.101
The human mortals want their winter here;
Link: 2.1.102
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Link: 2.1.103
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Link: 2.1.104
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
Link: 2.1.105
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
Link: 2.1.106
And thorough this distemperature we see
Link: 2.1.107
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Link: 2.1.108
Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
Link: 2.1.109
And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
Link: 2.1.110
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Link: 2.1.111
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
Link: 2.1.112
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Link: 2.1.113
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
Link: 2.1.114
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
Link: 2.1.115
And this same progeny of evils comes
Link: 2.1.116
From our debate, from our dissension;
Link: 2.1.117
We are their parents and original.
Link: 2.1.118

Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
Link: 2.1.119
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
Link: 2.1.120
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
Link: 2.1.121
To be my henchman.
Link: 2.1.122

Set your heart at rest:
Link: 2.1.123
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
Link: 2.1.124
His mother was a votaress of my order:
Link: 2.1.125
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Link: 2.1.126
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,
Link: 2.1.127
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Link: 2.1.128
Marking the embarked traders on the flood,
Link: 2.1.129
When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive
Link: 2.1.130
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
Link: 2.1.131
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
Link: 2.1.132
Following,--her womb then rich with my young squire,--
Link: 2.1.133
Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
Link: 2.1.134
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
Link: 2.1.135
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
Link: 2.1.136
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
Link: 2.1.137
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
Link: 2.1.138
And for her sake I will not part with him.
Link: 2.1.139

How long within this wood intend you stay?
Link: 2.1.140

Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
Link: 2.1.141
If you will patiently dance in our round
Link: 2.1.142
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
Link: 2.1.143
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Link: 2.1.144

Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Link: 2.1.145

Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
Link: 2.1.146
We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
Link: 2.1.147

Exit TITANIA with her train

Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
Link: 2.1.148
Till I torment thee for this injury.
Link: 2.1.149
My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest
Link: 2.1.150
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
Link: 2.1.151
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
Link: 2.1.152
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
Link: 2.1.153
That the rude sea grew civil at her song
Link: 2.1.154
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
Link: 2.1.155
To hear the sea-maid's music.
Link: 2.1.156

I remember.
Link: 2.1.157

That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,
Link: 2.1.158
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Link: 2.1.159
Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
Link: 2.1.160
At a fair vestal throned by the west,
Link: 2.1.161
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
Link: 2.1.162
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
Link: 2.1.163
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Link: 2.1.164
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
Link: 2.1.165
And the imperial votaress passed on,
Link: 2.1.166
In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
Link: 2.1.167
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
Link: 2.1.168
It fell upon a little western flower,
Link: 2.1.169
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
Link: 2.1.170
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Link: 2.1.171
Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once:
Link: 2.1.172
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Link: 2.1.173
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Link: 2.1.174
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Link: 2.1.175
Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again
Link: 2.1.176
Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
Link: 2.1.177

I'll put a girdle round about the earth
Link: 2.1.178
In forty minutes.
Link: 2.1.179


Having once this juice,
Link: 2.1.180
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
Link: 2.1.181
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
Link: 2.1.182
The next thing then she waking looks upon,
Link: 2.1.183
Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
Link: 2.1.184
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
Link: 2.1.185
She shall pursue it with the soul of love:
Link: 2.1.186
And ere I take this charm from off her sight,
Link: 2.1.187
As I can take it with another herb,
Link: 2.1.188
I'll make her render up her page to me.
Link: 2.1.189
But who comes here? I am invisible;
Link: 2.1.190
And I will overhear their conference.
Link: 2.1.191

Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA, following him

I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Link: 2.1.192
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
Link: 2.1.193
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Link: 2.1.194
Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood;
Link: 2.1.195
And here am I, and wode within this wood,
Link: 2.1.196
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Link: 2.1.197
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
Link: 2.1.198

You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
Link: 2.1.199
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Link: 2.1.200
Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw,
Link: 2.1.201
And I shall have no power to follow you.
Link: 2.1.202

Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
Link: 2.1.203
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Link: 2.1.204
Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?
Link: 2.1.205

And even for that do I love you the more.
Link: 2.1.206
I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
Link: 2.1.207
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
Link: 2.1.208
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Link: 2.1.209
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Link: 2.1.210
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
Link: 2.1.211
What worser place can I beg in your love,--
Link: 2.1.212
And yet a place of high respect with me,--
Link: 2.1.213
Than to be used as you use your dog?
Link: 2.1.214

Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
Link: 2.1.215
For I am sick when I do look on thee.
Link: 2.1.216

And I am sick when I look not on you.
Link: 2.1.217

You do impeach your modesty too much,
Link: 2.1.218
To leave the city and commit yourself
Link: 2.1.219
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
Link: 2.1.220
To trust the opportunity of night
Link: 2.1.221
And the ill counsel of a desert place
Link: 2.1.222
With the rich worth of your virginity.
Link: 2.1.223

Your virtue is my privilege: for that
Link: 2.1.224
It is not night when I do see your face,
Link: 2.1.225
Therefore I think I am not in the night;
Link: 2.1.226
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company,
Link: 2.1.227
For you in my respect are all the world:
Link: 2.1.228
Then how can it be said I am alone,
Link: 2.1.229
When all the world is here to look on me?
Link: 2.1.230

I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
Link: 2.1.231
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Link: 2.1.232

The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Link: 2.1.233
Run when you will, the story shall be changed:
Link: 2.1.234
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
Link: 2.1.235
The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Link: 2.1.236
Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
Link: 2.1.237
When cowardice pursues and valour flies.
Link: 2.1.238

I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
Link: 2.1.239
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
Link: 2.1.240
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
Link: 2.1.241

Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
Link: 2.1.242
You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
Link: 2.1.243
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
Link: 2.1.244
We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
Link: 2.1.245
We should be wood and were not made to woo.
Link: 2.1.246
I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
Link: 2.1.247
To die upon the hand I love so well.
Link: 2.1.248


Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
Link: 2.1.249
Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love.
Link: 2.1.250
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
Link: 2.1.251

Ay, there it is.
Link: 2.1.252

I pray thee, give it me.
Link: 2.1.253
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Link: 2.1.254
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Link: 2.1.255
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
Link: 2.1.256
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
Link: 2.1.257
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Link: 2.1.258
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
Link: 2.1.259
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Link: 2.1.260
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
Link: 2.1.261
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
Link: 2.1.262
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Link: 2.1.263
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
Link: 2.1.264
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
Link: 2.1.265
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
Link: 2.1.266
But do it when the next thing he espies
Link: 2.1.267
May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
Link: 2.1.268
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Link: 2.1.269
Effect it with some care, that he may prove
Link: 2.1.270
More fond on her than she upon her love:
Link: 2.1.271
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Link: 2.1.272

Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.
Link: 2.1.273


SCENE II. Another part of the wood.

Scene 2 of Act 2 takes place in the forest at night. Titania, the queen of fairies, is sleeping on a bed of flowers while her fairy attendants watch over her. Oberon, the king of fairies, enters and orders his mischievous servant, Puck, to fetch a magical flower called love-in-idleness.

Oberon plans to use the flower's juice to make Titania fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes up. He hopes this will distract her from a dispute they have been having over a changeling boy. Puck leaves to find the flower.

While Puck is away, Demetrius and Helena, two humans who have become lost in the forest, enter the scene. Demetrius is under a spell that makes him love Helena, but she thinks he is mocking her and tries to run away. Demetrius follows her, and Oberon, who has overheard their conversation, decides to use the love-in-idleness flower on them as well.

When Puck returns with the flower, Oberon tells him to use it on Demetrius. However, Puck accidentally puts the juice on the eyes of Lysander, who is also lost in the forest with his love Hermia. When Lysander wakes up and sees Helena, he falls madly in love with her and starts to chase her. Hermia wakes up and is devastated to see her lover chasing another woman.

Confusion and chaos ensue as the four mortals run around the forest, with Lysander and Demetrius both in love with Helena and Hermia feeling betrayed. Meanwhile, Oberon uses the confusion to take the changeling boy from Titania, and Puck tries to fix his mistake by putting the juice on Demetrius's eyes as well. Eventually, all the lovers fall asleep in the forest, and the fairies come out to play and sing.

Enter TITANIA, with her train

Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
Link: 2.2.1
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
Link: 2.2.2
Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,
Link: 2.2.3
Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings,
Link: 2.2.4
To make my small elves coats, and some keep back
Link: 2.2.5
The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
Link: 2.2.6
At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
Link: 2.2.7
Then to your offices and let me rest.
Link: 2.2.8
You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Link: 2.2.9
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Link: 2.2.10
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
Link: 2.2.11
Come not near our fairy queen.
Link: 2.2.12
Philomel, with melody
Link: 2.2.13
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Link: 2.2.14
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
Link: 2.2.15
Never harm,
Link: 2.2.16
Nor spell nor charm,
Link: 2.2.17
Come our lovely lady nigh;
Link: 2.2.18
So, good night, with lullaby.
Link: 2.2.19
Weaving spiders, come not here;
Link: 2.2.20
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence!
Link: 2.2.21
Beetles black, approach not near;
Link: 2.2.22
Worm nor snail, do no offence.
Link: 2.2.23
Philomel, with melody, c.
Link: 2.2.24

Hence, away! now all is well:
Link: 2.2.25
One aloof stand sentinel.
Link: 2.2.26

Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps

Enter OBERON and squeezes the flower on TITANIA's eyelids

What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Link: 2.2.27
Do it for thy true-love take,
Link: 2.2.28
Love and languish for his sake:
Link: 2.2.29
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Link: 2.2.30
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
Link: 2.2.31
In thy eye that shall appear
Link: 2.2.32
When thou wakest, it is thy dear:
Link: 2.2.33
Wake when some vile thing is near.
Link: 2.2.34



Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;
Link: 2.2.35
And to speak troth, I have forgot our way:
Link: 2.2.36
We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
Link: 2.2.37
And tarry for the comfort of the day.
Link: 2.2.38

Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed;
Link: 2.2.39
For I upon this bank will rest my head.
Link: 2.2.40

One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
Link: 2.2.41
One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.
Link: 2.2.42

Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
Link: 2.2.43
Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.
Link: 2.2.44

O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
Link: 2.2.45
Love takes the meaning in love's conference.
Link: 2.2.46
I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
Link: 2.2.47
So that but one heart we can make of it;
Link: 2.2.48
Two bosoms interchained with an oath;
Link: 2.2.49
So then two bosoms and a single troth.
Link: 2.2.50
Then by your side no bed-room me deny;
Link: 2.2.51
For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
Link: 2.2.52

Lysander riddles very prettily:
Link: 2.2.53
Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
Link: 2.2.54
If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.
Link: 2.2.55
But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Link: 2.2.56
Lie further off; in human modesty,
Link: 2.2.57
Such separation as may well be said
Link: 2.2.58
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
Link: 2.2.59
So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
Link: 2.2.60
Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!
Link: 2.2.61

Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
Link: 2.2.62
And then end life when I end loyalty!
Link: 2.2.63
Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest!
Link: 2.2.64

With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!
Link: 2.2.65

They sleep

Enter PUCK

Through the forest have I gone.
Link: 2.2.66
But Athenian found I none,
Link: 2.2.67
On whose eyes I might approve
Link: 2.2.68
This flower's force in stirring love.
Link: 2.2.69
Night and silence.--Who is here?
Link: 2.2.70
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
Link: 2.2.71
This is he, my master said,
Link: 2.2.72
Despised the Athenian maid;
Link: 2.2.73
And here the maiden, sleeping sound,
Link: 2.2.74
On the dank and dirty ground.
Link: 2.2.75
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
Link: 2.2.76
Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.
Link: 2.2.77
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
Link: 2.2.78
All the power this charm doth owe.
Link: 2.2.79
When thou wakest, let love forbid
Link: 2.2.80
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid:
Link: 2.2.81
So awake when I am gone;
Link: 2.2.82
For I must now to Oberon.
Link: 2.2.83


Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running

Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
Link: 2.2.84

I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
Link: 2.2.85

O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.
Link: 2.2.86

Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go.
Link: 2.2.87


O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
Link: 2.2.88
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Link: 2.2.89
Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;
Link: 2.2.90
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
Link: 2.2.91
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
Link: 2.2.92
If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
Link: 2.2.93
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
Link: 2.2.94
For beasts that meet me run away for fear:
Link: 2.2.95
Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
Link: 2.2.96
Do, as a monster fly my presence thus.
Link: 2.2.97
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Link: 2.2.98
Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne?
Link: 2.2.99
But who is here? Lysander! on the ground!
Link: 2.2.100
Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
Link: 2.2.101
Lysander if you live, good sir, awake.
Link: 2.2.102

(Awaking) And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
Link: 2.2.103
Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,
Link: 2.2.104
That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
Link: 2.2.105
Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word
Link: 2.2.106
Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
Link: 2.2.107

Do not say so, Lysander; say not so
Link: 2.2.108
What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?
Link: 2.2.109
Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.
Link: 2.2.110

Content with Hermia! No; I do repent
Link: 2.2.111
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Link: 2.2.112
Not Hermia but Helena I love:
Link: 2.2.113
Who will not change a raven for a dove?
Link: 2.2.114
The will of man is by his reason sway'd;
Link: 2.2.115
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Link: 2.2.116
Things growing are not ripe until their season
Link: 2.2.117
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
Link: 2.2.118
And touching now the point of human skill,
Link: 2.2.119
Reason becomes the marshal to my will
Link: 2.2.120
And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook
Link: 2.2.121
Love's stories written in love's richest book.
Link: 2.2.122

Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
Link: 2.2.123
When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
Link: 2.2.124
Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,
Link: 2.2.125
That I did never, no, nor never can,
Link: 2.2.126
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
Link: 2.2.127
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Link: 2.2.128
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
Link: 2.2.129
In such disdainful manner me to woo.
Link: 2.2.130
But fare you well: perforce I must confess
Link: 2.2.131
I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
Link: 2.2.132
O, that a lady, of one man refused.
Link: 2.2.133
Should of another therefore be abused!
Link: 2.2.134


She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep thou there:
Link: 2.2.135
And never mayst thou come Lysander near!
Link: 2.2.136
For as a surfeit of the sweetest things
Link: 2.2.137
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,
Link: 2.2.138
Or as tie heresies that men do leave
Link: 2.2.139
Are hated most of those they did deceive,
Link: 2.2.140
So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,
Link: 2.2.141
Of all be hated, but the most of me!
Link: 2.2.142
And, all my powers, address your love and might
Link: 2.2.143
To honour Helen and to be her knight!
Link: 2.2.144


(Awaking) Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best
Link: 2.2.145
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!
Link: 2.2.146
Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here!
Link: 2.2.147
Lysander, look how I do quake with fear:
Link: 2.2.148
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
Link: 2.2.149
And you sat smiling at his cruel pray.
Link: 2.2.150
Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord!
Link: 2.2.151
What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
Link: 2.2.152
Alack, where are you speak, an if you hear;
Link: 2.2.153
Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.
Link: 2.2.154
No? then I well perceive you all not nigh
Link: 2.2.155
Either death or you I'll find immediately.
Link: 2.2.156



Act 3 of A Midsummer Night's Dream is a significant turning point in the play's plot as it marks the climax of the story. The act begins with the fairy queen Titania falling in love with Bottom, who has been transformed into a donkey by the mischievous Puck. Meanwhile, the Athenian lovers continue to wander through the woods, with their relationships becoming increasingly complicated.

As the night progresses, the fairy king Oberon becomes increasingly frustrated with the chaos that has ensued due to Puck's meddling. He decides to intervene and casts a spell on his queen, causing her to fall asleep and forget about her love for Bottom. He then instructs Puck to fix the lovers' relationships by using the magical flower to make them fall in love with the right people.

However, the plan goes awry when Puck accidentally uses the flower on the wrong people, causing a hilarious mix-up of love affairs. Hermia falls in love with Lysander, who is now in love with Helena, who is still in love with Demetrius. The four lovers engage in a chaotic argument, with insults and accusations flying in every direction.

At this point, Bottom wakes up from his donkey-induced slumber and returns to his human form. He is left confused and disoriented, with no memory of his time as a donkey. The act ends with the lovers and the fairies coming to a truce, and with Bottom and his fellow actors rehearsing their play within the play, which is set to be performed for the Duke of Athens' wedding.

SCENE I. The wood. TITANIA lying asleep.

In Scene 1 of Act 3, a group of craftsmen, who call themselves the "mechanicals," gather in the woods to rehearse a play they plan to perform at the upcoming wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. The play is called "Pyramus and Thisbe," and the craftsmen play various roles, including a lion, a wall, and the two main characters.

As they rehearse, the mischievous fairy Puck, who serves the fairy king Oberon, overhears their conversation and decides to play a prank on them. He uses his magic to transform one of the craftsmen, Bottom, into a donkey. When the other craftsmen notice Bottom's transformation, they become frightened and run away, leaving Bottom alone in the woods.

Meanwhile, the fairy queen Titania, who has been given a love potion by Oberon, wakes up and sees Bottom in his donkey form. She falls in love with him and begins to dote on him, much to the confusion and amusement of Bottom.

The scene ends with Puck reporting back to Oberon about the success of his prank, and the fairy king's delight at the chaos he has caused among the mortals and fairies alike.


Are we all met?
Link: 3.1.1

Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place
Link: 3.1.2
for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our
Link: 3.1.3
stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and we
Link: 3.1.4
will do it in action as we will do it before the duke.
Link: 3.1.5

Peter Quince,--
Link: 3.1.6

What sayest thou, bully Bottom?
Link: 3.1.7

There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and
Link: 3.1.8
Thisby that will never please. First, Pyramus must
Link: 3.1.9
draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies
Link: 3.1.10
cannot abide. How answer you that?
Link: 3.1.11

By'r lakin, a parlous fear.
Link: 3.1.12

I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.
Link: 3.1.13

Not a whit: I have a device to make all well.
Link: 3.1.14
Write me a prologue; and let the prologue seem to
Link: 3.1.15
say, we will do no harm with our swords, and that
Link: 3.1.16
Pyramus is not killed indeed; and, for the more
Link: 3.1.17
better assurance, tell them that I, Pyramus, am not
Link: 3.1.18
Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: this will put them
Link: 3.1.19
out of fear.
Link: 3.1.20

Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be
Link: 3.1.21
written in eight and six.
Link: 3.1.22

No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
Link: 3.1.23

Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
Link: 3.1.24

I fear it, I promise you.
Link: 3.1.25

Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to
Link: 3.1.26
bring in--God shield us!--a lion among ladies, is a
Link: 3.1.27
most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful
Link: 3.1.28
wild-fowl than your lion living; and we ought to
Link: 3.1.29
look to 't.
Link: 3.1.30

Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion.
Link: 3.1.31

Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must
Link: 3.1.32
be seen through the lion's neck: and he himself
Link: 3.1.33
must speak through, saying thus, or to the same
Link: 3.1.34
defect,--'Ladies,'--or 'Fair-ladies--I would wish
Link: 3.1.35
You,'--or 'I would request you,'--or 'I would
Link: 3.1.36
entreat you,--not to fear, not to tremble: my life
Link: 3.1.37
for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it
Link: 3.1.38
were pity of my life: no I am no such thing; I am a
Link: 3.1.39
man as other men are;' and there indeed let him name
Link: 3.1.40
his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.
Link: 3.1.41

Well it shall be so. But there is two hard things;
Link: 3.1.42
that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for,
Link: 3.1.43
you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.
Link: 3.1.44

Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
Link: 3.1.45

A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac; find
Link: 3.1.46
out moonshine, find out moonshine.
Link: 3.1.47

Yes, it doth shine that night.
Link: 3.1.48

Why, then may you leave a casement of the great
Link: 3.1.49
chamber window, where we play, open, and the moon
Link: 3.1.50
may shine in at the casement.
Link: 3.1.51

Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns
Link: 3.1.52
and a lanthorn, and say he comes to disfigure, or to
Link: 3.1.53
present, the person of Moonshine. Then, there is
Link: 3.1.54
another thing: we must have a wall in the great
Link: 3.1.55
chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby says the story, did
Link: 3.1.56
talk through the chink of a wall.
Link: 3.1.57

You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?
Link: 3.1.58

Some man or other must present Wall: and let him
Link: 3.1.59
have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast
Link: 3.1.60
about him, to signify wall; and let him hold his
Link: 3.1.61
fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus
Link: 3.1.62
and Thisby whisper.
Link: 3.1.63

If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down,
Link: 3.1.64
every mother's son, and rehearse your parts.
Link: 3.1.65
Pyramus, you begin: when you have spoken your
Link: 3.1.66
speech, enter into that brake: and so every one
Link: 3.1.67
according to his cue.
Link: 3.1.68

Enter PUCK behind

What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
Link: 3.1.69
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
Link: 3.1.70
What, a play toward! I'll be an auditor;
Link: 3.1.71
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.
Link: 3.1.72

Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.
Link: 3.1.73

Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet,--
Link: 3.1.74

Odours, odours.
Link: 3.1.75

--odours savours sweet:
Link: 3.1.76
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.
Link: 3.1.77
But hark, a voice! stay thou but here awhile,
Link: 3.1.78
And by and by I will to thee appear.
Link: 3.1.79


A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.
Link: 3.1.80


Must I speak now?
Link: 3.1.81

Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand he goes
Link: 3.1.82
but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
Link: 3.1.83

Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
Link: 3.1.84
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier,
Link: 3.1.85
Most brisky juvenal and eke most lovely Jew,
Link: 3.1.86
As true as truest horse that yet would never tire,
Link: 3.1.87
I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.
Link: 3.1.88

'Ninus' tomb,' man: why, you must not speak that
Link: 3.1.89
yet; that you answer to Pyramus: you speak all your
Link: 3.1.90
part at once, cues and all Pyramus enter: your cue
Link: 3.1.91
is past; it is, 'never tire.'
Link: 3.1.92

O,--As true as truest horse, that yet would
Link: 3.1.93
never tire.
Link: 3.1.94

Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass's head

If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
Link: 3.1.95

O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray,
Link: 3.1.96
masters! fly, masters! Help!
Link: 3.1.97


I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round,
Link: 3.1.98
Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier:
Link: 3.1.99
Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound,
Link: 3.1.100
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;
Link: 3.1.101
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,
Link: 3.1.102
Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
Link: 3.1.103


Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them to
Link: 3.1.104
make me afeard.
Link: 3.1.105

Re-enter SNOUT

O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?
Link: 3.1.106

What do you see? you see an asshead of your own, do
Link: 3.1.107


Re-enter QUINCE

Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art
Link: 3.1.109
Link: 3.1.110


I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me;
Link: 3.1.111
to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir
Link: 3.1.112
from this place, do what they can: I will walk up
Link: 3.1.113
and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear
Link: 3.1.114
I am not afraid.
Link: 3.1.115
The ousel cock so black of hue,
Link: 3.1.116
With orange-tawny bill,
Link: 3.1.117
The throstle with his note so true,
Link: 3.1.118
The wren with little quill,--
Link: 3.1.119

(Awaking) What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
Link: 3.1.120

The finch, the sparrow and the lark,
Link: 3.1.122
The plain-song cuckoo gray,
Link: 3.1.123
Whose note full many a man doth mark,
Link: 3.1.124
And dares not answer nay;--
Link: 3.1.125
for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish
Link: 3.1.126
a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry
Link: 3.1.127
'cuckoo' never so?
Link: 3.1.128

I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
Link: 3.1.129
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
Link: 3.1.130
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
Link: 3.1.131
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
Link: 3.1.132
On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
Link: 3.1.133

Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason
Link: 3.1.134
for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and
Link: 3.1.135
love keep little company together now-a-days; the
Link: 3.1.136
more the pity that some honest neighbours will not
Link: 3.1.137
make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
Link: 3.1.138

Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Link: 3.1.139

Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out
Link: 3.1.140
of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Link: 3.1.141

Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Link: 3.1.142
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
Link: 3.1.143
I am a spirit of no common rate;
Link: 3.1.144
The summer still doth tend upon my state;
Link: 3.1.145
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
Link: 3.1.146
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
Link: 3.1.147
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
Link: 3.1.148
And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
Link: 3.1.149
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
Link: 3.1.150
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Link: 3.1.151
Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!
Link: 3.1.152






Where shall we go?
Link: 3.1.157

Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Link: 3.1.158
Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;
Link: 3.1.159
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
Link: 3.1.160
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
Link: 3.1.161
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
Link: 3.1.162
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs
Link: 3.1.163
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
Link: 3.1.164
To have my love to bed and to arise;
Link: 3.1.165
And pluck the wings from Painted butterflies
Link: 3.1.166
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
Link: 3.1.167
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
Link: 3.1.168

Hail, mortal!
Link: 3.1.169




I cry your worship's mercy, heartily: I beseech your
Link: 3.1.173
worship's name.
Link: 3.1.174


I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master
Link: 3.1.176
Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold with
Link: 3.1.177
you. Your name, honest gentleman?
Link: 3.1.178

Link: 3.1.179

I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your
Link: 3.1.180
mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good
Link: 3.1.181
Master Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of more
Link: 3.1.182
acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?
Link: 3.1.183

Link: 3.1.184

Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well:
Link: 3.1.185
that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath
Link: 3.1.186
devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise
Link: 3.1.187
you your kindred had made my eyes water ere now. I
Link: 3.1.188
desire your more acquaintance, good Master
Link: 3.1.189
Link: 3.1.190

Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
Link: 3.1.191
The moon methinks looks with a watery eye;
Link: 3.1.192
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
Link: 3.1.193
Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Link: 3.1.194
Tie up my love's tongue bring him silently.
Link: 3.1.195


SCENE II. Another part of the wood.

Scene 2 of Act 3 of A Midsummer Night's Dream takes place in the woods and focuses on the quarrel and reconciliation between the fairy queen, Titania, and her fairy king, Oberon.

Oberon is furious with Titania for refusing to give him the changeling child she has been caring for. He accuses her of being unfaithful and neglectful of her duties. In response, Titania accuses Oberon of being jealous and petty, and reminds him of their past romantic relationships.

As the argument continues, Oberon decides to use a magical flower to make Titania fall in love with the first creature she sees upon waking up. He orders his mischievous servant, Puck, to find a young Athenian man named Demetrius and use the flower on him.

Meanwhile, a group of amateur actors, including a weaver named Bottom, are rehearsing a play in the woods. Puck decides to play a trick on them by transforming Bottom's head into that of a donkey. When Titania wakes up and sees Bottom, she immediately falls in love with him and lavishes him with attention and affection.

Despite his initial satisfaction with the trick, Oberon eventually regrets his actions and decides to undo the spell. He also resolves his issues with Titania and the two reconcile. Demetrius, who has been put under a separate love spell by Puck, also eventually falls in love with his intended target, Helena.


I wonder if Titania be awaked;
Link: 3.2.1
Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Link: 3.2.2
Which she must dote on in extremity.
Link: 3.2.3
Here comes my messenger.
Link: 3.2.4
How now, mad spirit!
Link: 3.2.5
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
Link: 3.2.6

My mistress with a monster is in love.
Link: 3.2.7
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
Link: 3.2.8
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
Link: 3.2.9
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
Link: 3.2.10
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Link: 3.2.11
Were met together to rehearse a play
Link: 3.2.12
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial-day.
Link: 3.2.13
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Link: 3.2.14
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Link: 3.2.15
Forsook his scene and enter'd in a brake
Link: 3.2.16
When I did him at this advantage take,
Link: 3.2.17
An ass's nole I fixed on his head:
Link: 3.2.18
Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
Link: 3.2.19
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
Link: 3.2.20
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Link: 3.2.21
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Link: 3.2.22
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Link: 3.2.23
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
Link: 3.2.24
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;
Link: 3.2.25
And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
Link: 3.2.26
He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
Link: 3.2.27
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears
Link: 3.2.28
thus strong,
Link: 3.2.29
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
Link: 3.2.30
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Link: 3.2.31
Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all
Link: 3.2.32
things catch.
Link: 3.2.33
I led them on in this distracted fear,
Link: 3.2.34
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
Link: 3.2.35
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Link: 3.2.36
Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.
Link: 3.2.37

This falls out better than I could devise.
Link: 3.2.38
But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
Link: 3.2.39
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
Link: 3.2.40

I took him sleeping,--that is finish'd too,--
Link: 3.2.41
And the Athenian woman by his side:
Link: 3.2.42
That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.
Link: 3.2.43


Stand close: this is the same Athenian.
Link: 3.2.44

This is the woman, but not this the man.
Link: 3.2.45

O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
Link: 3.2.46
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
Link: 3.2.47

Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
Link: 3.2.48
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
Link: 3.2.49
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Link: 3.2.50
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
Link: 3.2.51
And kill me too.
Link: 3.2.52
The sun was not so true unto the day
Link: 3.2.53
As he to me: would he have stolen away
Link: 3.2.54
From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
Link: 3.2.55
This whole earth may be bored and that the moon
Link: 3.2.56
May through the centre creep and so displease
Link: 3.2.57
Her brother's noontide with Antipodes.
Link: 3.2.58
It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;
Link: 3.2.59
So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.
Link: 3.2.60

So should the murder'd look, and so should I,
Link: 3.2.61
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty:
Link: 3.2.62
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
Link: 3.2.63
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
Link: 3.2.64

What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
Link: 3.2.65
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?
Link: 3.2.66

I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.
Link: 3.2.67

Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
Link: 3.2.68
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
Link: 3.2.69
Henceforth be never number'd among men!
Link: 3.2.70
O, once tell true, tell true, even for my sake!
Link: 3.2.71
Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,
Link: 3.2.72
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
Link: 3.2.73
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
Link: 3.2.74
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Link: 3.2.75
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
Link: 3.2.76

You spend your passion on a misprised mood:
Link: 3.2.77
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Link: 3.2.78
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
Link: 3.2.79

I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
Link: 3.2.80

An if I could, what should I get therefore?
Link: 3.2.81

A privilege never to see me more.
Link: 3.2.82
And from thy hated presence part I so:
Link: 3.2.83
See me no more, whether he be dead or no.
Link: 3.2.84


There is no following her in this fierce vein:
Link: 3.2.85
Here therefore for a while I will remain.
Link: 3.2.86
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
Link: 3.2.87
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe:
Link: 3.2.88
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
Link: 3.2.89
If for his tender here I make some stay.
Link: 3.2.90

Lies down and sleeps

What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
Link: 3.2.91
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
Link: 3.2.92
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Link: 3.2.93
Some true love turn'd and not a false turn'd true.
Link: 3.2.94

Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
Link: 3.2.95
A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
Link: 3.2.96

About the wood go swifter than the wind,
Link: 3.2.97
And Helena of Athens look thou find:
Link: 3.2.98
All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
Link: 3.2.99
With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear:
Link: 3.2.100
By some illusion see thou bring her here:
Link: 3.2.101
I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.
Link: 3.2.102

I go, I go; look how I go,
Link: 3.2.103
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
Link: 3.2.104


Flower of this purple dye,
Link: 3.2.105
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Link: 3.2.106
Sink in apple of his eye.
Link: 3.2.107
When his love he doth espy,
Link: 3.2.108
Let her shine as gloriously
Link: 3.2.109
As the Venus of the sky.
Link: 3.2.110
When thou wakest, if she be by,
Link: 3.2.111
Beg of her for remedy.
Link: 3.2.112

Re-enter PUCK

Captain of our fairy band,
Link: 3.2.113
Helena is here at hand;
Link: 3.2.114
And the youth, mistook by me,
Link: 3.2.115
Pleading for a lover's fee.
Link: 3.2.116
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Link: 3.2.117
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Link: 3.2.118

Stand aside: the noise they make
Link: 3.2.119
Will cause Demetrius to awake.
Link: 3.2.120

Then will two at once woo one;
Link: 3.2.121
That must needs be sport alone;
Link: 3.2.122
And those things do best please me
Link: 3.2.123
That befal preposterously.
Link: 3.2.124


Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
Link: 3.2.125
Scorn and derision never come in tears:
Link: 3.2.126
Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
Link: 3.2.127
In their nativity all truth appears.
Link: 3.2.128
How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Link: 3.2.129
Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?
Link: 3.2.130

You do advance your cunning more and more.
Link: 3.2.131
When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
Link: 3.2.132
These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
Link: 3.2.133
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
Link: 3.2.134
Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
Link: 3.2.135
Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.
Link: 3.2.136

I had no judgment when to her I swore.
Link: 3.2.137

Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
Link: 3.2.138

Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
Link: 3.2.139

(Awaking) O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
Link: 3.2.140
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Link: 3.2.141
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Link: 3.2.142
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
Link: 3.2.143
That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
Link: 3.2.144
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
Link: 3.2.145
When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
Link: 3.2.146
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
Link: 3.2.147

O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
Link: 3.2.148
To set against me for your merriment:
Link: 3.2.149
If you we re civil and knew courtesy,
Link: 3.2.150
You would not do me thus much injury.
Link: 3.2.151
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
Link: 3.2.152
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
Link: 3.2.153
If you were men, as men you are in show,
Link: 3.2.154
You would not use a gentle lady so;
Link: 3.2.155
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
Link: 3.2.156
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
Link: 3.2.157
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
Link: 3.2.158
And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
Link: 3.2.159
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
Link: 3.2.160
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
Link: 3.2.161
With your derision! none of noble sort
Link: 3.2.162
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
Link: 3.2.163
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
Link: 3.2.164

You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
Link: 3.2.165
For you love Hermia; this you know I know:
Link: 3.2.166
And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
Link: 3.2.167
In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
Link: 3.2.168
And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Link: 3.2.169
Whom I do love and will do till my death.
Link: 3.2.170

Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Link: 3.2.171

Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
Link: 3.2.172
If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
Link: 3.2.173
My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
Link: 3.2.174
And now to Helen is it home return'd,
Link: 3.2.175
There to remain.
Link: 3.2.176

Helen, it is not so.
Link: 3.2.177

Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Link: 3.2.178
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.
Link: 3.2.179
Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
Link: 3.2.180

Re-enter HERMIA

Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
Link: 3.2.181
The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Link: 3.2.182
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
Link: 3.2.183
It pays the hearing double recompense.
Link: 3.2.184
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Link: 3.2.185
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound
Link: 3.2.186
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
Link: 3.2.187

Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?
Link: 3.2.188

What love could press Lysander from my side?
Link: 3.2.189

Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
Link: 3.2.190
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
Link: 3.2.191
Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.
Link: 3.2.192
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
Link: 3.2.193
The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?
Link: 3.2.194

You speak not as you think: it cannot be.
Link: 3.2.195

Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Link: 3.2.196
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
Link: 3.2.197
To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
Link: 3.2.198
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
Link: 3.2.199
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
Link: 3.2.200
To bait me with this foul derision?
Link: 3.2.201
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
Link: 3.2.202
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
Link: 3.2.203
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
Link: 3.2.204
For parting us,--O, is it all forgot?
Link: 3.2.205
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
Link: 3.2.206
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Link: 3.2.207
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Link: 3.2.208
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Link: 3.2.209
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
Link: 3.2.210
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds,
Link: 3.2.211
Had been incorporate. So we grow together,
Link: 3.2.212
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
Link: 3.2.213
But yet an union in partition;
Link: 3.2.214
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
Link: 3.2.215
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Link: 3.2.216
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Link: 3.2.217
Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
Link: 3.2.218
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
Link: 3.2.219
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
Link: 3.2.220
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
Link: 3.2.221
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Link: 3.2.222
Though I alone do feel the injury.
Link: 3.2.223

I am amazed at your passionate words.
Link: 3.2.224
I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.
Link: 3.2.225

Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
Link: 3.2.226
To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
Link: 3.2.227
And made your other love, Demetrius,
Link: 3.2.228
Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,
Link: 3.2.229
To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
Link: 3.2.230
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
Link: 3.2.231
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
Link: 3.2.232
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
Link: 3.2.233
And tender me, forsooth, affection,
Link: 3.2.234
But by your setting on, by your consent?
Link: 3.2.235
What thought I be not so in grace as you,
Link: 3.2.236
So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
Link: 3.2.237
But miserable most, to love unloved?
Link: 3.2.238
This you should pity rather than despise.
Link: 3.2.239

I understand not what you mean by this.
Link: 3.2.240

Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
Link: 3.2.241
Make mouths upon me when I turn my back;
Link: 3.2.242
Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up:
Link: 3.2.243
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
Link: 3.2.244
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
Link: 3.2.245
You would not make me such an argument.
Link: 3.2.246
But fare ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
Link: 3.2.247
Which death or absence soon shall remedy.
Link: 3.2.248

Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse:
Link: 3.2.249
My love, my life my soul, fair Helena!
Link: 3.2.250

O excellent!
Link: 3.2.251

Sweet, do not scorn her so.
Link: 3.2.252

If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
Link: 3.2.253

Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
Link: 3.2.254
Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.
Link: 3.2.255
Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do:
Link: 3.2.256
I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
Link: 3.2.257
To prove him false that says I love thee not.
Link: 3.2.258

I say I love thee more than he can do.
Link: 3.2.259

If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
Link: 3.2.260

Quick, come!
Link: 3.2.261

Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Link: 3.2.262

Away, you Ethiope!
Link: 3.2.263

No, no; he'll
Link: 3.2.264
Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow,
Link: 3.2.265
But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!
Link: 3.2.266

Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
Link: 3.2.267
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!
Link: 3.2.268

Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
Link: 3.2.269
Sweet love,--
Link: 3.2.270

Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
Link: 3.2.271
Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!
Link: 3.2.272

Do you not jest?
Link: 3.2.273

Yes, sooth; and so do you.
Link: 3.2.274

Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
Link: 3.2.275

I would I had your bond, for I perceive
Link: 3.2.276
A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.
Link: 3.2.277

What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Link: 3.2.278
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.
Link: 3.2.279

What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
Link: 3.2.280
Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
Link: 3.2.281
Am not I Hermia? are not you Lysander?
Link: 3.2.282
I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
Link: 3.2.283
Since night you loved me; yet since night you left
Link: 3.2.284
Why, then you left me--O, the gods forbid!--
Link: 3.2.286
In earnest, shall I say?
Link: 3.2.287

Ay, by my life;
Link: 3.2.288
And never did desire to see thee more.
Link: 3.2.289
Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
Link: 3.2.290
Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
Link: 3.2.291
That I do hate thee and love Helena.
Link: 3.2.292

O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
Link: 3.2.293
You thief of love! what, have you come by night
Link: 3.2.294
And stolen my love's heart from him?
Link: 3.2.295

Fine, i'faith!
Link: 3.2.296
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
Link: 3.2.297
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Link: 3.2.298
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Link: 3.2.299
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
Link: 3.2.300

Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
Link: 3.2.301
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Link: 3.2.302
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
Link: 3.2.303
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Link: 3.2.304
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
Link: 3.2.305
And are you grown so high in his esteem;
Link: 3.2.306
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
Link: 3.2.307
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
Link: 3.2.308
How low am I? I am not yet so low
Link: 3.2.309
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
Link: 3.2.310

I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Link: 3.2.311
Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;
Link: 3.2.312
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
Link: 3.2.313
I am a right maid for my cowardice:
Link: 3.2.314
Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
Link: 3.2.315
Because she is something lower than myself,
Link: 3.2.316
That I can match her.
Link: 3.2.317

Lower! hark, again.
Link: 3.2.318

Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
Link: 3.2.319
I evermore did love you, Hermia,
Link: 3.2.320
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
Link: 3.2.321
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
Link: 3.2.322
I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
Link: 3.2.323
He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him;
Link: 3.2.324
But he hath chid me hence and threaten'd me
Link: 3.2.325
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
Link: 3.2.326
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
Link: 3.2.327
To Athens will I bear my folly back
Link: 3.2.328
And follow you no further: let me go:
Link: 3.2.329
You see how simple and how fond I am.
Link: 3.2.330

Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?
Link: 3.2.331

A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
Link: 3.2.332

What, with Lysander?
Link: 3.2.333

With Demetrius.
Link: 3.2.334

Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.
Link: 3.2.335

No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.
Link: 3.2.336

O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!
Link: 3.2.337
She was a vixen when she went to school;
Link: 3.2.338
And though she be but little, she is fierce.
Link: 3.2.339

'Little' again! nothing but 'low' and 'little'!
Link: 3.2.340
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Link: 3.2.341
Let me come to her.
Link: 3.2.342

Get you gone, you dwarf;
Link: 3.2.343
You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
Link: 3.2.344
You bead, you acorn.
Link: 3.2.345

You are too officious
Link: 3.2.346
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Link: 3.2.347
Let her alone: speak not of Helena;
Link: 3.2.348
Take not her part; for, if thou dost intend
Link: 3.2.349
Never so little show of love to her,
Link: 3.2.350
Thou shalt aby it.
Link: 3.2.351

Now she holds me not;
Link: 3.2.352
Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
Link: 3.2.353
Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Link: 3.2.354

Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.
Link: 3.2.355


You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
Link: 3.2.356
Nay, go not back.
Link: 3.2.357

I will not trust you, I,
Link: 3.2.358
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Link: 3.2.359
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
Link: 3.2.360
My legs are longer though, to run away.
Link: 3.2.361


I am amazed, and know not what to say.
Link: 3.2.362


This is thy negligence: still thou mistakest,
Link: 3.2.363
Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Link: 3.2.364

Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Link: 3.2.365
Did not you tell me I should know the man
Link: 3.2.366
By the Athenian garment be had on?
Link: 3.2.367
And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
Link: 3.2.368
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
Link: 3.2.369
And so far am I glad it so did sort
Link: 3.2.370
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
Link: 3.2.371

Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:
Link: 3.2.372
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
Link: 3.2.373
The starry welkin cover thou anon
Link: 3.2.374
With drooping fog as black as Acheron,
Link: 3.2.375
And lead these testy rivals so astray
Link: 3.2.376
As one come not within another's way.
Link: 3.2.377
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Link: 3.2.378
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
Link: 3.2.379
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
Link: 3.2.380
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Link: 3.2.381
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
Link: 3.2.382
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Link: 3.2.383
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Link: 3.2.384
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
Link: 3.2.385
To take from thence all error with his might,
Link: 3.2.386
And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
Link: 3.2.387
When they next wake, all this derision
Link: 3.2.388
Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision,
Link: 3.2.389
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
Link: 3.2.390
With league whose date till death shall never end.
Link: 3.2.391
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
Link: 3.2.392
I'll to my queen and beg her Indian boy;
Link: 3.2.393
And then I will her charmed eye release
Link: 3.2.394
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
Link: 3.2.395

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
Link: 3.2.396
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
Link: 3.2.397
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
Link: 3.2.398
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Link: 3.2.399
Troop home to churchyards: damned spirits all,
Link: 3.2.400
That in crossways and floods have burial,
Link: 3.2.401
Already to their wormy beds are gone;
Link: 3.2.402
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
Link: 3.2.403
They willfully themselves exile from light
Link: 3.2.404
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
Link: 3.2.405

But we are spirits of another sort:
Link: 3.2.406
I with the morning's love have oft made sport,
Link: 3.2.407
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Link: 3.2.408
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Link: 3.2.409
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Link: 3.2.410
Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.
Link: 3.2.411
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
Link: 3.2.412
We may effect this business yet ere day.
Link: 3.2.413


Up and down, up and down,
Link: 3.2.414
I will lead them up and down:
Link: 3.2.415
I am fear'd in field and town:
Link: 3.2.416
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Link: 3.2.417
Here comes one.
Link: 3.2.418


Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.
Link: 3.2.419

Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art thou?
Link: 3.2.420

I will be with thee straight.
Link: 3.2.421

Follow me, then,
Link: 3.2.422
To plainer ground.
Link: 3.2.423

Exit LYSANDER, as following the voice


Lysander! speak again:
Link: 3.2.424
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
Link: 3.2.425
Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?
Link: 3.2.426

Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Link: 3.2.427
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
Link: 3.2.428
And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
Link: 3.2.429
I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled
Link: 3.2.430
That draws a sword on thee.
Link: 3.2.431

Yea, art thou there?
Link: 3.2.432

Follow my voice: we'll try no manhood here.
Link: 3.2.433



He goes before me and still dares me on:
Link: 3.2.434
When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
Link: 3.2.435
The villain is much lighter-heel'd than I:
Link: 3.2.436
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
Link: 3.2.437
That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
Link: 3.2.438
And here will rest me.
Link: 3.2.439
Come, thou gentle day!
Link: 3.2.440
For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
Link: 3.2.441
I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.
Link: 3.2.442



Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?
Link: 3.2.443

Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot
Link: 3.2.444
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place,
Link: 3.2.445
And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.
Link: 3.2.446
Where art thou now?
Link: 3.2.447

Come hither: I am here.
Link: 3.2.448

Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,
Link: 3.2.449
If ever I thy face by daylight see:
Link: 3.2.450
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
Link: 3.2.451
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
Link: 3.2.452
By day's approach look to be visited.
Link: 3.2.453

Lies down and sleeps

Re-enter HELENA

O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Link: 3.2.454
Abate thy hour! Shine comforts from the east,
Link: 3.2.455
That I may back to Athens by daylight,
Link: 3.2.456
From these that my poor company detest:
Link: 3.2.457
And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
Link: 3.2.458
Steal me awhile from mine own company.
Link: 3.2.459

Lies down and sleeps

Yet but three? Come one more;
Link: 3.2.460
Two of both kinds make up four.
Link: 3.2.461
Here she comes, curst and sad:
Link: 3.2.462
Cupid is a knavish lad,
Link: 3.2.463
Thus to make poor females mad.
Link: 3.2.464

Re-enter HERMIA

Never so weary, never so in woe,
Link: 3.2.465
Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,
Link: 3.2.466
I can no further crawl, no further go;
Link: 3.2.467
My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
Link: 3.2.468
Here will I rest me till the break of day.
Link: 3.2.469
Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
Link: 3.2.470

Lies down and sleeps

On the ground
Link: 3.2.471
Sleep sound:
Link: 3.2.472
I'll apply
Link: 3.2.473
To your eye,
Link: 3.2.474
Gentle lover, remedy.
Link: 3.2.475
When thou wakest,
Link: 3.2.476
Thou takest
Link: 3.2.477
True delight
Link: 3.2.478
In the sight
Link: 3.2.479
Of thy former lady's eye:
Link: 3.2.480
And the country proverb known,
Link: 3.2.481
That every man should take his own,
Link: 3.2.482
In your waking shall be shown:
Link: 3.2.483
Jack shall have Jill;
Link: 3.2.484
Nought shall go ill;
Link: 3.2.485
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
Link: 3.2.486


Act IV

Act 4 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins with the fairy queen Titania and her husband Oberon reconciling after an argument. Oberon has finally obtained the Indian boy that he wanted as his servant, and he has removed the spell that caused Titania to fall in love with Bottom, the weaver.

Meanwhile, the four lovers, Hermia, Lysander, Helena, and Demetrius, are still lost in the woods. Puck, a mischievous fairy, uses magic to make them fall asleep and then applies a potion to Lysander's eyes, causing him to fall in love with Helena instead of Hermia.

When the lovers wake up, chaos ensues as Lysander and Demetrius both declare their love for Helena, causing Hermia to feel betrayed. The confusion is eventually sorted out with the help of the fairy king and queen, who use their magic to fix the situation.

Meanwhile, a group of craftsmen who have been rehearsing a play for the Duke's wedding stumble upon Titania and her fairy attendants. Puck uses his magic to give one of the craftsmen, Bottom, the head of a donkey, causing Titania to fall in love with him.

As the play concludes, the Duke and his bride-to-be, Hippolyta, watch the performance, which is hilariously bad. However, they are still entertained and enjoy the comical end to their wedding celebrations.

SCENE I. The same. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA lying asleep.

Scene 1 of Act 4 begins with the fairy queen Titania sleeping in the woods. Oberon, the fairy king, enters and sees her. He decides to use the love potion on her so that she will fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes up.

As he leaves, Demetrius and Helena enter the woods. Demetrius is still under the influence of the love potion and is now in love with Helena. She is confused and thinks he is mocking her, but he insists that he truly loves her. She is overjoyed and they exit together.

Puck, a mischievous fairy, enters and tells Oberon that he has used the love potion on the wrong person. Instead of Demetrius, he has made Lysander fall in love with Helena. Oberon is angry and orders Puck to fix the mistake.

Puck finds Lysander and Helena sleeping in the woods and uses the antidote to remove the love potion's effects from Lysander. When they wake up, Lysander is confused and no longer loves Helena. He realizes that he truly loves Hermia and the two of them exit together.

At the end of the scene, Oberon puts the love potion on Titania's eyes and exits, leaving her to fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes up.

Enter TITANIA and BOTTOM; PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED, and other Fairies attending; OBERON behind unseen

Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
Link: 4.1.1
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
Link: 4.1.2
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
Link: 4.1.3
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Link: 4.1.4

Where's Peaseblossom?
Link: 4.1.5

Link: 4.1.6

Scratch my head Peaseblossom. Where's Mounsieur Cobweb?
Link: 4.1.7

Link: 4.1.8

Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get you your
Link: 4.1.9
weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped
Link: 4.1.10
humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good
Link: 4.1.11
mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
Link: 4.1.12
yourself too much in the action, mounsieur; and,
Link: 4.1.13
good mounsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not;
Link: 4.1.14
I would be loath to have you overflown with a
Link: 4.1.15
honey-bag, signior. Where's Mounsieur Mustardseed?
Link: 4.1.16


Give me your neaf, Mounsieur Mustardseed. Pray you,
Link: 4.1.18
leave your courtesy, good mounsieur.
Link: 4.1.19

What's your Will?
Link: 4.1.20

Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb
Link: 4.1.21
to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for
Link: 4.1.22
methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I
Link: 4.1.23
am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me,
Link: 4.1.24
I must scratch.
Link: 4.1.25

What, wilt thou hear some music,
Link: 4.1.26
my sweet love?
Link: 4.1.27

I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have
Link: 4.1.28
the tongs and the bones.
Link: 4.1.29

Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.
Link: 4.1.30

Truly, a peck of provender: I could munch your good
Link: 4.1.31
dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle
Link: 4.1.32
of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.
Link: 4.1.33

I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
Link: 4.1.34
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
Link: 4.1.35

I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas.
Link: 4.1.36
But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me: I
Link: 4.1.37
have an exposition of sleep come upon me.
Link: 4.1.38

Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Link: 4.1.39
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.
Link: 4.1.40
So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Link: 4.1.41
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Link: 4.1.42
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
Link: 4.1.43
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!
Link: 4.1.44

They sleep

Enter PUCK

(Advancing) Welcome, good Robin.
Link: 4.1.45
See'st thou this sweet sight?
Link: 4.1.46
Her dotage now I do begin to pity:
Link: 4.1.47
For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
Link: 4.1.48
Seeking sweet favours from this hateful fool,
Link: 4.1.49
I did upbraid her and fall out with her;
Link: 4.1.50
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
Link: 4.1.51
With a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
Link: 4.1.52
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
Link: 4.1.53
Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,
Link: 4.1.54
Stood now within the pretty flowerets' eyes
Link: 4.1.55
Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
Link: 4.1.56
When I had at my pleasure taunted her
Link: 4.1.57
And she in mild terms begg'd my patience,
Link: 4.1.58
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Link: 4.1.59
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
Link: 4.1.60
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
Link: 4.1.61
And now I have the boy, I will undo
Link: 4.1.62
This hateful imperfection of her eyes:
Link: 4.1.63
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
Link: 4.1.64
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
Link: 4.1.65
That, he awaking when the other do,
Link: 4.1.66
May all to Athens back again repair
Link: 4.1.67
And think no more of this night's accidents
Link: 4.1.68
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
Link: 4.1.69
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Link: 4.1.70
Be as thou wast wont to be;
Link: 4.1.71
See as thou wast wont to see:
Link: 4.1.72
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Link: 4.1.73
Hath such force and blessed power.
Link: 4.1.74
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
Link: 4.1.75

My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Link: 4.1.76
Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.
Link: 4.1.77

There lies your love.
Link: 4.1.78

How came these things to pass?
Link: 4.1.79
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
Link: 4.1.80

Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.
Link: 4.1.81
Titania, music call; and strike more dead
Link: 4.1.82
Than common sleep of all these five the sense.
Link: 4.1.83

Music, ho! music, such as charmeth sleep!
Link: 4.1.84

Music, still

Now, when thou wakest, with thine
Link: 4.1.85
own fool's eyes peep.
Link: 4.1.86

Sound, music! Come, my queen, take hands with me,
Link: 4.1.87
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Link: 4.1.88
Now thou and I are new in amity,
Link: 4.1.89
And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
Link: 4.1.90
Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
Link: 4.1.91
And bless it to all fair prosperity:
Link: 4.1.92
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Link: 4.1.93
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
Link: 4.1.94

Fairy king, attend, and mark:
Link: 4.1.95
I do hear the morning lark.
Link: 4.1.96

Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Link: 4.1.97
Trip we after the night's shade:
Link: 4.1.98
We the globe can compass soon,
Link: 4.1.99
Swifter than the wandering moon.
Link: 4.1.100

Come, my lord, and in our flight
Link: 4.1.101
Tell me how it came this night
Link: 4.1.102
That I sleeping here was found
Link: 4.1.103
With these mortals on the ground.
Link: 4.1.104

Horns winded within


Go, one of you, find out the forester;
Link: 4.1.105
For now our observation is perform'd;
Link: 4.1.106
And since we have the vaward of the day,
Link: 4.1.107
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
Link: 4.1.108
Uncouple in the western valley; let them go:
Link: 4.1.109
Dispatch, I say, and find the forester.
Link: 4.1.110
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
Link: 4.1.111
And mark the musical confusion
Link: 4.1.112
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
Link: 4.1.113

I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
Link: 4.1.114
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
Link: 4.1.115
With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear
Link: 4.1.116
Such gallant chiding: for, besides the groves,
Link: 4.1.117
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Link: 4.1.118
Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard
Link: 4.1.119
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.
Link: 4.1.120

My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
Link: 4.1.121
So flew'd, so sanded, and their heads are hung
Link: 4.1.122
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Link: 4.1.123
Crook-knee'd, and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
Link: 4.1.124
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Link: 4.1.125
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Link: 4.1.126
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
Link: 4.1.127
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:
Link: 4.1.128
Judge when you hear. But, soft! what nymphs are these?
Link: 4.1.129

My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
Link: 4.1.130
And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is;
Link: 4.1.131
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena:
Link: 4.1.132
I wonder of their being here together.
Link: 4.1.133

No doubt they rose up early to observe
Link: 4.1.134
The rite of May, and hearing our intent,
Link: 4.1.135
Came here in grace our solemnity.
Link: 4.1.136
But speak, Egeus; is not this the day
Link: 4.1.137
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
Link: 4.1.138

It is, my lord.
Link: 4.1.139

Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.
Link: 4.1.140
Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past:
Link: 4.1.141
Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
Link: 4.1.142

Pardon, my lord.
Link: 4.1.143

I pray you all, stand up.
Link: 4.1.144
I know you two are rival enemies:
Link: 4.1.145
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
Link: 4.1.146
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
Link: 4.1.147
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?
Link: 4.1.148

My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Link: 4.1.149
Half sleep, half waking: but as yet, I swear,
Link: 4.1.150
I cannot truly say how I came here;
Link: 4.1.151
But, as I think,--for truly would I speak,
Link: 4.1.152
And now do I bethink me, so it is,--
Link: 4.1.153
I came with Hermia hither: our intent
Link: 4.1.154
Was to be gone from Athens, where we might,
Link: 4.1.155
Without the peril of the Athenian law.
Link: 4.1.156

Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough:
Link: 4.1.157
I beg the law, the law, upon his head.
Link: 4.1.158
They would have stolen away; they would, Demetrius,
Link: 4.1.159
Thereby to have defeated you and me,
Link: 4.1.160
You of your wife and me of my consent,
Link: 4.1.161
Of my consent that she should be your wife.
Link: 4.1.162

My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Link: 4.1.163
Of this their purpose hither to this wood;
Link: 4.1.164
And I in fury hither follow'd them,
Link: 4.1.165
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
Link: 4.1.166
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,--
Link: 4.1.167
But by some power it is,--my love to Hermia,
Link: 4.1.168
Melted as the snow, seems to me now
Link: 4.1.169
As the remembrance of an idle gaud
Link: 4.1.170
Which in my childhood I did dote upon;
Link: 4.1.171
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
Link: 4.1.172
The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
Link: 4.1.173
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Link: 4.1.174
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:
Link: 4.1.175
But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food;
Link: 4.1.176
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Link: 4.1.177
Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
Link: 4.1.178
And will for evermore be true to it.
Link: 4.1.179

Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
Link: 4.1.180
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.
Link: 4.1.181
Egeus, I will overbear your will;
Link: 4.1.182
For in the temple by and by with us
Link: 4.1.183
These couples shall eternally be knit:
Link: 4.1.184
And, for the morning now is something worn,
Link: 4.1.185
Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.
Link: 4.1.186
Away with us to Athens; three and three,
Link: 4.1.187
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.
Link: 4.1.188
Come, Hippolyta.
Link: 4.1.189


These things seem small and undistinguishable,
Link: 4.1.190

Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
Link: 4.1.191
When every thing seems double.
Link: 4.1.192

So methinks:
Link: 4.1.193
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Link: 4.1.194
Mine own, and not mine own.
Link: 4.1.195

Are you sure
Link: 4.1.196
That we are awake? It seems to me
Link: 4.1.197
That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
Link: 4.1.198
The duke was here, and bid us follow him?
Link: 4.1.199

Yea; and my father.
Link: 4.1.200

And Hippolyta.
Link: 4.1.201

And he did bid us follow to the temple.
Link: 4.1.202

Why, then, we are awake: let's follow him
Link: 4.1.203
And by the way let us recount our dreams.
Link: 4.1.204


(Awaking) When my cue comes, call me, and I will
Link: 4.1.205
answer: my next is, 'Most fair Pyramus.' Heigh-ho!
Link: 4.1.206
Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout,
Link: 4.1.207
the tinker! Starveling! God's my life, stolen
Link: 4.1.208
hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare
Link: 4.1.209
vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to
Link: 4.1.210
say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go
Link: 4.1.211
about to expound this dream. Methought I was--there
Link: 4.1.212
is no man can tell what. Methought I was,--and
Link: 4.1.213
methought I had,--but man is but a patched fool, if
Link: 4.1.214
he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye
Link: 4.1.215
of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not
Link: 4.1.216
seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue
Link: 4.1.217
to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream
Link: 4.1.218
was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of
Link: 4.1.219
this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream,
Link: 4.1.220
because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
Link: 4.1.221
latter end of a play, before the duke:
Link: 4.1.222
peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall
Link: 4.1.223
sing it at her death.
Link: 4.1.224


SCENE II. Athens. QUINCE'S house.

Scene 2 of Act 4 follows the journey of two couples lost in the enchanted forest. Hermia and Lysander, who are in love, and Helena and Demetrius, who are not. Hermia and Lysander have fled Athens to escape Hermia's arranged marriage to Demetrius, while Demetrius and Helena have chased after them.

As the scene begins, Hermia and Lysander are fast asleep, exhausted from their journey. Puck, a fairy, enters and mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, whom he has been ordered to use a love potion on by his fairy queen, Titania. Puck applies the potion to Lysander's eyes, causing him to fall in love with Helena when he wakes up.

Meanwhile, Demetrius and Helena are also asleep nearby. Oberon, the king of the fairies, enters and orders Puck to use the love potion on Demetrius as well, hoping to resolve the love triangle between the four characters. Puck accidentally applies the potion to Lysander instead of Demetrius, causing chaos and confusion.

When everyone wakes up, Lysander declares his love for Helena, much to her disbelief and confusion. Demetrius, who was previously in love with Hermia, suddenly falls in love with Helena as well. Hermia is left alone, confused and heartbroken.

The scene ends with Puck and Oberon discussing the mix-up and their plans to fix it. Puck is ordered to make things right by applying the potion to Demetrius' eyes, and the fairies exit, leaving the four humans to sort out their tangled love lives.


Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?
Link: 4.2.1

He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is
Link: 4.2.2
Link: 4.2.3

If he come not, then the play is marred: it goes
Link: 4.2.4
not forward, doth it?
Link: 4.2.5

It is not possible: you have not a man in all
Link: 4.2.6
Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.
Link: 4.2.7

No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft
Link: 4.2.8
man in Athens.
Link: 4.2.9

Yea and the best person too; and he is a very
Link: 4.2.10
paramour for a sweet voice.
Link: 4.2.11

You must say 'paragon:' a paramour is, God bless us,
Link: 4.2.12
a thing of naught.
Link: 4.2.13

Enter SNUG

Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and
Link: 4.2.14
there is two or three lords and ladies more married:
Link: 4.2.15
if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made
Link: 4.2.16

O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a
Link: 4.2.18
day during his life; he could not have 'scaped
Link: 4.2.19
sixpence a day: an the duke had not given him
Link: 4.2.20
sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged;
Link: 4.2.21
he would have deserved it: sixpence a day in
Link: 4.2.22
Pyramus, or nothing.
Link: 4.2.23


Where are these lads? where are these hearts?
Link: 4.2.24

Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!
Link: 4.2.25

Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not
Link: 4.2.26
what; for if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I
Link: 4.2.27
will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.
Link: 4.2.28

Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
Link: 4.2.29

Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that
Link: 4.2.30
the duke hath dined. Get your apparel together,
Link: 4.2.31
good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your
Link: 4.2.32
pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look
Link: 4.2.33
o'er his part; for the short and the long is, our
Link: 4.2.34
play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby have
Link: 4.2.35
clean linen; and let not him that plays the lion
Link: 4.2.36
pair his nails, for they shall hang out for the
Link: 4.2.37
lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions
Link: 4.2.38
nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I
Link: 4.2.39
do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet
Link: 4.2.40
comedy. No more words: away! go, away!
Link: 4.2.41


Act V

Act 5 of A Midsummer Night's Dream begins with the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. The couples from the previous acts are also present. While the wedding is taking place, the four lovers who were once lost in the forest are brought to the Duke's palace. They are still under the influence of the love potion, but everything is sorted out, and the lovers are reunited with their rightful partners.

After the wedding, the mechanicals arrive to perform their play "Pyramus and Thisbe" for the newlyweds. However, their performance is hilariously bad, and the guests can't stop laughing. The play is interrupted by Puck, who magically transforms Bottom's head back to its original state.

Once the play is over, the guests retire for the night, and the fairies come out to bless the palace and the newlyweds. Puck addresses the audience and asks them to forgive any mistakes made during the performance. He reminds us that the play was just a dream and that we should not take it too seriously.

The play ends with a final speech by Puck, who asks the audience to remember the play as a happy memory and to think of the actors as if they were their own family and friends. The play has a happy ending, and all the characters are reunited with their loved ones.

SCENE I. Athens. The palace of THESEUS.

Scene 1 of Act 5 begins with Theseus and Hippolyta discussing the strange and confusing events that have occurred in the forest. They wonder if the lovers' stories were true or if they all had a collective dream. Enter the lovers, who have just returned from the forest. Theseus questions them about their experiences and they all recount their version of events. Theseus remains skeptical but eventually accepts their stories.

Next, Bottom and the other mechanicals enter and announce that they are ready to perform their play for the Duke's wedding. Theseus and Hippolyta agree to watch the play, despite their initial reluctance. The play begins and it quickly becomes clear that the mechanicals are not skilled actors. The Duke and his court watch in amusement as the play unfolds.

Finally, the play ends and Theseus and Hippolyta retire for the night. The lovers are left alone to discuss their experiences in the forest. They realize that their love for each other has only grown stronger as a result of their time in the woods. The play ends with Puck addressing the audience and asking them to remember the events of the play as if they were all just a dream.


'Tis strange my Theseus, that these
Link: 5.1.1
lovers speak of.
Link: 5.1.2

More strange than true: I never may believe
Link: 5.1.3
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Link: 5.1.4
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Link: 5.1.5
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
Link: 5.1.6
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
Link: 5.1.7
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Link: 5.1.8
Are of imagination all compact:
Link: 5.1.9
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
Link: 5.1.10
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Link: 5.1.11
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
Link: 5.1.12
The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Link: 5.1.13
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
Link: 5.1.14
And as imagination bodies forth
Link: 5.1.15
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Link: 5.1.16
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
Link: 5.1.17
A local habitation and a name.
Link: 5.1.18
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
Link: 5.1.19
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
Link: 5.1.20
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Link: 5.1.21
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
Link: 5.1.22
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!
Link: 5.1.23

But all the story of the night told over,
Link: 5.1.24
And all their minds transfigured so together,
Link: 5.1.25
More witnesseth than fancy's images
Link: 5.1.26
And grows to something of great constancy;
Link: 5.1.27
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.
Link: 5.1.28

Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
Link: 5.1.29
Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love
Link: 5.1.30
Accompany your hearts!
Link: 5.1.31

More than to us
Link: 5.1.32
Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!
Link: 5.1.33

Come now; what masques, what dances shall we have,
Link: 5.1.34
To wear away this long age of three hours
Link: 5.1.35
Between our after-supper and bed-time?
Link: 5.1.36
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
Link: 5.1.37
What revels are in hand? Is there no play,
Link: 5.1.38
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Link: 5.1.39
Call Philostrate.
Link: 5.1.40

Here, mighty Theseus.
Link: 5.1.41

Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?
Link: 5.1.42
What masque? what music? How shall we beguile
Link: 5.1.43
The lazy time, if not with some delight?
Link: 5.1.44

There is a brief how many sports are ripe:
Link: 5.1.45
Make choice of which your highness will see first.
Link: 5.1.46

Giving a paper

(Reads) 'The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung
Link: 5.1.47
By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.'
Link: 5.1.48
We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
Link: 5.1.49
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
Link: 5.1.50
'The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
Link: 5.1.51
Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.'
Link: 5.1.52
That is an old device; and it was play'd
Link: 5.1.53
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
Link: 5.1.54
'The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Link: 5.1.55
Of Learning, late deceased in beggary.'
Link: 5.1.56
That is some satire, keen and critical,
Link: 5.1.57
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
Link: 5.1.58
'A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
Link: 5.1.59
And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.'
Link: 5.1.60
Merry and tragical! tedious and brief!
Link: 5.1.61
That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
Link: 5.1.62
How shall we find the concord of this discord?
Link: 5.1.63

A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
Link: 5.1.64
Which is as brief as I have known a play;
Link: 5.1.65
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
Link: 5.1.66
Which makes it tedious; for in all the play
Link: 5.1.67
There is not one word apt, one player fitted:
Link: 5.1.68
And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
Link: 5.1.69
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Link: 5.1.70
Which, when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
Link: 5.1.71
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
Link: 5.1.72
The passion of loud laughter never shed.
Link: 5.1.73

What are they that do play it?
Link: 5.1.74

Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
Link: 5.1.75
Which never labour'd in their minds till now,
Link: 5.1.76
And now have toil'd their unbreathed memories
Link: 5.1.77
With this same play, against your nuptial.
Link: 5.1.78

And we will hear it.
Link: 5.1.79

No, my noble lord;
Link: 5.1.80
It is not for you: I have heard it over,
Link: 5.1.81
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Link: 5.1.82
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Link: 5.1.83
Extremely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,
Link: 5.1.84
To do you service.
Link: 5.1.85

I will hear that play;
Link: 5.1.86
For never anything can be amiss,
Link: 5.1.87
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Link: 5.1.88
Go, bring them in: and take your places, ladies.
Link: 5.1.89


I love not to see wretchedness o'er charged
Link: 5.1.90
And duty in his service perishing.
Link: 5.1.91

Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.
Link: 5.1.92

He says they can do nothing in this kind.
Link: 5.1.93

The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
Link: 5.1.94
Our sport shall be to take what they mistake:
Link: 5.1.95
And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
Link: 5.1.96
Takes it in might, not merit.
Link: 5.1.97
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
Link: 5.1.98
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Link: 5.1.99
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Link: 5.1.100
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Link: 5.1.101
Throttle their practised accent in their fears
Link: 5.1.102
And in conclusion dumbly have broke off,
Link: 5.1.103
Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
Link: 5.1.104
Out of this silence yet I pick'd a welcome;
Link: 5.1.105
And in the modesty of fearful duty
Link: 5.1.106
I read as much as from the rattling tongue
Link: 5.1.107
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Link: 5.1.108
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
Link: 5.1.109
In least speak most, to my capacity.
Link: 5.1.110


So please your grace, the Prologue is address'd.
Link: 5.1.111

Let him approach.
Link: 5.1.112

Flourish of trumpets

Enter QUINCE for the Prologue

If we offend, it is with our good will.
Link: 5.1.113
That you should think, we come not to offend,
Link: 5.1.114
But with good will. To show our simple skill,
Link: 5.1.115
That is the true beginning of our end.
Link: 5.1.116
Consider then we come but in despite.
Link: 5.1.117
We do not come as minding to contest you,
Link: 5.1.118
Our true intent is. All for your delight
Link: 5.1.119
We are not here. That you should here repent you,
Link: 5.1.120
The actors are at hand and by their show
Link: 5.1.121
You shall know all that you are like to know.
Link: 5.1.122

This fellow doth not stand upon points.
Link: 5.1.123

He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; he knows
Link: 5.1.124
not the stop. A good moral, my lord: it is not
Link: 5.1.125
enough to speak, but to speak true.
Link: 5.1.126

Indeed he hath played on his prologue like a child
Link: 5.1.127
on a recorder; a sound, but not in government.
Link: 5.1.128

His speech, was like a tangled chain; nothing
Link: 5.1.129
impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?
Link: 5.1.130

Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion

Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
Link: 5.1.131
But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
Link: 5.1.132
This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
Link: 5.1.133
This beauteous lady Thisby is certain.
Link: 5.1.134
This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
Link: 5.1.135
Wall, that vile Wall which did these lovers sunder;
Link: 5.1.136
And through Wall's chink, poor souls, they are content
Link: 5.1.137
To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
Link: 5.1.138
This man, with lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn,
Link: 5.1.139
Presenteth Moonshine; for, if you will know,
Link: 5.1.140
By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
Link: 5.1.141
To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
Link: 5.1.142
This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
Link: 5.1.143
The trusty Thisby, coming first by night,
Link: 5.1.144
Did scare away, or rather did affright;
Link: 5.1.145
And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
Link: 5.1.146
Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
Link: 5.1.147
Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
Link: 5.1.148
And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain:
Link: 5.1.149
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
Link: 5.1.150
He bravely broach'd is boiling bloody breast;
Link: 5.1.151
And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,
Link: 5.1.152
His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
Link: 5.1.153
Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
Link: 5.1.154
At large discourse, while here they do remain.
Link: 5.1.155

Exeunt Prologue, Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine

I wonder if the lion be to speak.
Link: 5.1.156

No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.
Link: 5.1.157

In this same interlude it doth befall
Link: 5.1.158
That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
Link: 5.1.159
And such a wall, as I would have you think,
Link: 5.1.160
That had in it a crannied hole or chink,
Link: 5.1.161
Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,
Link: 5.1.162
Did whisper often very secretly.
Link: 5.1.163
This loam, this rough-cast and this stone doth show
Link: 5.1.164
That I am that same wall; the truth is so:
Link: 5.1.165
And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
Link: 5.1.166
Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.
Link: 5.1.167

Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?
Link: 5.1.168

It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard
Link: 5.1.169
discourse, my lord.
Link: 5.1.170

Enter Pyramus

Pyramus draws near the wall: silence!
Link: 5.1.171

O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!
Link: 5.1.172
O night, which ever art when day is not!
Link: 5.1.173
O night, O night! alack, alack, alack,
Link: 5.1.174
I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!
Link: 5.1.175
And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
Link: 5.1.176
That stand'st between her father's ground and mine!
Link: 5.1.177
Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
Link: 5.1.178
Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
Link: 5.1.179
Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!
Link: 5.1.180
But what see I? No Thisby do I see.
Link: 5.1.181
O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!
Link: 5.1.182
Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!
Link: 5.1.183

The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.
Link: 5.1.184

No, in truth, sir, he should not. 'Deceiving me'
Link: 5.1.185
is Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am to
Link: 5.1.186
spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will
Link: 5.1.187
fall pat as I told you. Yonder she comes.
Link: 5.1.188

Enter Thisbe

O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
Link: 5.1.189
For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
Link: 5.1.190
My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones,
Link: 5.1.191
Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.
Link: 5.1.192

I see a voice: now will I to the chink,
Link: 5.1.193
To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby!
Link: 5.1.194

My love thou art, my love I think.
Link: 5.1.195

Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;
Link: 5.1.196
And, like Limander, am I trusty still.
Link: 5.1.197

And I like Helen, till the Fates me kill.
Link: 5.1.198

Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.
Link: 5.1.199

As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.
Link: 5.1.200

O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall!
Link: 5.1.201

I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.
Link: 5.1.202

Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?
Link: 5.1.203

'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.
Link: 5.1.204

Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe

Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
Link: 5.1.205
And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.
Link: 5.1.206


Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.
Link: 5.1.207

No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear
Link: 5.1.208
without warning.
Link: 5.1.209

This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
Link: 5.1.210

The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst
Link: 5.1.211
are no worse, if imagination amend them.
Link: 5.1.212

It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.
Link: 5.1.213

If we imagine no worse of them than they of
Link: 5.1.214
themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here
Link: 5.1.215
come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.
Link: 5.1.216

Enter Lion and Moonshine

You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
Link: 5.1.217
The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
Link: 5.1.218
May now perchance both quake and tremble here,
Link: 5.1.219
When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
Link: 5.1.220
Then know that I, one Snug the joiner, am
Link: 5.1.221
A lion-fell, nor else no lion's dam;
Link: 5.1.222
For, if I should as lion come in strife
Link: 5.1.223
Into this place, 'twere pity on my life.
Link: 5.1.224

A very gentle beast, of a good conscience.
Link: 5.1.225

The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.
Link: 5.1.226

This lion is a very fox for his valour.
Link: 5.1.227

True; and a goose for his discretion.
Link: 5.1.228

Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his
Link: 5.1.229
discretion; and the fox carries the goose.
Link: 5.1.230

His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour;
Link: 5.1.231
for the goose carries not the fox. It is well:
Link: 5.1.232
leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.
Link: 5.1.233

This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;--
Link: 5.1.234

He should have worn the horns on his head.
Link: 5.1.235

He is no crescent, and his horns are
Link: 5.1.236
invisible within the circumference.
Link: 5.1.237

This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;
Link: 5.1.238
Myself the man i' the moon do seem to be.
Link: 5.1.239

This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man
Link: 5.1.240
should be put into the lanthorn. How is it else the
Link: 5.1.241
man i' the moon?
Link: 5.1.242

He dares not come there for the candle; for, you
Link: 5.1.243
see, it is already in snuff.
Link: 5.1.244

I am aweary of this moon: would he would change!
Link: 5.1.245

It appears, by his small light of discretion, that
Link: 5.1.246
he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all
Link: 5.1.247
reason, we must stay the time.
Link: 5.1.248

Proceed, Moon.
Link: 5.1.249

All that I have to say, is, to tell you that the
Link: 5.1.250
lanthorn is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this
Link: 5.1.251
thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.
Link: 5.1.252

Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for all
Link: 5.1.253
these are in the moon. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.
Link: 5.1.254

Enter Thisbe

This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?
Link: 5.1.255

(Roaring) Oh--
Link: 5.1.256

Thisbe runs off

Well roared, Lion.
Link: 5.1.257

Well run, Thisbe.
Link: 5.1.258

Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a
Link: 5.1.259
good grace.
Link: 5.1.260

The Lion shakes Thisbe's mantle, and exit

Well moused, Lion.
Link: 5.1.261

And so the lion vanished.
Link: 5.1.262

And then came Pyramus.
Link: 5.1.263

Enter Pyramus

Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
Link: 5.1.264
I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;
Link: 5.1.265
For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
Link: 5.1.266
I trust to take of truest Thisby sight.
Link: 5.1.267
But stay, O spite!
Link: 5.1.268
But mark, poor knight,
Link: 5.1.269
What dreadful dole is here!
Link: 5.1.270
Eyes, do you see?
Link: 5.1.271
How can it be?
Link: 5.1.272
O dainty duck! O dear!
Link: 5.1.273
Thy mantle good,
Link: 5.1.274
What, stain'd with blood!
Link: 5.1.275
Approach, ye Furies fell!
Link: 5.1.276
O Fates, come, come,
Link: 5.1.277
Cut thread and thrum;
Link: 5.1.278
Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!
Link: 5.1.279

This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would
Link: 5.1.280
go near to make a man look sad.
Link: 5.1.281

Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
Link: 5.1.282

O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?
Link: 5.1.283
Since lion vile hath here deflower'd my dear:
Link: 5.1.284
Which is--no, no--which was the fairest dame
Link: 5.1.285
That lived, that loved, that liked, that look'd
Link: 5.1.286
with cheer.
Link: 5.1.287
Come, tears, confound;
Link: 5.1.288
Out, sword, and wound
Link: 5.1.289
The pap of Pyramus;
Link: 5.1.290
Ay, that left pap,
Link: 5.1.291
Where heart doth hop:
Link: 5.1.292
Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
Link: 5.1.293
Now am I dead,
Link: 5.1.294
Now am I fled;
Link: 5.1.295
My soul is in the sky:
Link: 5.1.296
Tongue, lose thy light;
Link: 5.1.297
Moon take thy flight:
Link: 5.1.298
Now die, die, die, die, die.
Link: 5.1.299


No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.
Link: 5.1.300

Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.
Link: 5.1.301

With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and
Link: 5.1.302
prove an ass.
Link: 5.1.303

How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes
Link: 5.1.304
back and finds her lover?
Link: 5.1.305

She will find him by starlight. Here she comes; and
Link: 5.1.306
her passion ends the play.
Link: 5.1.307

Re-enter Thisbe

Methinks she should not use a long one for such a
Link: 5.1.308
Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.
Link: 5.1.309

A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which
Link: 5.1.310
Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, God warrant us;
Link: 5.1.311
she for a woman, God bless us.
Link: 5.1.312

She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.
Link: 5.1.313

And thus she means, videlicet:--
Link: 5.1.314

Asleep, my love?
Link: 5.1.315
What, dead, my dove?
Link: 5.1.316
O Pyramus, arise!
Link: 5.1.317
Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
Link: 5.1.318
Dead, dead? A tomb
Link: 5.1.319
Must cover thy sweet eyes.
Link: 5.1.320
These My lips,
Link: 5.1.321
This cherry nose,
Link: 5.1.322
These yellow cowslip cheeks,
Link: 5.1.323
Are gone, are gone:
Link: 5.1.324
Lovers, make moan:
Link: 5.1.325
His eyes were green as leeks.
Link: 5.1.326
O Sisters Three,
Link: 5.1.327
Come, come to me,
Link: 5.1.328
With hands as pale as milk;
Link: 5.1.329
Lay them in gore,
Link: 5.1.330
Since you have shore
Link: 5.1.331
With shears his thread of silk.
Link: 5.1.332
Tongue, not a word:
Link: 5.1.333
Come, trusty sword;
Link: 5.1.334
Come, blade, my breast imbrue:
Link: 5.1.335
And, farewell, friends;
Link: 5.1.336
Thus Thisby ends:
Link: 5.1.337
Adieu, adieu, adieu.
Link: 5.1.338


Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.
Link: 5.1.339

Ay, and Wall too.
Link: 5.1.340

(Starting up) No assure you; the wall is down that
Link: 5.1.341
parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the
Link: 5.1.342
epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance between two
Link: 5.1.343
of our company?
Link: 5.1.344

No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no
Link: 5.1.345
excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all
Link: 5.1.346
dead, there needs none to be blamed. Marry, if he
Link: 5.1.347
that writ it had played Pyramus and hanged himself
Link: 5.1.348
in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine
Link: 5.1.349
tragedy: and so it is, truly; and very notably
Link: 5.1.350
discharged. But come, your Bergomask: let your
Link: 5.1.351
epilogue alone.
Link: 5.1.352
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:
Link: 5.1.353
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
Link: 5.1.354
I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn
Link: 5.1.355
As much as we this night have overwatch'd.
Link: 5.1.356
This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled
Link: 5.1.357
The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
Link: 5.1.358
A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
Link: 5.1.359
In nightly revels and new jollity.
Link: 5.1.360


Enter PUCK

Now the hungry lion roars,
Link: 5.1.361
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Link: 5.1.362
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
Link: 5.1.363
All with weary task fordone.
Link: 5.1.364
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Link: 5.1.365
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Link: 5.1.366
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
Link: 5.1.367
In remembrance of a shroud.
Link: 5.1.368
Now it is the time of night
Link: 5.1.369
That the graves all gaping wide,
Link: 5.1.370
Every one lets forth his sprite,
Link: 5.1.371
In the church-way paths to glide:
Link: 5.1.372
And we fairies, that do run
Link: 5.1.373
By the triple Hecate's team,
Link: 5.1.374
From the presence of the sun,
Link: 5.1.375
Following darkness like a dream,
Link: 5.1.376
Now are frolic: not a mouse
Link: 5.1.377
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
Link: 5.1.378
I am sent with broom before,
Link: 5.1.379
To sweep the dust behind the door.
Link: 5.1.380

Enter OBERON and TITANIA with their train

Through the house give gathering light,
Link: 5.1.381
By the dead and drowsy fire:
Link: 5.1.382
Every elf and fairy sprite
Link: 5.1.383
Hop as light as bird from brier;
Link: 5.1.384
And this ditty, after me,
Link: 5.1.385
Sing, and dance it trippingly.
Link: 5.1.386

First, rehearse your song by rote
Link: 5.1.387
To each word a warbling note:
Link: 5.1.388
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
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Will we sing, and bless this place.
Link: 5.1.390

Song and dance

Now, until the break of day,
Link: 5.1.391
Through this house each fairy stray.
Link: 5.1.392
To the best bride-bed will we,
Link: 5.1.393
Which by us shall blessed be;
Link: 5.1.394
And the issue there create
Link: 5.1.395
Ever shall be fortunate.
Link: 5.1.396
So shall all the couples three
Link: 5.1.397
Ever true in loving be;
Link: 5.1.398
And the blots of Nature's hand
Link: 5.1.399
Shall not in their issue stand;
Link: 5.1.400
Never mole, hare lip, nor scar,
Link: 5.1.401
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Link: 5.1.402
Despised in nativity,
Link: 5.1.403
Shall upon their children be.
Link: 5.1.404
With this field-dew consecrate,
Link: 5.1.405
Every fairy take his gait;
Link: 5.1.406
And each several chamber bless,
Link: 5.1.407
Through this palace, with sweet peace;
Link: 5.1.408
And the owner of it blest
Link: 5.1.409
Ever shall in safety rest.
Link: 5.1.410
Trip away; make no stay;
Link: 5.1.411
Meet me all by break of day.
Link: 5.1.412

Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and train

If we shadows have offended,
Link: 5.1.413
Think but this, and all is mended,
Link: 5.1.414
That you have but slumber'd here
Link: 5.1.415
While these visions did appear.
Link: 5.1.416
And this weak and idle theme,
Link: 5.1.417
No more yielding but a dream,
Link: 5.1.418
Gentles, do not reprehend:
Link: 5.1.419
if you pardon, we will mend:
Link: 5.1.420
And, as I am an honest Puck,
Link: 5.1.421
If we have unearned luck
Link: 5.1.422
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
Link: 5.1.423
We will make amends ere long;
Link: 5.1.424
Else the Puck a liar call;
Link: 5.1.425
So, good night unto you all.
Link: 5.1.426
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
Link: 5.1.427
And Robin shall restore amends.
Link: 5.1.428