A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT I, SCENE I.

SETTING:  Athens. The palace of THESEUS.

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Demetrius (small role)                       • Egeus (medium role)                          • Helena (large role)

            • Hermia (large role)                            • Hippolyta (small role)                        • Lysander (large role)

            • Theseus (large role)

 

 

Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendants

THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendantsenter.

 

THESEUS

Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon: but, O, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes!

 

 

THESEUS

Our wedding day is almost here, my beautiful Hippolyta. We’ll be getting married in four days, on the day of the new moon. But it seems to me that the days are passing too slowly.

 

 

HIPPOLYTA

Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time.

 

HIPPOLYTA

No, you’ll see, four days will quickly turn into four nights. And since we dream at night, time passes quickly then. 

 

 

THESEUS

Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.

 

 

THESEUS

Hippolyta, I wooed you with violence, using my sword, and got you to fall in love with me by injuring you. But I’ll marry you under different circumstances—with extravagant festivals, public festivities, and celebration.

 

Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS.

EGEUS enters with his daughter HERMIA, and LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS.

 

EGEUS

Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!

 

 

EGEUS

Long live Theseus, our famous an respected duke!

 

THESEUS

Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee?

 

 

THESEUS

Thanks, good Egeus. What’s new with you?

 


 

EGEUS

Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke,
This man hath bewitched my child;
Thou, thou, Lysander,
With cunning hast thou filched my daughter's heart,
Turned her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke,
Be it so she; will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman
Or to her death.

 

EGEUS

I’m here, full of anger, to complain about my daughter Hermia.—Step forward, Demetrius.—My lord, this man, Demetrius, has my permission to marry her.—Step forward, Lysander.—But this other man, Lysander, has cast a magic spell over my child’s heart.—You, you, Lysander, you’ve connived to steal my daughter’s heart, making her stubborn and harsh instead of obedient (like she should be).—And, my gracious duke, if she won’t agree to marry Demetrius right now, I ask you to let me exercise the right that all fathers have in Athens. Since she belongs to me, I can do what I want with her—I can either make her marry Demetrius—or have her killed.

 

 

THESEUS

What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid:
To you your father should be as a god.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

 

THESEUS

What do you have to say for yourself, Hermia? Think carefully, pretty girl. You should think of your father as a god. Demetrius is an admirable man.

 

 

HERMIA

So is Lysander.

 

 

HERMIA

So is Lysander.

 

 

THESEUS

In himself he is;
But in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
The other must be held the worthier.

 

 

THESEUS

You’re right, Lysander’s admirable too. But since your father doesn’t want him to marry you, you have to consider Demetrius to be the better man.

 

 

HERMIA

I would my father looked but with my eyes.

 

 

HERMIA

I wish my father could see them with my eyes.

 

 

 

THESEUS

Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.

 

 

 

THESEUS

No, you must see them as your father sees them.

 

 

HERMIA

I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
I know not by what power I am made bold,
Nor how it may concern my modesty,
In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;
But I beseech your grace that I may know
The worst that may befall me in this case,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

 

HERMIA

Your grace, please forgive me. I don’t know what makes me think I can say this, and I don’t know if speaking my mind to such a powerful and noble person as yourself will damage my reputation for modesty. But please, tell me the worst thing that could happen to me if I refuse to marry Demetrius.

 

THESEUS

Either to die the death or to abjure
Forever the society of men.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun,
For aye to be in shady cloister,
To live a barren sister all your life.

 

THESEUS

You’ll either be executed or you’ll never see another man again. So think carefully about what you want, beautiful Hermia. Consider how young you are, and question your feelings. Then decide whether you could stand to be a nun, wearing a priestess’s habit and caged up in a cloister forever, living your entire life without a husband or children.

 

 

HERMIA

So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.

 

 

HERMIA

I’d rather wither away than give up my virginity to someone I don’t love.

 

 

THESEUS

Take time to pause; and, by the next new moon--
The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
For everlasting bond of fellowship--
Upon that day either prepare to die
For disobedience to your father's will,
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;
Or to protest
For aye austerity and single life.

 

 

THESEUS

Take some time to think about this. By the time of the next new moon—the day when Hippolyta and I will be married—be ready either to be executed for disobeying your father, to marry Demetrius as your father wishes, or to take a vow to spend the rest of your life as a virgin.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield
Thy crazed title to my certain right.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Please give in, sweet Hermia.—And Lysander, stop acting like she’s yours. I’ve got more of a right to her than you do.

 

 

LYSANDER

You have her father's love, Demetrius;
Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.

 

 

LYSANDER

Her father loves you, Demetrius. So why don’t you marry him and let me have Hermia?

 

 

EGEUS

Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love,
And what is mine my love shall render him.
And she is mine, and all my right of her
I do estate unto Demetrius.

 

 

EGEUS

It’s true, rude Lysander, I do love him. That’s why I’m giving him my daughter. She’s mine, and I’m giving her to Demetrius.

 


 

LYSANDER

I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
As well possessed; my love is more than his;
My fortunes every way as fairly ranked,
If not with vantage, as Demetrius';
And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
I am beloved of beauteous Hermia:
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
Made love to Helena,
And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

 

LYSANDER

(to THESEUS) My lord, I’m just as noble and rich as he is. I love Hermia more than he does. My prospects are as good as his, if not better. And beautiful Hermia loves me—which is more important than all those other things I’m bragging about. Why shouldn’t I be able to marry her? Demetrius—and I’ll say this to his face—courted Helena, and made her fall in love with him. That sweet lady, Helena, loves devoutly. She adores this horrible and unfaithful man.

 

 

THESEUS

I must confess that I have heard so much,
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
And come, Egeus; you shall go with me,
I have some private schooling for you both.
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
To fit your fancies to your father's will;
Or else the law of Athens yields you up--
To death, or to a vow of single life.

 

 

THESEUS

I have to admit I’ve heard something about that, and meant to ask Demetrius about it, but I was too busy with personal matters and it slipped my mind.—Anyway, Demetrius and Egeus, both of you, come with me. I want to say a few things to you in private.—As for you, beautiful Hermia, get ready to do what your father wants, because otherwise the law says that you must die or become a nun, and there’s nothing I can do about that.—

 

Exeunt all but LYSANDER and HERMIA.

They all exit except LYSANDER and HERMIA.

 

LYSANDER

How now, my love! why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the roses there do fade so fast?

 

 

LYSANDER

What’s going on, my love? Why are you so pale? Why have your rosy cheeks faded so quickly?

 

 

HERMIA

Belike for want of rain, which I could well
Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.

 

 

HERMIA

Probably because my cheeks' roses needed rain, which I could easily give them with all the tears in my eyes.

 

 

LYSANDER

Ay me! The course of true love never did run smooth.

 

LYSANDER

Oh, honey! True love always faces obstacles.

 

 

HERMIA

If then true lovers have been ever crossed,
Then let us teach our trial patience.

 

 

HERMIA

If true lovers are always thwarted, then let’s try to be patient as we deal with our problem.

 


 

LYSANDER

A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And in the wood, there will I stay for thee.

 

LYSANDER

That’s the right attitude. So, listen, Hermia. I have an aunt who is a widow, who’s very rich and doesn’t have any children. She lives about twenty miles from Athens, and she thinks of me as a son. I could marry you there, gentle Hermia, where the strict laws of Athens can’t touch us. So here’s the plan. If you love me, sneak out of your father’s house tomorrow night and meet me in the forest. I’ll wait for you there.

 

 

HERMIA

My good Lysander!
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.

 

 

HERMIA

Oh, Lysander, I swear I’ll be there tomorrow. I swear by Cupid’s strongest bow, I give you my word, I will meet you at that spot tomorrow.

 

 

LYSANDER

Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.

 

 

LYSANDER

Keep your promise, my love. Look, here comes Helena.

 

Enter HELENA.

HELENA enters.

 

HERMIA

God speed fair Helena! whither away?

 

 

HERMIA

Hello, beautiful Helena! Where are you going?

 

 

HELENA

Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
Your eyes are stars; and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable.
Sickness is catching: O, were favour so,
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
O, teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.

 

 

HELENA

Did you just call me “beautiful”? Take it back. You’re the beautiful one as far as Demetrius is concerned. Oh, you’re so lucky! Your eyes are like stars, and your voice is more musical. Sickness is contagious—I wish beauty were contagious too! I would catch your good looks before I left. My ear would be infected by your voice, my eye by your eye, and my tongue would come down with a bad case of your melodious speech. If the world were mine, I’d give it all up—everything except Demetrius—to be you. Oh, teach me how you look the way you do, and which tricks you used to make Demetrius fall in love with you.

 

 

HERMIA

I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.

 

 

HERMIA

I frown at him, but he still loves me.

 

 

HELENA

O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!

 

 

HELENA

Oh, if only my smiles could inspire love as effectively as your frowns!

 

HERMIA

I give him curses, yet he gives me love.

 

HERMIA

I curse him, but he loves me.

 

 

HELENA

O that my prayers could such affection move!

 

 

HELENA

If only my prayers could inspire that kind of affection!

 

 

HERMIA

The more I hate, the more he follows me.

 

 

HERMIA

The more I hate him, the more he follows me around.

 

 

HELENA

The more I love, the more he hateth me.

 

 

HELENA

The more I love him, the more he hates me.

 

 

HERMIA

His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.

 

 

HERMIA

It’s not my fault he acts like that, Helena.

 

 

HELENA

None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!

 

 

HELENA

That’s true, it’s your beauty’s fault. I wish I had a fault like that!

 

 

HERMIA

Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
Lysander and myself will fly this place.

 

 

HERMIA

Don’t worry. He won’t see my face ever again. Lysander and I are running away from here.

 

LYSANDER

Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
Tomorrow night,through Athens' gates have we devised to steal.

 

 

LYSANDER

Helena, we’ll tell you about our secret plan. Tomorrow night, we plan to sneak out of Athens.

 

 

HERMIA

And in the wood, there my Lysander and myself shall meet;
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us;
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.

 

 

HERMIA

(to HELENA) In the woods—that’s where Lysander and I will meet. From then on we’ll turn our backs on Athens. We’ll look for new friends and keep the company of strangers. Goodbye, old friend. Pray for us, and I hope you win over Demetrius!—Keep your promise, Lysander. We need to stay away from each other until midnight tomorrow.

 

 

LYSANDER

I will, my Hermia.

 

 

LYSANDER

I will, my Hermia.

 

Exit HERMIA

HERMIA exits.

LYSANDER

Helena, adieu:
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!

LYSANDER

Goodbye, Helena. I hope Demetrius comes to love you as much as you love him!

Exit

LYSANDER exits.

 

HELENA

How happy some o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
For ere Demetrius looked on Hermia's eyes,
He hailed down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
Then to the wood will he tomorrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.

 

 

HELENA

It’s amazing how much happier some people are than others! People throughout Athens think I’m as beautiful as Hermia. But so what? Demetrius doesn’t think so, and that’s all that matters. When we’re in love, we don’t see with our eyes but with our minds. Before Demetrius ever saw Hermia, he showered me with promises and swore he’d be mine forever. But when he got all hot and bothered over Hermia, his promises melted away. I’ll go tell Demetrius that Hermia is running away tomorrow night. He’ll run after her. If he’s grateful to me for this information, it’ll be worth my pain in helping him pursue my rival Hermia. At least I’ll get to see him when he goes, and then again when he comes back.

Exit

HELENA exits.

 


 

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT II, SCENE I.

SETTING:  A wood near Athens.

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Demetrius (medium role)                  • Fairy (small role)                                • Helena (medium role)

            • Oberon (large role)                            • Puck (large role)                                • Titania (medium role)

 

 

Enter, from opposite sides, a Fairy, and PUCK

 

A FAIRY and ROBINGOODFELLOW (a “puck” or mischievous spirit) meet onstage.

 

PUCK

The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she as her attendant hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a changeling;
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
But she perforce withholds the loved boy.
 

 

PUCK

The king’s having a party here tonight. Just make sure the queen doesn’t come anywhere near him, because King Oberon is extremely angry. He’s furious because she stole an adorable boy from an Indian king. She’s never kidnapped such a darling human child before, and Oberon’s jealous. He wants the child for himself, to accompany him on his wanderings through the wild forests. But the queen refuses to hand the boy over to Oberon.

 

 

Fairy

Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call'd Robin Goodfellow?
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?

 

 

FAIRY

Unless I’m mistaken, you’re that mischievous and naughty spirit named Robin Goodfellow. Some people call you “Hobgoblin” and “sweet Puck,” and you’re nice to them. You do their work for them and give them good luck. That’s you, right?

 

 

PUCK

Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon and make him smile.
But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.

 

 

PUCK

What you say is true. That’s me you’re talking about, the playful wanderer of the night. I tell jokes to Oberon and make him smile. But step aside, fairy! Here comes Oberon.

 

 

Fairy

And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!

 

FAIRY

And here’s my mistress, Titania. I wish he’d go away!

 

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

OBERON, the Fairy King, and his followers enter. On the opposite side of the stage, TITANIA, the Fairy Queen, and her followers enter.

 

OBERON

Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

 

 

OBERON

How not nice to see you, Titania.

 

 

TITANIA

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

 

 

TITANIA

What, are you jealous, Oberon?—Fairies, let’s get out of here. I’ve sworn I’ll never sleep with him or talk to him again.

 

 

OBERON

Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

 

 

OBERON

Wait just a minute, you brazen hussy. Aren’t you supposed to obey me, your lord and husband?

 

 

TITANIA

Then I must be thy lady: but I know
Why thou art here.
Forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Your mistress and your warrior love,
To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.

 

TITANIA

If you’re my lord and husband, I must be your lady and wife, so you’re supposed to be faithful to me. But I know. why you are here.  That Amazon Hippolyta, your mistress and your warrior lover, is getting married to Theseus, and you’ve come to celebrate their marriage.

 

 

OBERON

How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
 

 

OBERON

How can you stand there shamelessly talking about me and Hippolyta, when you know that I know about your love for Theseus?

 

 

TITANIA

These are the forgeries of jealousy.

 

 

TITANIA

These are nothing but jealous lies. 

 

OBERON

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

 

 

OBERON

Do something about it, then. You have the power to fix it. Why would Titania want to argue with her Oberon? All I’m asking for is to have that little human boy as part of my crew.

 

 

TITANIA

Set your heart at rest:
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.

 

 

TITANIA

Get over it. I won’t give up this child for all of Fairyland. His mother was one of my worshippers. But since she was a mortal, she died giving birth to that boy, and for her sake I’m raising him and will not give him up.

 

 

OBERON

How long within this wood intend you stay?

 

OBERON

How long do you plan to stay here in this forest?

TITANIA

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

 

TITANIA

Maybe until after Theseus’s wedding day. If you behave yourself and join us in our circle dance and moonlight celebrations, then you can come with us. If not, leave me alone, and I’ll stay away from your turf.

 

 

OBERON

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

 

 

OBERON

Give me that boy and I’ll come with you.

 

 

TITANIA

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

 

 

TITANIA

Not for your entire fairy kingdom.—Come, fairies, let’s go. We’re going to have an out-and-out brawl if I stay any longer.

 

Exit TITANIA with her train.

TITANIA and her FAIRIES exit.

 

OBERON

Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
Till I torment thee for this injury.
My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou remembers
That very time I saw, but thou could not,
Cupid all armed: a certain aim he took
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
Marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I showed thee once:
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again.

 

 

OBERON

Well, go on your way, then. You won’t leave this grove until I’ve paid you back for this insult. (to GOODFELLOW) My dear Puck, come here. You remember the time when I saw—but you could not—Cupid flying, with all of his arrows ready. He took aim and he shot his arrow of love. I paid attention to where Cupid’s arrow fell. It fell on a little western flower. Bring me that flower. I showed it to you once. If its juice is put on someone’s eyelids while they’re asleep, that person will fall in love with the next living creature he or she sees. Bring me this plant, and get back here.

 

 

PUCK

I'll round about the earth in forty minutes.

 

 

PUCK

I could go around the world in forty minutes.

 

Exit.

 Exits.

 

OBERON

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

 

OBERON

When I have the juice of that flower, I’ll trickle some drops of it on Titania’s eyes while she’s sleeping. She’ll fall madly in love with the first thing she sees when she wakes up—even if it’s a lion, a bear, a wolf, a bull, a monkey, or an ape. And before I make her normal again—I can cure her by treating her with another plant—I’ll make her give me that little boy as my page. But who’s that coming this way? I’ll make myself invisible and listen to their conversation.

 

Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA, following him.

DEMETRIUS enters, followed by HELENA.

 

DEMETRIUS

I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Thou told me they were stolen unto this wood;
And here am I, and wild within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Look, I don’t love you, so stop following me around. Where are Lysander and beautiful Hermia? Lysander I want to stop, but Hermia stops my heart from beating. You told me they escaped into this forest. And here I am, going crazy in the middle of the woods because I can’t find my Hermia. Go away, get out of here, and stop following me.

 

 

HELENA

You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant.

 

 

HELENA

You attract me to you, you cruel magnet!

DEMETRIUS

Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?

 

DEMETRIUS

Do I ask you to follow me? Do I speak to you kindly? Don’t I tell you in the clearest terms that I do not and cannot love you?

 

 

HELENA

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

 

 

HELENA

Yes, but that makes me love you even more. I’m your little dog, Demetrius. The more you beat me, the more I’ll love you. Treat me like you would treat a dog—kick me, hit me, neglect me, try to lose me. Just let me follow behind you, even though I’m not good enough for you. Could I ask for a worse place in your heart than to be treated as you would treat a dog? And yet I would consider it an honor to be your dog.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Don’t push it. Just looking at you makes me sick.

 

 

HELENA

And I am sick when I look not on you.

 

 

HELENA

And I get sick when I can’t look at you.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

You do impeach your modesty too much,
To leave the city and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

You’re risking your reputation by leaving the city and stalking someone who doesn’t love you.

 

 

HELENA

Your virtue is my privilege.

 

 

HELENA

I rely on your virtue to protect me.

 

DEMETRIUS

I'll run from thee and hide me in the woods,
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

 

DEMETRIUS

I’ll run away from you and hide in the bushes, and leave you to the mercy of wild animals.

 

 

HELENA

The wildest hath not such a heart as you.

 

 

HELENA

The wildest animal isn’t as cruel as you are.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

I’m not sticking around to listen to you any longer. Leave me alone. Or if you follow me, you’d better understand that I’ll do something bad to you in the forest.

 

 

HELENA

Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
We should be wooed and were not made to woo.

 

 

HELENA

Yes, you already hurt me in the church, in the town, and in the fields. Shame on you, Demetrius! Your behavior is an insult to all women. We cannot fight for love as men can. We should be pursued and courted. We weren’t made to do the pursuing.

 

Exit DEMETRIUS.

DEMETRIUS exits.

 

HELENA

I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.

 

 

HELENA

I’ll follow you and turn this hell I’m in into a kind of heaven. It would be heavenly to be killed by someone I love so much.

 

Exit.

HELENA exits.

 

OBERON

Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love.

 

 

OBERON

Goodbye, nymph. Before he leaves this part of the forest, you’ll change places: you’ll be the one running away, and he’ll be in love with you.

 

Re-enter PUCK.

 enters.

 

OBERON

Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

 

 

OBERON
Do you have the flower? Welcome, traveler.

 

 

PUCK

Ay, there it is.

 

 

PUCK

Yes, here it is.

 


 

OBERON

I pray thee, give it me.
I know a bank where sleeps Titania in the night,
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
But do it when the next thing he espies
May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care, that he may prove
More fond on her than she upon her love.

OBERON

Please, give it to me. (he takes the flower from ) I know a place where Titania sleeps sometimes at night. I’ll put the juice of this flower on Titania’s eyes, and fill her with horrible delusions and desires. (he gives  part of the flower) You take some of it too, and look around in this part of the forest. A sweet Athenian lady is in love with a young man who wants nothing to do with her. Put some of this flower’s juice on his eyes, and make sure to do it in such a way that the next thing he sees will be the lady. You’ll be able to tell it’s him because he’s wearing Athenian clothes. Do it carefully, so that he’ll end up loving her more than she loves him. And then make sure to meet me before the rooster’s first crow at dawn.

 

 

PUCK

Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.

 

 

PUCK

Don’t worry, sir. I’m at your service.

 

Exeunt.

They all exit, separately.

 

 


 

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT II, SCENE II.

SETTING:  Another part of the wood.

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Demetrius (small role)                       • Fairy (small role)                                • Fairy singers (small role)

            • Helena (large role)                             • Hermia (medium role)                       • Lysander (large role)

            • Oberon (medium role)                       • Puck (medium role)                           • Titania (large role)

 

 

Enter TITANIA, with her train.

TITANIA, the Fairy Queen, enters with her fairies.

 

 

TITANIA

Come, now. Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices and let me rest.

 

 

TITANIA

Come. Sing me to sleep now, and then go off to do your duties and let me rest.

 

The Fairies sing

The Fairies sing

 

Fairy

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

 

 

FAIRY

Okay, let’s go! Everything’s fine now. One of us will stay and stand guard.

 

Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps.

Enter OBERON and squeezes the flower on TITANIA's eyelids.

TITANIA falls asleep. The FAIRIES exit.

OBERON enters and squeezes flower juice on TITANIA ’s eyelids.

 

OBERON

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

 

 

OBERON

Whatever you see first when you wake up, think of it as your true love. Love him and yearn for him, even if he’s a lynx, a cat, a bear, a leopard, or a wild boar. Whatever’s there when you wake up will be dear to you. Wake up when something nasty is nearby.

 

Exit.

Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA.

OBERON exits.

LYSANDER and HERMIA enter.

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

My love, you look like you’re about to faint from wandering in the woods for so long, and to tell you the truth, I’ve gotten us lost. We’ll take a rest, if you think it’s a good idea, and wait until daylight when things will be easier.

 

HERMIA

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

 

HERMIA

Let’s do that, Lysander. Find something to cushion you while you sleep. I’m going to rest my head on this little slope.

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

We can both sleep together on the grass. We’ll have one heart, one bed, two bodies, and one faithful vow.

 

 

HERMIA

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

 

 

HERMIA

No, Lysander. Please, for my sake, sleep a little farther away. Don’t sleep so close to me.

 

 

LYSANDER

O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
So that but one heart we can make of it;
Two bosoms interchained with an oath;
So then two bosoms and a single troth.
Then by your side no bed-room me deny;
For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

 

 

LYSANDER

Oh, sweetheart, I didn’t mean anything naughty when I said that. I just meant that our hearts are joined, so we can almost think of them as one heart. Our two bodies are linked together by the promises we’ve made to each other, so there are two bodies and one faithful vow. So let me sleep next to you. If I lie next to you, I won’t lie to you—I’ll be faithful and respect you.

 

 

HERMIA

Lysander riddles very prettily.
But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Lie further off; in human modesty,
Such separation as may well be said
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
Thy love never alter till thy sweet life end!

 

 

HERMIA

Lysander’s got a way with words. But please, darling, sleep a little farther away so we can behave properly. It’s only proper for a well-behaved bachelor and a well-behaved girl to be physically separated like this. Stay away for now, and good night, my sweet friend. I hope your love for me remains this strong for your entire life!

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

Amen to that. I hope my life ends before my loyalty to you does. I’ll sleep over here. Sleep well!

 

 

HERMIA

With half that wish the wisher's eyes be pressed!

 

 

HERMIA

You sleep well too.

 

They sleep.Enter PUCK.

HERMIA and LYSANDER sleep.  enters.


 

 

PUCK

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

 

 

PUCK

I’ve been through the entire forest, but I haven’t found any Athenian man to use the flower on. (He sees LYSANDER and HERMIA) Wait a second, who’s this? He’s wearing Athenian clothes. This must be the guy who rejected the Athenian girl. And here’s the girl, sleeping soundly on the damp and dirty ground. Pretty girl! She shouldn’t lie near this rude and heartless man. (he puts flower juice on LYSANDER ’s eyelids) Jerk, I throw all the power of this magic charm on your eyes. When you wake up, let love keep you from going back to sleep. Wake up when I’m gone, because now I have to go to Oberon.

 

Exit.

Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running.

 exits.

DEMETRIUS and HELENA enter, running.

 

HELENA

Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.

 

 

HELENA

Stop, Demetrius! Stop, even if only to kill me.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

I’m telling you, get out of here, and don’t follow me around like this.

 

 

HELENA

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

 

 

HELENA

Oh, will you leave me alone in the dark? Don’t.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Stay here at your own risk. I’m going on alone.

 

Exit.

DEMETRIUS exits.


 

HELENA

O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Happy is Hermia, wheresoever she lies;
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
If so, my eyes are oftener washed than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
For beasts that meet me run away for fear:
Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
Do, as a monster fly my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Hermia's starry eyes?
But who is here? Lysander! on the ground!
Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
Lysander if you live, good sir, awake.

 

HELENA

Oh, I’m out of breath from this foolish chase. The more I pray, the less I get out of it. Hermia is lucky, wherever she is, because she has beautiful eyes. How did her eyes get so bright? Not from crying. If that’s the case, tears wash my eyes more than hers. No, no, I’m as ugly as a bear, since animals that see me run away in terror. So it’s no surprise that Demetrius runs away from me as if I were a monster. What evil and deceitful mirror made me think I could rival Hermia’s starry eyes? (she sees LYSANDER)But who’s this here? Lysander, on the ground? Is he dead or sleeping? I don’t see any blood or injuries—Lysander, if you’re alive, wake up.

 

 

LYSANDER

[Awaking] And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
Transparent Helena!
Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word
Is that vile name to perish on my sword!

 

 

LYSANDER

(Waking up) I’d even run through fire if you told me to. Radiant, beautiful Helena! Where is Demetrius? Oh, I’d kill that name with my sword if I could!

 

 

HELENA

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

 

 

HELENA

Don’t say that, Lysander. Don’t say that. Why do you care that he loves Hermia? What does it matter? Hermia still loves you, so be happy.

 

 

LYSANDER

Content with Hermia! No; I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Not Hermia but Helena I love:
Who will not change a raven for a dove?
The will of man is by his reason swayed;
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
 

 

LYSANDER

Happy with Hermia? No. I regret all the boring time I wasted with her. I don’t love Hermia; I love Helena. Who wouldn’t love a dove more than a crow? A man’s desires are influenced by his logical mind, and it’s simply logical that you’re more worthy of love than Hermia is.

 

HELENA

Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?

 

 

HELENA

Why does everyone always make fun of me? What have I done to deserve this kind of treatment from you?

Exit.

HELENA exits.

 

LYSANDER

She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep thou there:
And never mayst thou come Lysander near!
And, all my powers, address your love and might
To honour Helen and to be her knight!

 

 

LYSANDER

She doesn’t see Hermia—Hermia, keep sleeping, and don’t come near me ever again! I’ll use all my talents and efforts to serve Helen and bring her honor.

 

Exit.

LYSANDER exits.

 

HERMIA

[Awaking] Help me, Lysander, help me!
Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here!
Lysander, look how I do quake with fear:
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel pray.
Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord!
What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
Alack, where are you speak, an if you hear;
Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.
No? then I well perceive you all not nigh
Either death or you I'll find immediately.

 

 

HERMIA

(Waking up) Help me, Lysander, help me! Oh, my God! What a terrible dream I just had! Lysander, look how I’m shaking from fear. I thought a snake was eating my heart while you sat smiling and watching. Lysander!—What, is he gone?—Lysander, my lord!—What, is he out of earshot? Gone? No answer, nothing? Oh, God, where are you? Say something if you can hear me. Say something, please! I’m almost fainting with fear. Nothing? Then I guess you’re nowhere nearby. I’ll find you—or die—right away.

 

Exit.

HERMIA exits.

 

 


 

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT III, SCENE I.

SETTING:  The wood. TITANIA lying asleep.

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Bottom (large role)                            • Cobweb (small role)                           • Flute (small role)

            • Mustardseed (small role)                   • Peaseblossom (small role)                 • Puck (small role)

            • Quince (medium role)                       • Snout (small role)                              • Starveling (small role)

            • TItania (medium role)

 

 

SETTING THE SCENE:  A group of actors is in a clearing in the forest near where Titania sleeps.  They are rehearsing  a play they will perform at the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. One actor, Bottom, is trying to convince the other that he should play all the parts because he will do them best. Puck enters and sees this nonsense. When Bottom steps outside the clearing, Puck follows.  When they return, Bottom has unknowingly been transformed so he has the head of an ass. The other actors run away in fright.

 

QUINCE

O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray,
masters! fly, masters! Help!

QUINCE

Help! It’s a monster! We’re being haunted. Run, everyone, run!

 

Exit actors. Exit PUCK.

Actors exit. PUCK exits.

 

BOTTOM

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

 

 

BOTTOM

Why are they running away? This is some joke of theirs to scare me.

 

Re-enter SNOUT.

SNOUT enters.

 

SNOUT

O Bottom, thou art changed! What do I see on thee?

 

 

SNOUT

Oh, Bottom, you’ve changed! What’s on your head?

 

 

BOTTOM

What do you see? You see an asshead of your own, do
you?

 

BOTTOM

What do you think I’ve got on my head? You’re acting like an ass, don’t you think?

 

Exit.

SNOUT exits.

Re-enter QUINCE.

QUINCE re-enters.

 

QUINCE

Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art
translated.

 

QUINCE

God bless you, Bottom, God bless you. You’ve been changed. Reborn.

 

Exit.

QUINCE exits.


 

BOTTOM

I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me;
to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir
from this place, do what they can: I will walk up
and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear
I am not afraid.

Sings

 

BOTTOM

I see what they’re up to. They want to make an ass of me, to scare me if they can. But I won’t leave this spot, no matter what they do. I’ll walk up and down and sing a song, so they’ll know I’m not afraid.

 

Sings

 

 

TITANIA

[Awaking] What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?

 

 

TITANIA

(waking up) What angel is this who’s waking me up from my bed of flowers?

 

 

BOTTOM sings to the end of his song.

 

 

BOTTOMsings to the end of his song.

 

 

TITANIA

I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue forces me to swear, I love thee.

 

 

TITANIA

Please sing again, sweet human. I love to listen to your voice, and I love to look at your body. I know this is the first time I’ve ever seen you, but you’re so wonderful that I can’t help swearing to you that I love you.

 

 

BOTTOM

Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason
for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and
love keep little company together now-a-days.

 

 

BOTTOM

I don’t think you’ve got much of a reason to love me. But to tell you the truth, reason and love have very little to do with each other these days.

 

TITANIA

Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

 

 

TITANIA

You’re as wise as you are beautiful.

 

 

BOTTOM

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

 

 

BOTTOM

No, that’s not true. But if I were smart enough to get out of this forest, I’d be wise enough to satisfy myself.

 

 

TITANIA

Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate.
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Fairies, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
Tie up my love's tongue bring him silently.

 

 

TITANIA

Don’t bother wishing you could leave this forest, because you’re going to stay here whether you want to or not. I’m no ordinary fairy. And I love you. So come with me. I’ll give you fairies as servants. And I’ll turn you into a spirit like us, so you won’t die as humans do. Fairies, take good care of him. Take him to my sleeping area.  Bring him to me in silence.

 

 

Exeunt.

They all exit.

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT III, SCENE II.

SETTING:  Another part of the wood.

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Demetrius (medium role)                  • Helena (large role)                             • Hermia (large role)

            • Lysander (medium role)                     • Oberon (small role)                            • Puck (small role)

 

 

Enter OBERON.

OBERON, the Fairy King, enters.

 

OBERON

I wonder if Titania be awaked;
Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on in extremity.

 

 

OBERON

I wonder if Titania is awake yet, and if she is, I wonder what the first thing she saw was. Whatever it is, she must be completely in love with it now.

 

Enter PUCK.

 enters.

 

OBERON

Here comes my messenger.
How now, mad spirit!
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

 

 

OBERON

Ah, here comes my messenger.—What’s going on, you crazy spirit? What havoc have you wreaked in this part of the forest?

 

 

PUCK

My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches,

Were met together to rehearse a play
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
When I did him at this advantage take,
An asses face I fixed on his head:
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

 

 

 

My mistress Titania is in love with a monster. While she was sleeping in her bed of flowers, a group of bumbling idiots, got together nearby to rehearse some play. I took opportunity to stick a donkey’s head on the stupidest one. At that exact moment, Titania woke up and immediately fell in love with him, an ass.

 

 

OBERON

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

 

 

OBERON

This is going even better than I planned. But have you put the love juice from the flower on the eyes of that Athenian, as I asked you to do?

 

 

PUCK

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

 

 

 

Yes, I found him when he was asleep—so that’s taken care of too—and the Athenian woman was sleeping near him. When he woke up, he must have seen her.

Enter HERMIA and DEMETRIUS.

DEMETRIUS and HERMIA enter.

OBERON

Stand close: this is the same Athenian.

 

OBERON

(speaking so that only  can hear) Step aside. Here’s the Athenian coming now.

 

 

PUCK

This is the woman, but not this the man.

 

 

PUCK

(speaking so that only OBERON can hear) That’s definitely the woman I saw, but it’s not the same man.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Why are you so rude to someone who loves you so much? Save that kind of harsh language for your worst enemy.

 

 

HERMIA

Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Then kill me too.

 

 

HERMIA

I’m only scolding you now, but I should treat you much worse, because I’m afraid you’ve given me good reason to curse you. If you killed Lysander while he was sleeping, then kill me, too.

 

DEMETRIUS

So should the murdered look, and so should I,
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

That’s how someone who’s been murdered should look, and that’s how I look. You’ve pierced me through the heart with your cruelty.

 

 

HERMIA

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

 

 

HERMIA

What does that have to do with my Lysander? Where is he? Oh, good Demetrius, will you find him for me?

 

 

DEMETRIUS

I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

I would rather feed his corpse to my dogs.

 

 

HERMIA

Out, dog! Out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
 

 

HERMIA

Get out, dog! You’ve driven me to my wit’s end. Did you kill him, then?

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

You’re getting all worked up over a misunderstanding. I didn’t kill Lysander. ?As far as I know, he’s not even dead.

 

 

HERMIA

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

 

HERMIA

Then please tell me he’s all right.

DEMETRIUS

And if I could, what should I get therefore?

 

DEMETRIUS

If I told you that, what would I get out of it?

 

 

HERMIA

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

 

HERMIA

The privilege of never seeing me again. And now I’m going to leave your despised company. You’ll never see me again, whether or not he’s dead.

 

Exit.

HERMIA exits.

 

DEMETRIUS

There is no following her in this fierce vein:
Here therefore for a while I will remain.

 

Lies down and sleeps

 

 

DEMETRIUS

I can’t go after her when she’s in a rage like this. So I’ll stay here for a while.

 

(DEMETRIUS lies down and falls asleep.)

 

 

OBERON

What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight.

 

OBERON

(to ) What have you done? You’ve made a mistake and put the love-juice on someone else, someone who was truly in love.

 

 

OBERON

About the wood go swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou find:
By some illusion see thou bring her here:
I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.

 

 

OBERON

Go around the forest, moving faster than the wind, and make sure you find Helena of Athens. Bring her here with some trick or illusion, and I’ll put the charm on his eyes for when she comes.

 

 

PUCK

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

 

 

PUCK

I go, I go, look at me go—faster than an arrow from a Tartar’s bow.

Exit.

 Exits.

 

OBERON

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

 

 

OBERON

(putting flower juice on DEMETRIUS ’s eyelids)

You purple flower, hit by Cupid’s arrow, sink into the pupils of this man’s eyes. When he sees the girl he should love, make her seem as bright to him as the evening star. Young man, when you wake up, if she’s nearby, beg her to cure your lovesickness.

 

Re-enter PUCK.

PUCK re-enters.


 

PUCK

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

 

PUCK

Helena is nearby, boss. The young man who I mistook for this one is there too, begging her to love him. Should we watch this ridiculous scene? Lord, what fools these mortals are!

 

 

OBERON

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

 

 

OBERON

Step aside. The noise they’re making will wake up Demetrius.

 

 

PUCK

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

 

 

PUCK

Then the two of them will both pursue one girl. That will be funny enough, and preposterous situations are my favorite thing.

 

Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.

LYSANDER and HELENA enter.

 

LYSANDER

Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
Scorn and derision never come in tears.

 

 

LYSANDER

Why do you think I’m making fun of you when I tell you I love you? People don’t cry when they’re mocking someone.

 

HELENA

You do advance your cunning more and more.
These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
 

 

HELENA

You get trickier and trickier. The promises you’re making to me belong to Hermia. Will you abandon her?

 

LYSANDER

I had no judgment when to her I swore.

 

 

LYSANDER

I wasn’t thinking clearly when I made those promises to her.

 

 

HELENA

Nor none, in my mind, now you give her over.

 

 

HELENA

And I don’t believe you’re thinking clearly now, as you break those promises.

 

 

LYSANDER

Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

 

 

LYSANDER

Demetrius loves her, and he doesn’t love you.

 


 

DEMETRIUS

[Awaking] O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyes?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!

 

DEMETRIUS

(waking up) Oh Helena, you goddess, you divine and perfect nymph! What can I compare your eyes to? Crystal isn’t as clear as they are. Oh, your lips are as ripe as a pair of tempting cherries touching each other! Oh, let me kiss your beautiful white hand. It’ll make me so happy!

 

 

HELENA

O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment:
If you were civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
To vow, and swear, and praise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
With your derision! None of noble sort
Would so offend a poor soul's patience, all for sport.

 

 

HELENA

Damn it! I see you’re all determined to gang up on me for a few laughs. If you had any manners at all, you wouldn’t treat me like this. Can’t you just hate me, as I know you do? Do you have to get together to humiliate me too? If you were real men, as you pretend to be, you wouldn’t treat a lady this way, making vows and promises and praising my beauty when I know you’re really both disgusted by me. You’re competing for Hermia’s love, and now you’re competing to see which one of you can make fun of me the most. That’s a great idea, a really manly thing to do—making a poor girl cry! No respectable person would offend an innocent girl just to have some fun.

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

Don’t be cruel, Demetrius. I know you love Hermia, and you know I know it. Right here, right now, I swear I’m giving up all my claims on her and handing her to you. In exchange, give up your claim to love Helena, since I love her and will love her until I die.

 

 

HELENA

Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

 

 

HELENA

Nobody’s ever gone to so much trouble just to make fun of someone.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
If ever I loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart to Helen is it home returned,
There to remain.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Lysander, keep your Hermia. I don’t want her. If I ever loved her, all that love is gone now. Now I’ll love Helena forever.

 

 

LYSANDER

Helen, it is not so.

 

 

LYSANDER

Helena, it’s not true.

 

DEMETRIUS

Disparage not the faith thou dost not know.
Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.

DEMETRIUS

Don’t insult a deep love that you don’t understand. Look, here comes the woman you love.

 

Re-enter HERMIA.

HERMIA re-enters.

 

HERMIA

Lysander, but why unkindly didst thou leave me so?

 

 

HERMIA

Lysander, why did you leave me alone so unkindly?

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

Why stay when love tells you to go?

 

 

HERMIA

What love could press Lysander from my side?

 

 

HERMIA

But what love could make my Lysander leave me?

 

 

LYSANDER

Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
Fair Helena.
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?

 

 

LYSANDER

I had to hurry to my love, beautiful Helena. Why are you looking for me? Didn’t you figure out that I left you because I hate you?

 

 

HERMIA

You speak not as you think: it cannot be.

 

 

HERMIA

You can’t mean what you’re saying. It’s impossible.

 

 

HELENA

Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have joined all three
To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! Most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

 

 

HELENA

So, she’s in on this too! Now I see that all three of them have gotten together to play this cruel trick on me. Hurtful Hermia, you ungrateful girl, have you conspired with these two to provoke me with this horrible teasing? Have you forgotten all the talks we’ve had together, the vows we made to be like sisters to one another, all the hours we spent together, our friendship in our schooldays, our childhood innocence? Do you want to destroy our old friendship by joining these men to insult your poor friend? It’s not friendly, and it’s not ladylike. All women would be angry with you for doing it, even though I’m the only one who’s hurt by it.

 

 

 

HERMIA

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

 

 

HERMIA

I’m completely dumbfounded by what you’re saying. I’m not insulting you. It sounds more like you’re insulting me.

 

 

HELENA

Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius,
To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates? And wherefore doth Lysander
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
And tender me, forsooth, affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent?

 

 

HELENA

Come on, confess. Didn’t you send Lysander, as an insult, to follow me around praising my eyes and my face? Haven’t you made your other love, Demetrius, call me a goddess and a divine, rare, precious, heavenly creature? Why does he talk like that to a girl he can’t stand? And why does Lysander deny that he loves you, when he loves you so deeply? Why would he show me any affection, unless you told him to?

 

 

HERMIA

I understand not what you mean by this.

 

 

HERMIA

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

 

 

HELENA

Ay, do, persevere, counterfeit sad looks,
Make mouths upon me when I turn my back;
Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up.
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument.
But fare ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
Which death or absence soon shall remedy.

 

 

HELENA

Oh, fine. All right, go ahead, keep up your little game, pretend to be sympathetic, but then nudge each other and wink and make faces at me when I turn my back. Keep up your wonderful game. If you had any sense of pity, or manners, you wouldn’t pretend to fight over me like this. But goodbye. It’s partly my own fault, since I followed you here. Leaving—or dying—will soon take care of everything.

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

Stay, lovely Helena. Listen to my excuse. My love, my life, my soul, beautiful Helena!

 

 

HELENA

O excellent!

 

 

HELENA

That’s a good one.

 

 

HERMIA

Sweet, do not scorn her so.

 

 

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER) Don’t insult her like that, Lysander darling.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

(to LYSANDER) If Hermia's begging can't make you stop insulting Helena, I can force you to do so.

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

LYSANDER

You can’t force me any more than Hermia can beg me. Your threats are no stronger than her whining.—Helena, I love you. I swear I do. I’ll give my life for you, just to prove this guy wrong when he says I don’t love you.

 

DEMETRIUS

I say I love thee more than he can do.

 

DEMETRIUS

I say that I love you more than he does.

 

 

LYSANDER

If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.

 

 

LYSANDER

If that’s what you say, go fight a duel with me and prove it.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Quick, come!

 

 

DEMETRIUS

You’re on. Let’s do it.

 

 

HERMIA

Lysander, whereto tends all this?

 

 

HERMIA

Lysander, where are you going with all this?

 

(Holds LYSANDER back.)

(She holds LYSANDER back)

 

LYSANDER

Away, you!

 

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Get away, you!

 

 

DEMETRIUS

No, no; he'll seem to break loose.

Take on as you would follow,
But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!

 

 

DEMETRIUS

(to HERMIA) No, no. He’ll act like he’s going to break free from you, Hermia.

 

(to LYSANDER) Pretend like you’re going to follow me, but then don’t come. You’re a coward, get out of here!

 

L

YSANDER

Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing, let loose,
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!

 

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Stop hanging on me, you cat, you thorn. Let go of me, or I’ll shake you off like a snake.

 

 

HERMIA

Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
Sweet love—

 

 

HERMIA

Why have you gotten so rude? What’s happened to you, my darling?

 

 

LYSANDER

Thy love! Out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine! Hated potion, hence!

 

 

LYSANDER

Your darling? Get out, you gypsy! Get out, you horrible poison. Get out!

 

 

HERMIA

Do you not jest?

 

 

HERMIA

Are you joking?

 

 

HELENA

Yes, sooth; and so do you.

 

HELENA

Of course he is, and so are you.

LYSANDER

Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

 

LYSANDER

Demetrius, I’m ready to fight you as promised.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

I wish we had a signed legal contract. I can see you don’t keep your promises very well. I don’t trust you.

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

What? Do you want me to hit Hermia, hurt her, kill her? Sure, I hate her, but I wouldn’t hurt her.

 

 

HERMIA

What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
Am not I Hermia? are not you Lysander?
 

 

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER) Can you hurt me any more than by saying you hate me? Hate me? Why? What’s happened to you, my love? Am I not Hermia? Aren’t you Lysander?

 

LYSANDER

Be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
That I do hate thee and love Helena.

 

 

LYSANDER

It’s no joke. I hate you and love Helena.

 

 

HERMIA

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

 

 

HERMIA

Oh, no! (to HELENA) You trickster, you snake! You thief! What, did you sneak in at night and steal my love’s heart from him?

 

 

HELENA

Fine, in faith!
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!

 

 

HELENA

Oh, that’s very nice! You ought to be ashamed of yourself! You’re going to make me mad enough to answer you? Damn you, you faker, you puppet!

 

 

HERMIA

Puppet? Why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem;
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

 

 

HERMIA

“Puppet”? Why “puppet”?—Oh, I see where this is going. She’s talking about our difference in height. She’s paraded in front of him to show off how tall she is. She won him over with her height.—Does he have such a high opinion of you because I’m so short? Is that it? So how short am I, you painted barber pole? Tell me. How short am I? I’m not too short to gouge your eyes out with my fingernails.

 

HELENA

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

 

HELENA

(to LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS) Please don’t let her hurt me, gentlemen, however much you want to tease me. I never was much good with insults. I’m not mean and catty like her. I’m a nice shy girl. Please don’t let her hit me. Maybe you think that because she’s shorter than me I can take her.

 

 

HERMIA

Lower! Hark, again.

 

 

HERMIA

“Shorter!” See, she’s doing it again!

 

 

HELENA

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

 

 

HELENA

Good Hermia, please don’t act so bitter toward me. I always loved you, Hermia, and gave you advice. I never did anything to hurt you—except once, when I told Demetrius that you planned to sneak off into this forest. And I only did that because I loved Demetrius so much. He followed you. And I followed him because I loved him. But he told me to get lost and threatened to hit me, kick me—even kill me. Now just let me go quietly back to Athens. I’ll carry my mistakes back with me. I won’t follow you anymore. Please let me go. You see how naïve and foolish I’ve been.

 

 

HERMIA

Why, get you gone: who is it that hinders you?

 

 

HERMIA

Well, get out of here then! What’s keeping you?

 

 

HELENA

A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.

 

 

HELENA

My stupid heart, which I’m leaving behind here.

 

 

HERMIA

What, with Lysander?

 

HERMIA

What, you’re leaving it with Lysander?

 

HELENA

With Demetrius.

 

 

HELENA

No, with Demetrius.

 

 

LYSANDER

Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.

 

 

LYSANDER

Don’t be afraid. She can’t hurt you, Helena.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

(to LYSANDER) That’s right, Hermia won’t hurt Helena even if you try to help her.

HELENA

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

 

HELENA

Oh, when you get her angry, she’s a good fighter, and vicious too. She was a hellcat in school. And even though she’s little, she is fierce.

 

 

HERMIA

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

 

 

HERMIA

“Little” again? Nothing but “little” and “short”!— Why are you letting her insult me like this? Let me at her!.

 

 

LYSANDER

Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
You bead, you acorn.

 

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Get lost, you dwarf, you tiny little weed, you scrap, you acorn!

 

 

DEMETRIUS

You are too officious
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone: speak not of Helena;
Take not her part.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

You’re doing too much to defend a woman who wants nothing to do with you. Leave Hermia alone. Don’t talk about Helena. Don’t take Helena’s side.

 

 

LYSANDER

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

 

 

LYSANDER

Hermia’s not holding onto me anymore. Follow me if you’re brave enough, and we’ll fight over Helena.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jowl.

 

DEMETRIUS

“Follow”? No, I’ll walk right next to you, side by side.

 

Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS.

DEMETRIUS and LYSANDER exit.

 

HERMIA

All this coil is 'long of you. Nay, go not back.

 

 

HERMIA

All this fighting is because of you. Stay where you are.

 

 

HELENA

I will not trust you, nor longer stay.
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
My legs are longer though, to run away.

 

 

HELENA

I’m not sticking around here any more. I don’t trust you. You might be a better fighter than I am, but my legs are longer and I can run away faster.

 

Exit.

HELENA exits.

 

HERMIA

I am amazed, and know not what to say.

 

 

HERMIA

I just can’t believe any of this. I don’t know what to say.

 

Exit.

HERMIA exits.

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT III, SCENE II CONTINUED.

SETTING:  In the wood.

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Demetrius (small role)                       • Helena (small role)                            • Hermia (small role)

            • Lysander (small role)                         • Oberon (medium role)                       • Puck (medium role)

 

 

OBERON

This is thy negligence: still thou mistakest,
Or else committest thy knaveries willfully.

 

OBERON

(to ) This is all your fault. You make mistakes constantly, or else you cause this kind of trouble on purpose.

 

 

PUCK

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

 

 

PUCK

Believe me, King of Illusions, I made a mistake. Didn’t you tell me that I’d be able to recognize the man by the Athenian clothes he was wearing? So far I’ve done exactly what I was supposed to do—I put the love potion on an Athenian’s eyes. And so far I’m pleased with the way things have turned out, since I find all of this commotion very entertaining.

 

 

OBERON

Thou sees these lovers seek a place to fight:
Hurry therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
And lead these testy rivals so astray
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till over their brows death-counterfeiting sleep.
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with his might,
And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision,
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

 

 

OBERON

As you can see, these lovers are looking for a place to fight. Hurry up, Robin, and make the night dark. And get these overeager rivals so completely lost in the woods that they can’t run into each other. Imitate Lysander’s voice and egg Demetrius on with insults. Then rant for a while in Demetrius’s voice, and egg Lysander on. That way you’ll get them away from each other until they’re so exhausted that they’ll sleep like the dead. ( OBERON gives a new flower to )When they’re asleep, crush some of this flower’s juice into Lysander’s eyes. The flower’s juice has the power to erase all the damage that’s been done to his eyes, and to make him see normally, the way he used to. When they wake up, all this trouble and conflict will seem like a dream or a meaningless vision. Then the lovers will go back to Athens, united together until death. While you’re busy with that, I’ll go see Queen Titania and ask her once again for the Indian boy. And then I’ll undo the spell that I cast over her, so she won’t be in love with that monster anymore. Then everything will be peaceful again.

 


 

PUCK

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste.

 

PUCK

We’ve got to act fast, my lord of the fairies.

 

OBERON

Haste; make no delay:
We may effect this business yet ere day.

 

 

OBERON

Don’t delay. We still have time to get all of this done before daybreak.

 

Exit.

OBERON exits.

 

PUCK

Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down:
I am feared in field and town:
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.

 

PUCK

Up and down, up and down,

I will lead them up and down.

The people fear me in the country and the town.

Goblin, lead them up and down.

Here comes one of them now.

 

Enter LYSANDER.

LYSANDER enters.

 

LYSANDER

Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.

 

 

LYSANDER

Where are you, Demetrius, you arrogant bastard? Say something.

 

 

PUCK

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

 

 

PUCK

 (in DEMETRIUS’s voice) I’m over here, you villain, with my sword out and ready to fight. Where are you?

 

 

LYSANDER

I will be with thee straight.

 

 

LYSANDER

I’m coming.

 

 

PUCK

Follow me, then,
To plainer ground.

 

PUCK

 (in DEMETRIUS’s voice) Let’s go to a flatter area where we can fight more easily.

 

Exit LYSANDER, as following the voice.

Re-enter DEMETRIUS.

LYSANDER exits.

DEMETRIUS enters.

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Lysander, say something! You coward, did you run away from me? Say something! Are you behind some bush? Where are you hiding?

 

 

PUCK

Come, thou child;
I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled
That draws a sword on thee.

 

 

PUCK

 (in LYSANDER’s voice)  Come here, you coward! Come here, you child! I’ll beat you with a stick. It would be shameful to fight you with a sword, the way I would fight with a real man.

DEMETRIUS

Yea, art thou there?

 

DEMETRIUS

Are you there?

 

 

PUCK

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

 

PUCK

(in LYSANDER’s voice) Follow my voice. This isn’t a good place to fight.

 

Exeunt.

Re-enter LYSANDER.

They exit.

LYSANDER enters.

 

LYSANDER

He goes before me and still dares me on:
When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
Here will rest me.

 

Lies down.

 

Come, thou gentle day!
For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.

LYSANDER

He’s walking ahead of me, and he keeps daring me to follow him. When I reach the place he’s calling from, he disappears. I’ll rest here.

 

(He lies down.)

 

I hope the pleasant daytime comes soon! As soon as the gray light of early morning appears, I’ll find Demetrius and get my revenge for this insult.

 

 

LYSANDER sleeps.

Re-enter PUCK and DEMETRIUS.

LYSANDER lies down and falls asleep.  and DEMETRIUS enter.

 

PUCK

Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

 

 

PUCK

(in LYSANDER’s voice) Ha, ha, ha! Hey, You coward, why aren’t you coming?

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Abide me, if thou darest. Where art thou now?

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Wait for me, if you’re not too scared! Where are you now?

 

 

PUCK

Come hither: I am here.

 

 

PUCK

(in LYSANDER’s voice) Come here. I’m over here.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

DEMETRIUS lies down and sleeps.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

No, you’re just taunting me. You’ll pay for this if I ever see you face-to-face in the daylight. Go wherever you want. I’m exhausted; I need to lie down and sleep on this cold ground. But watch out. I’ll find you at dawn.

 

(DEMETRIUS lies down and sleeps)

 

Re-enter HELENA.

HELENA re-enters.


 

HELENA

O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hour!

 

HELENA lies down and sleeps

 

HELENA

Oh, what a long, tedious, exhausting night! I wish it would end.

 

(HELENA lies down and sleeps)

 

 

PUCK

Yet but three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds make up four.

 

 

PUCK

Only three so far? We’re still waiting for one more. Two of both kinds makes four.

Enter HERMIA.

HERMIA enters.

 

HERMIA

Never so weary, never so in woe,
I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
Here will I rest me till the break of day.
Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!

 

HERMIA lies down and sleeps

 

 

HERMIA

I’ve never been more exhausted or upset. I can’t crawl any farther. I just can’t go on. My legs can’t hold themselves up. I’ll sleep here until morning. If they do fight, I hope Lysander is safe!

 

(HERMIA lies down and sleeps)

 

 

PUCK

On the ground
Sleep sound:
I'll apply
To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.

 

Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eyes

 

When thou wakest,
Thou takest
True delight
In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye:
 

 

PUCK

Sleep well there on the ground. I’ll cure you, gentle lover, by putting this medicine on your eyes. (Puts the nectar of the flower on LYSANDER’s eyelids.)When you wake you will be truly delighted to see the woman you once loved.

Exit PUCK.

PUCK exits.

 

 


 

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT IV, SCENE I.

SETTING:  The same wood.

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA lying asleep.

Enter TITANIA and BOTTOM; PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED,

and other Fairies attending; OBERON behind unseen

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Bottom (large role)                            • Cobweb (small role)                           • Mustardseed (small role)

            • Oberon (large role)                            • Peaseblossom (small role)                 • Puck (small role)

            • Titania (medium role)

 

 

TITANIA

Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.

 

TITANIA

(to BOTTOM) Come over here and sit down on this flowery bed while I caress those lovable cheeks. I’ll kiss your big, beautiful ears, my gentle darling.

 

 

BOTTOM

Where's Mounsieur Mustardseed?

 

 

BOTTOM

Where’s Sir Mustardseed?

 

 

MUSTARDSEED

What's your will?

 

 

MUSTARDSEED

What would you like me to do?

 

 

BOTTOM

Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; formethinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.

 

 

BOTTOM

Nothing, good sir, except to help scratch my head. I should go to the barber’s, sir, because I think I’m getting really hairy around the face. And I’m such a sensitive ass that if my hair tickles me a little, I need to scratch.

 

 

TITANIA

Say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.

 

 

TITANIA

Tell me, my sweet love, what you’d like to eat.

 

 

BOTTOM

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

 

 

BOTTOM

Actually, I’d like a few pounds of grass. I’d like to munch on some good dry oats. Or a bundle of hay. There’s nothing like good hay, really sweet hay.

 

 

TITANIA

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

 

TITANIA

I have an adventurous fairy who’ll go seek out the squirrel’s secret stash and get you some fresh nuts.

 

BOTTOM

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

 

 

BOTTOM

I’d rather have a handful or two of dried peas. But please don’t let any of your people wake me up. I really want to sleep now.

 

 

TITANIA

Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.

 

TITANIA

Go to sleep, and I will wrap my arms around you. Fairies, go away. Run off in all directions.

 

Exeunt fairies.

The FAIRIES exit.

 

TITANIA

O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

They sleep.

 

TITANIA

Oh, how I love you! I’m so crazy about you!

 

Enter PUCK.

BOTTOM and TITANIA sleep.  enters.

 

OBERON

[Advancing] Welcome, good Robin.
See thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity:
For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet favours from this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her and fall out with her;
When I had at my pleasure taunted her
And she in mild terms begged my patience,
I then did ask of her the changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes:
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That, he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair
And think no more of this night's accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.

 

(squeezing flower juice into TITANIA’s eyes)


Be as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see:
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.

 

 

OBERON

Welcome, good Robin. Do you see this sweet sight? Now I’m starting to pity Titania for being so infatuated. I ran into her recently at the edge of the forest, looking for sweet presents for this hateful idiot, and I scolded her and argued with her. When I had taunted her as much as I wanted to, and she begged me very nicely to leave her alone, I asked her for the stolen Indian child. She said yes right away, and sent a fairy to bring him to my home in Fairyland. And now that I have the boy, I’ll undo the spell that makes her vision so disgustingly wrong. And, gentle Puck, take this transformed ass’s head off of the head of that Athenian man, so that when he wakes up at the same time as the rest of them do, they can all go back to Athens. They’ll only remember the events of tonight as a very unpleasant dream. But first I’ll release the fairy queen from the spell.

 

 

 

 

 

(OBERON squeezes the juice from the second flower into TITANIA’s eyes)

 

Be like you used to be, and see like you used to see. Now, Titania, wake up, my sweet queen.

 

 

TITANIA

My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamoured of an ass.

 

 

TITANIA

(waking up) Oberon, I’ve had such a strange dream! I dreamed I was in love with an ass.

 

OBERON

There lies your love.

 

OBERON

There’s your boyfriend, sleeping right over there.

 

 

TITANIA

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

 

 

TITANIA

How did this happen? Oh, I hate looking at his face now!

 

 

OBERON

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

 

 

OBERON

Be quiet for a while.—Robin, take off his donkey head.—Titania, get the fairies to play some music, and make these five people sleep soundly.

 

 

TITANIA

Music, ho! music, such as charmeth sleep!

 

TITANIA

Music! Play the kind of music that puts people to sleep.

 

Music, still.

The music plays.

 

PUCK

Now, when thou wakest, with thine
own fool's eyes peep.

 

 

PUCK

(removing the ass’s head from BOTTOM) When you wake up, see things with your own foolish eyes again.

 

 

OBERON

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

My queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night's shade.

 

 

OBERON

Play the music.—Take my hands, my queen, and we’ll lull these people to sleep with our soft dancing. (he dances with TITANIA) Now that you and I are friends again, we can dance for Duke Theseus tomorrow at midnight, and bless his marriage and his marriage bed. These other lovers will get married alongside him, and they’ll all be in high spirits. My queen, let’s travel silently and solemnly across the globe to where it’s still night.

 

 

TITANIA

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

 

 

TITANIA

While we’re walking, you can tell me how I ended up sleeping on the ground with these humans last night.

 

Exeunt.

Horns winded within.

Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train.

OBERON, TITANIA, and  exit.

A hunting horn blows. THESEUS enters with his servants, EGEUS and HIPPOLYTA.


 

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamby William Shakespeare

ACT IV, SCENE I CONTINUED.

SETTING:  The same wood—Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus and others are on a hunting trip.

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA lying asleep.

Enter THESUS, EGEUS, HIPPOLYTA  and attendants.

 

 

      CHARACTERS:

            • Bottom (small role)                            • Demetrius (small role)                       • Egeus (small role)

            • Helena (small role)                            • Hermia (small role)                            • Lysander (medium role)

            • Theseus (medium role)

 

 

 

THESEUS

We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never heard, nor cheered with horn.
Judge when you hear. But, soft! what nymphs are these?

 

 

THESEUS

My beautiful queen, we’ll go up the mountain and listen to the hounds as their barking echoes in the cliffs and sounds like music. My dogs are bred from Spartan hounds. They’re not very fast in the chase, but their barking sounds like bells ringing. Each bark is perfectly in tune with the others, like notes on a scale. No one, anywhere, has ever gone hunting with a more musical pack of dogs. Judge for yourself when you hear them.(he sees the four lovers sleeping) But wait a minute! Who are these women?

 

 

EGEUS

My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is;
This Helena,
I wonder of their being here together.

 

 

EGEUS

My lord, that’s my daughter asleep on the ground over there, and this is Lysander here, and this is Demetrius, and this is Helena. I don’t understand why they’re all here together.

 

 

THESEUS

No doubt they rose up early to observe the day.
But speak, Egeus; is not this the day
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

 

 

THESEUS

They probably woke up early to celebrate the day. But tell me, Egeus. Isn’t today the day when Hermia has to tell us her whether she’ll marry Demetrius?

 

 

EGEUS

It is, my lord.

 

 

EGEUS

It is, my lord.

 

 

THESEUS

Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.

 

 

THESEUS

Go tell the hunters to blow their horns and wake them up.

Exit one of the train.

 

Horns and shout within. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA wake and start up.

A servant exits.

 

Someone shouts offstage. Horns are blown.LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA, wake up.

 

THESEUS

Good morrow, friends.

 

 

THESEUS

Good morning, my friends.

 

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA kneel.

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA all kneel.

 

LYSANDER

Pardon, my lord.

 

 

LYSANDER

Forgive us, my lord.

 

 

THESEUS

I pray you all, stand up.

 

 

THESEUS

Please, all of you, stand up.

 

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA stand.

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA get up.

 

THESEUS

I know you two are rival enemies:
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?

 

THESEUS (to LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS)

I know you two are enemies. Has the world really become so gentle and peaceful that people who hate each other have started to trust each other and sleep beside each other without being afraid?

 

 

LYSANDER

My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Half sleep, half waking: but as yet, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came here;
But, as I think,

I came with Hermia hither: our intent
Was to be gone from Athens, where we might,
Without the peril of the Athenian law.

 

 

LYSANDER

My lord, what I say may be a little confused, since I’m half asleep and half awake. I swear, at the moment I really couldn’t tell you how I ended up here. But I think I came here with Hermia. We were planning to leave Athens to escape the Athenian law.

 

 

EGEUS

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

 

 

EGEUS

(to THESEUS) Enough, enough, my lord. You’ve heard enough evidence! I insist that the law punish him—They were going to run away, Demetrius, they were running away to defeat us, robbing you of your wife and me of my fatherly right to decide who my son-in-law will be.

 


 

DEMETRIUS

My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither to this wood;
And I in fury hither followed them,
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
But, my good lord, I know not by what power,—
But by some power it is,—my love to Hermia,
Melted as the snow.
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betrothed ere I saw Hermia.

Now I do wish her, love her, long for her,
And will for evermore be true to her.

 

DEMETRIUS

(to THESEUS) My lord, the beautiful Helena told me about their secret plan to escape into this forest. I was furious and followed them here, and the lovely Helena was so in love with me that she followed me. I’m not sure how it happened—but somehow, something made my love for Hermia melt away like snow. Now the only person I love, and believe in, and want to look at, is Helena. I was engaged to her before I ever met Hermia. Now I want Helena, I love her, I long for her, and I will always be true to her.

 

 

THESEUS

Fair lovers, you are fortunately met.
Egeus, I will overbear your will;
For in the temple by and by with us
These couples shall eternally be knit.

 

 

THESEUS

You pretty lovers are lucky you met me here. Egeus, I’m overriding your wishes. These couples will be married along with me and Hippolyta in the temple later today.

Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train.

THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, and EGEUS exit with their followers.

 

DEMETRIUS

These things seem small and undistinguishable,

 

 

DEMETRIUS

What exactly just happened? The events of last night seem small and hard to see clearly.

 

 

HERMIA

Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
When every thing seems double.

 

 

HERMIA

Yes, it’s like my eyes are out of focus, and I’m seeing everything double.

 

 

HELENA

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

 

 

HELENA

Me too. I won Demetrius so easily, as if he were a precious diamond I just found lying around. It’s mine because I found it, but I feel like someone else could easily come and claim it was hers.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

 

DEMETRIUS

Are you sure we’re awake? It seems to me like we’re still sleeping, still dreaming. Do you remember seeing the duke here? Did he tell us to follow him?

 

 

HERMIA

Yea; and my father.

 

 

HERMIA

Yes, he did. And my father was here too.

 

LYSANDER

And he did bid us follow to the temple.

 

LYSANDER

And he told us to follow him to the temple.

 

 

DEMETRIUS

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

 

DEMETRIUS

Well, then, we’re awake. Let’s follow him. We can tell one another our dreams along the way.

 

Exeunt.

LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA exit.

 

BOTTOM

[Awaking] God's my life, stolenhence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rarevision. I have had a dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. I will write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream,because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
latter end of a play, before the duke.

 

 

BOTTOM

(Waking up)  My God, they’ve all run away and left me sleeping here? What a weird dream I had.—You can’t even describe such a weird dream. I’ll write this dream down as a ballad. I’ll call it “Bottom’s Dream” because it’s so deep that it has no bottom. And I’ll sing it for the duke in the later part of the play.

Exit.

BOTTOM exits.

Enter PUCK.

PUCK enters.

 

PUCK

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to escape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

 

 

PUCK

If we actors have offended you, just think of it this way and everything will be all right—you were asleep when you saw these visions, and this silly and pathetic story was no more real than a dream. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t get upset with me. If you forgive us, we’ll make everything all right. I’m an honest Puck, and I swear that if we’re lucky enough not to get hissed at, we’ll make it up to you soon. If not, then I’m a liar. So good night to everyone. Give me some applause, if we’re friends, and Robin will make everything up to you.