I simplified this play in 1992.
It was successfully performed by my grade 10 students
at Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour on June 8, 1994.
Group for Discussions on Facebook: Nada's ESL Island.(Join us there! Post your questions)
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I- William Shakespeare
II- A Midsummer Nightís Dream:
I- William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare of Stradford-upon-Avon. (John Shakespeare kept a general store; he dealt in wool and other produce, and gradually acquired property). John married Mary Arden, daughter of this fatherís landlord, a man of some property. The 3rd of their 8 children was William, born on April 23rd, 1564.
There is little documentation for Shakespeareís boyhood. Nobody knew that he was going to be a dramatist about whom any information would be prized in the centuries to come. The most important record that we have is a marriage license issued by the Bishop of Worcester on November 27th, 1582, to permit William Shakespeare to marry Anne Hathaway, seven or eight years his senior.
(Furthermore, the Bishop permitted the marriage after reading the banns only once instead of 3 times, evidence of the desire of haste. The need was explained on May 26th, 1583 (6 months later), when the christening of Susanna, daughter of William and Anne Shakespeare, was recorded at Stratford. Two years later, on Feb. 2, 1585, the records show the birth of twins to the Shakespeare, a boy and a girl who were christened Hamnet and Judith.
What W. Shakespeare was doing in Stratford
during the early years of his married life, or when he went to London,
we do not know. How Shakespeare broke into the London theatres as a dramatist
and an actor, we do not know either. But what we do know is that by 1594,
Shakespeare was a member of the company of actors known as the Lord Chamberlainís
Men. Shakespeare was both an actor and a shareholder in the company.
And what we do know also is that his plays were popular and that he was highly successful in his vocation. His first play may have been «The Comedy of Errors», acted perhaps in 1591.
From his plays: Henry VI, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, the taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer nightís Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Much ado about nothing, Julius Caesar, As you like it, 12th night, Allís well that ends well, Othello, King Lear....
Shakespeare retired completely about 1613.
In the course of his career in London, he made
enough money to enable him to retire to Stratford with a competence. His
purchase on May 4th, 1597, of «New Place» in Stradford, with
a handsome garden, indicates his increasing prosperity. There, his wife
and children lived while he busied himself in the London theatres. The
summer before he acquired «New Place», his life was darkened
by the death of his only son, Hamnet, a child of eleven.
[Shakespeareís daughter Susanna made a good match in 1607 with Dr John Hall, a prominent Stratford physician. This second daughter, Judith, did not marry until she was 31 years old, and then, under scandalous circumstances, she married Thomas Quiney, a Stratford wine merchant.]
On April 23rd, 1616, the anniversary of his birth, W. Shakespeare died, and he was buried as an honored citizen. On August 6th, 1623, a few months before the publication of the collected edition of Shakespeareís plays, Anne Shakespeare joined her husband in death.
Shakespeare is now read, studied, and quoted
in 80 languages.
A- Brief History
«A Midsummer Nightís Dream» is a continuously popular work. It was licensed for printing on October 8th, 1600, and was printed in the same year.
Internal evidence indicates that Shakespeare wrote «A Midsummer Nightís dream» for the wedding of some great personage, but that personageís identity has escaped literary historians. [Scholars have guessed that it might have been written for the wedding of William Stanley, Earl of Derby, and Elizabeth Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford, which took place in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, at her palace at Greenwich on January 26th, 1595.]
A Midsummer Nightís Dream has had a long and interesting stage history. [How great was its popularity when Shakespeareís company performed it in the play -house.] It was listed among the comedies for which Shakespeare was famed.
|1- Theseus: Duke of Athens
2- Egeus: Father of Hermia
3- Lysander: In love with Hermia
4- Demetrius: In love with Hermia
5- Hippolyta: Queen of the Amazons
6- Hermia: in love with Lysander
7- Helena: in love with Demetrius
8- Oberon: King of the fairies
9- Titania: Queen of the fairies
10- Puck: Robin Goodfellow
|11- Nick bottom: The beast (adapted)
12- Peter Quince: Actor
13- Tom snout: Actor
14- Francis Flute: Actor
15- Peaseblossom: Fairy
16- Cobweb: Fairy
17- Moth: Fairy
18- Mustardseed: Fairy
19- Fairy: with the Queen
20- Fairies: with King/Queen
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Don't focus on story in "A Midsummer
It's about ideas and emotion rather than plot.
A long time ago, when there were still fairies in the world, there lived in the country of Greece a great and powerful Duke, called Theseus. In the town of Athens, where this Duke ruled, there was a law that a father could choose the man his daughter must marry, and, if she disobeyed him in this matter, she could be punished by death.
One day, while Theseus, Duke of Athens, and his bride-to-be, Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, were planning the festivities for their forthcoming wedding, Egeus enters with his daughter Hermia, and her two suitors, Lysander and Demetrius. Egeus complains that Hermia prefers Lysander and refuses to marry his own choice, Demetrius and requests that the Athenian Law be enforced if she persists in her disobedience.
Now, weíll leave you with Theseus and Hippolyta Ö !
Scene 1: (Athens. The Palace of Theseus)
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta (Philostrate with others)
Theseus: Now beautiful Hippolyta, our nuptial
hour has come, four happy days bring in another moon... but, O, how
slow they pass!
Hippolyta: Four days will quickly steep themselves in night. Four nights will quickly dream away the time; and then, the moon shall witness the night of our wedding.
Theseus: Go, Philostrate,
Tell the Athenian Youth to be happy
Awaken the lively spirit of gaiety
Turn melancholy to Jollity
For Sad people arenít wanted in our ceremony
Hippolyta: I captured you in my war with the Amazons,
and won your love doing you injuries,
but I will marry you in another country
with pomp, with triumph and great festivity.
Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius.
Egeus: Happy be Theseus, our famous duke!
Theseus: Thanks, good Egeus: whatís the news with you?
Egeus: I come full of vexation, with complaint against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius.
My noble lord, this man has my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander.
And, my gracious duke, this man has bewitched my child and has made her love him. She says she will marry no one except him. //
You, you, Lysander, you have sung verses of love by moonlight, at her window, you have turned her obedience, which is due to me, to stubborn harshness. And, my gracious duke, if she will not, here before your grace, consent to marry Demetrius, I demand that she be killed according to the law of Athens.
Theseus: What do you say, Hermia? consider
your position carefully. To you, your father should be as a GOD, take his
adviceÖ Demetrius is a worthy gentleman, he deserves your love.
Hermia: So does Lysander.
Theseus: Perhaps he does, but he is not your fatherís choice.
Hermia: I wish my father looked with my eyes.
Theseus: Rather your eyes must look with his judgement.
Hermia: Pardon me, your Grace, but I want to know the worst that may happen to me in this case if I refuse to wed Demetrius.
Theseus: Either to die, or promise to give up for ever the society of men. Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires, examine well your passion, whether take your fatherís choice or endure the life of a nun, in single happiness.
Hermia: My soul consents to grow, live and die this way my lord.
Theseus: Take time to think . I am to be married in four daysí time , you shall give me your answer at my marriage... Upon that day, either prepare to die for disobedience to your fatherís will, or promise austerity and single life .
Demetrius: Give up, sweet Hermia... and, Lysander, give me my certain right.
Lysander: You have her fatherís love, Demetrius; let me have Hermia.
Egeus: You...Lysander... true, he has my love, and Hermia is mine... all my right of her, I give it to Demetrius.
Lysander: I am, my lord, as well derived as he, my love is more than his, and, above all, I am beloved of beautiful Hermia. Why shouldnít I prosecute my right? Demetrius has made Nedarís daughter, Helena, fall in love with him... he has won her soul, and Helena still loves him.
Hermia: How could I make Helena unhappy by marrying the man she loves dearly?
Theseus: I must confess that Iíve heard so much but, being over-full of self-affairs, my mind did lose it. Demetrius, come; and Ö come, Egeus. You shall go with me. There are some things I want to tell you...
As for you, fair Hermia, you have to choose between marrying Demetrius or being condemned to death, or to a vow of single life.
Come, my Hippolyta.
Demetrius and Egeus, go along. I must employ you in some business concerning our marriage, and discuss with you about something nearly that concerns yourselves.
Egeus: With duty and desire we follow you
Exit Stay Lysander + Hermia.
Lysander: What now, my love? Why is your cheek
Hermia: O hell! to choose love by anotherís eyes!
Lysander: Listen to me, Hermia. I have a widow aunt of great revenue who has no child. She lives in a remote house, some 20 miles away from Athens, and she respects me as her only son. There, gentle Hermia, I can marry you, and the sharp Athenian Law cannot pursue us to that place. If you love me then, leave your fatherís house tomorrow night; and, in the wood, where I met you once with Helena, I will wait for you. Meet me there and we will run away together.
Hermia: My good Lysander! I swear to you I will meet you tomorrow in that same place you have appointed me.
Lysander: Keep your promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.
Hermia: Hello, fair Helena! Where are you going?
Helena: Are you calling ME fair? Demetrius loves YOUR fair, you type of beauty!
My ear should catch you voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongueís sweet melody.
If the world were mine -- excepted Demetrius of course -- I would give it to be transformed to you.
O, teach me how you look, and with what art you control the motion of Demetriusí heart!
Hermia: I frown upon him, yet he loves me still!
I give him curses, yet he gives me love!
The more I hate him, the more he follows me!
Helena: The more I love him, the more he hates me!
Hermia: His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine!
Helena: None but your beauty! Would that fault be mine!
Hermia: Take comfort, he no more shall see my face.
Lysander and myself will fly this place.
Before the time I saw Lysander, Athens seemed as a paradise to me.
I was divinely happy before I loved him. But now, without him, this heaven would turn into a hell!
Lysander: Helen, we shall tell you our secret.
We have decided that, tomorrow night, we shall go away from Athens.
Hermia: And in the wood where you and I often used to lie upon primrose beds, there, my Lysander and myself shall meet, and from Athens turn away our eyes, to seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet play friend. Pray for us and say good luck to Demetrius.
Lysander, we mustnít see each other until tomorrow midnight.
Lysander: As you wish, my Hermia.
Helena: How much happier some can be than others.
Through Athens I am thought as beautiful as her. But, what of that? Demetrius doesnít think so!
While he was looking at Hermiaís eyes, he swore he was only mine. And when he felt he could have Hermia, he forgot about me !!
I will go tell him of Hermiaís flight, then he will pursue her tomorrow night to the wood.
Demetrius may not love me, but if I tell him about Hermia and Lysander, he will be grateful to me.
If I cannot have his love, at least I can have his thanks.
[ She hoped too much, however. Demetrius gave her no thanks; but he was glad she had told him. He was sure that if he followed Hermia into the wood the next night, he could prevent her from marrying Lysander.
The next evening, after
dark, Hermia and Lysander met in the wood. Demetrius went there, too, and
Helena, sadly, followed him.
But they were not the only people in the wood that night. This was Midsummer Night, when the fairies met and danced together in the moonlight. They had been busy all day preparing for the dance, flying everywhere in search of new and delicate things to please their king and queen.]
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Scene 1: (A wood near Athens)
Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck at another.
Puck: How now, spirit! Where do you wander?
Fairy: I fly over hills and valleys, through bushes and thorns, over parks and boundaries, through floods and fire.
I wander everywhere, more quickly than the moon goes round the earth. I help the fairy Queen to water her flowers. The tall yellow flowers are her bodyguard of soldiers: [You can see spots on their yellow coats. Those are jewels, given to them, by the fairies,
and you can recognize them by those little brown spots.]
Goodbye, you merry spirit, I must go.
The Queen and all her fairies will be arriving soon.
Puck: There is a festivity here tonight,
but the King and Queen have quarrelled.
Queen Titania has stolen a lovely little child, half fairy and half-human, from an Indian King, and she keeps him always with her. Jealous King Oberon wants the child to be his servant, but Titania refuses to part with him.
Fairy: Either I mistake your shape, or else you are that malicious fairy called Robin Goodfellow. Arenít you he who likes playing tricks on people? Who misleads night-wanderers, laughing at their harm? Arenít you the merry little fellow full of jokes and tricks?
Puck: You are right. I am that merry wanderer of the night. I amuse Oberon and make him smile...
Make way, fairy, here comes Oberon.
Fairy: And here is my mistress !
Enter Oberon at one door with his train, and Titania at another with hers.
Oberon: You !! Proud Titania !! This is a bad
meeting on such a beautiful night!
Titania: What? Is it you, Jealous Oberon !!?
Fairies... run away quickly, I donít want to stay with Oberon. I have given up his Company!
Oberon: Wait, you undisciplined and stubborn creature! Am I not you lord?
Queen: Then I must be you lady, but I know that when you went away from fairyland, you were versing love to Hippolyta! Why did you come back? But, of course, your mistress must be wedded to Theseus! Are you coming to give them Joy and prosperity?
Oberon: How can you, Titania, say that about me and Hippolyta, knowing that I know your love to Theseus?!!
Queen: These are the forgeries of jealousy! We have never, since the middle Summerís spring, met on hill or in forest to dance to the whistling wind!!
Oberon: Why are you quarrelling with me? I am only asking you to give me your little boy to be my faithful servant!
Queen: Set your heart at rest. Donít ask me for him anymore! All your fairy money wonít buy this child from me. His mother is dead. She was one of my favourite friends. For her sake I bring up her boy, and for her sake I shall not part with him.
Oberon: How long do you intend to stay in this wood?
Queen: Till after Theseusí wedding day.
If you will patiently dance in our round, and see our moonlight festivity, go with us.
If not, avoid me and Iíll avoid you.
Oberon: Give me that boy and Iíll go with you.
Queen: Not for your fairy Kingdom... Fairies, away! We shall get angry if we stay!
Exit Titania + her train.
Oberon: Well, go your way! But before
you leave this wood, Iíll make you sad and sorry for this injury!
[And Titania danced off with her fairies,
leaving Oberon alone, wondering angrily how he could punish her and force
her to give him the child.
Suddenly, he thought of a plan, and sent at once for Puck or Robin Goodfellow, the fairy whom he loved and trusted most.]
Oberon: My gentle Puck, come here!
Bring me that little purple flower which people call «Love - in idleness». We will put the juice of this flower on Titaniaís sleeping eyes, and, when she wakes, she will love the first thing she sees, even if itís a clown, a monkey or a wild animal. She will love it madly, and will lose all interest in the little Indian Boy.
Puck: Iíll fly off at once and search the earth in forty minutes to look for the little purple flower.
Oberon: Having once this juice, Iíll watch
Titania when she is asleep, and drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
The next thing she sees when she wakes up (be it a beast, a lion, a bear...).
She shall pursue it with the soul of love. And when I take the child from
her, Iíll make her give me back her love...
But who comes here? I am invisible, and I will overhear their conference.
Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.
Demetrius: I donít love you, then donít
follow me! Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
You told me they would run away to this wood, and here am I, angry because I cannot meet Hermia.
Go away, and donít follow me any more!
Helena: You attract me, you hardhearted magnet! Instead of being hardhearted, I am tender-hearted and faithful. Abandon your power to attract, and I shall have no power to follow you.
Demetrius: Do I tempt you? or rather do I not, in plainest truth, tell you I do not nor I cannot love you !
Helena: And even for that do I love you the more. The more you beat me, the more I try to win your heart. Neglect me, lose me; I only ask you to treat me like your dog and let me follow you.
Demetrius: Donít tempt too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I look on you.
Helena: And I am sick when I donít look on you.
Demetrius: You stain your reputation when you leave the city and commit yourself into the hands of one who doesnít love you; and stay with him at night in a deserted place.
Helena: You, in my respect, are all the world. Then how can it be said Iím alone when all the world is here to look on me?
Demetrius: Iíll run from you and hide, and leave you to the mercy of wild beasts.
Helena: The wildest beasts donít have a heart such as yours. Run when you want! Iíll follow you!
Demetrius: Let me go! If you follow me, be sure that I shall do you mischief in the wood.
Helena: In the temple, in the town, the field, you do me mischief, Demetrius! Why canít women fight for love as men may do !!?
Iíll follow you, and make a heaven
of hell, to die upon the hand I love so well.
Oberon: Fare well, nymph. Before he leaves
this wood, you shall fly him and he shall seek your love.
Welcome wanderer, do you have the flower with you?
Puck: Here it is.
Oberon: I pray you, give it to me. I know a bank where violets grow, there Titania sleeps sometimes at night. With the juice of this flower, Iíll touch her eyes, and make her full of hateful fantasies.
You, take some of it and search this wood, a sweet Athenian Lady is in love with a disdainful young man. Wait until he is asleep and drop some of the juice on his eyelids. Then, when he wakes and sees the lady, he will love her again.
You shall know the man by the Athenian clothes he has on. Be careful, when he wakes up, I want him to love her more than she loves him.
When you finish, come to meet me here at the first cock crow.
Puck: Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.
Scene 2: (Another part of the wood)
Enter Titania with her train.
Queen: Come now, dance and sing me a
fairy song to sleep. Then, go,
do you work and let me rest.
1- Spotted snakes with double tongue
Come not near our fairy queen,
If you come and do her wrong,
weíll disturb you in yours dreams.
2- Weaving spiders come not here,
worm nor snail do not offence,
If you all approach so near,
Weíll ourselves take our queenís defence.
3- Philomel, with melody Chorus
Sing in our sweet Lullaby (i)
(bis) ( Lulla, Lulla, Lullaby )
Never harm, nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady night,
So good night with lullaby (ai)
( Lulla, Lulla, Lullaby )
Fairy: Letís go from here,
now all is well,
she neednít any sentinel.
Enter Oberon ( and squeezes the flower on Titaniaís eyelids )
Oberon: When you wake up, youíll fall
in love with the first thing you see.
Open your eyes when something ugly is near.
Enter Lysander, Hermia.
Lysander: Fair love, to speak truth,
I have forgotten our way. Letís rest here, if you want.
Hermia: Be it so, Lysander. Find a bed for yourself, for I upon this bank will rest my head.
Lysander: This shall serve as pillow for us both.
Hermia: No, good Lysander: for my sake, my dear, lie further off yet, do not lie so near.
So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend, May your love to me never change, till your sweet life ends.
Lysander: Amen, amen to that fair prayer,
Let my life end when Iím not loyal!
Here is my bed. You sleep and rest, my love!
Puck: Through the forest I have gone
But Athenian, Iíve found none.
On whose eyes I might drop
This flowerís force in stirring love?
Night and silence ! who is here?
Garments of Athens he wears,
This is he, my master said,
Who despised the Athenian maid.
And here, the maiden, sleeping sound
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! She should not lie
near this man who lacks of love .
Young man! Upon your eyes I throw,
` All the power this charm does owe
Wake up, and in love youíll be
With the first person you will see.
So awake when Iím gone,
For I must now, go to Oberon.
Enter Demetrius, Helena running.
Helena: Stay, otherwise youíll Kill me,
sweet Demetrius. Will you in the dark leave
me? Donít do so!
Demetrius: Stay on your own peril ! I alone will go
Helena: I am out of breath in this chase
the more I pray, the less I please Demetrius.
Happy is Hermia, wherever she lies,
for she has blessed and attractive eyes .
How came her eyes so bright ? Not with salt tears.
If so, my eyes are more washed than hers.
No, No, I am as ugly as a bear,
for beasts that meet me run away for fear .
Thatís why Demetrius flies my presence !
Who is here ? Lysander ! on the ground?
Dead or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
Lysander, If youíre alive, good sir, wake up !
Lysander: (waking up) Helena, my love ! Iíll run through fire for your sweet sake !
Beautiful Helena, I love you !!
Where is Demetrius? I want to kill him !
Hell: Do not say so, Lysander; do not say so,
Even though he loves your Hermia, Hermia
still loves you; then, be happy !
Lysander: Happy with Hermia ? No!! I regret every minute I spent with her.
Not Hermia, but Helena I love !!
Lysander: Are you making fun of me?
Isnít it enough, young man, that I never deserved a sweet look from Demetrius eyes?
Farewell, I thought you were of more gentleness.
Should a lady who is refused by one man,
be abused by another one !!?
Lysander: She didnít see Hermia who is sleeping here. Donít you ever come near Lysander, Hermia.
I will try with all my powers to honor Helena and be her Knight.
Hermia: ( waking ) Help me, Lysander ! help me to take this serpent off my breast !
Oh! what a dream I had !
Lysander, look how scared I am !
I thought a serpent had eaten my heart and you sat smiling at his cruel prey !
Lysander ! Lord !
What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
Where are you ? Speak if you hear me !
Speak if you love me !!
No? then youíre not here !
Either dead or Iíll find you immediately !
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[There were other people in the wood
that night, in addition to the fairies and the four Athenians. Some ordinary
working people were planning to act a drama at the Dukeís palace for his
marriage, and they had come into the wood to practise the play]
Scene 1: (The same wood, Titania lying asleep)
Enter the actors ( Quince, Bottom, Fluke,
Snout ) talking about the play then Enter Puck.
Puck: what do we have here, so near the fairy Queen? What? preparing a play ?Iíll be an auditor; an actor too perhaps, if I see cause.
How boring is this play ! Iíll follow
this man... and change him into a beast ... This will be funny !
Re enter Puck, Bottom ( beast )
Quince: O monstrous ! O strange ! we are taunted
Exit ( actors).
Puck: Iíll follow you.
Bottom: Why do they run away? theyíre trying to make me afraid, but Iím not.
Snout: O Bottom, you are changed ! what do I see on you?
Bottom: What do you see? Donít try to make a fool of me ! you are the fool yourself !
Re - enter Quince.
Quince: Bless you, Bottom ! Bless you ! you are transformed !
Bottom: I see, this is to make a fool of me, to frighten me if they could. But I will not move from this place, I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, so that they can hear Iím not afraid.
Titania: (Waking) What beautiful angel wakes me from my flowery bed? please, sing again, I love to hear your voice and see you!!
I pray you, gentle mortal, sing again.
you voice is as lovely as your face. You force moves me so much that on
the first view I say, I swear, I love you.
Bottom: Mistress, you should have little reason for that. And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.
Titania: You are as wise as you are beautiful.
Bottom: If I were wise, I would be able to get out of this wood.
Titania: Out of this wood do not desire to go: you shall remain here, whether you want it or no.
I am a spirit and I love you. Therefore go with me, and Iíll give you fairies to attend on you; they shall bring you jewels from the deep.
Peaseblossom ! Cobweb ! Moth !
and Mustardseed !
Enter the 4 fairies.
Cob: and I
Moth: and I
Must: and I
All: where shall we go?
Titania: Be Kind and courteous to this sweet gentleman.
Dance round him when he walks, play in his sight.
Feed him with fruit, and steal food from the bees for him.
Peas: Hail, mortal !
Cob: Hail !
Moth: Hail !
Must: Hail !
Titania: Come, serve him, and lead to him to my fairy garden.
Scene 2: (Another part of the wood).
Oberon: I wonder if Titania is awaked, then, what was it that next came in her eye?!!
Her comes my messenger. Hello, mad spirit ! whatís going on tonight in this wood?
Puck: My mistress is in love with a monster.
While she was in her sleeping hour, a crew of rude mechanics were met together to rehearse a play, intended for great Theseusí nuptial day. I transformed one of them into a beast, so, at his sight, his fellows flew away. When, in that moment, Titania waked and, straightway, loved the beast.
Oberon: This falls out better than I could think...
But, have you put on the Athenianís eyes the love juice as I told you to do?
Puck: I took him sleeping, the Athenian woman by his side, so, when he waked, he must see her.
Enter Demetrius and Hermia.
Oberon: Stand close, this is the same Athenian.
Puck: This is the woman, but not this the man.
Her: Demetrius, where is Lysander? Will you tell me ?
Demetrius: Why are you angry with me, When I love you so much?
Her: Iím angry because I believe that you have killed Lysander ! If you have killed him, kill me too or tell me where he is !
Demetrius: I havenít killed him !
Her: Tell me that he is alive then Iíll go away and never see you again.
Demetrius: I donít know where he is !
Her: Anyway, you wonít see me again whether he is dead or alive.
Demetrius: Itís useless to follow her when sheís like this !
Iíll stay here and get some sleep.
Lie down and sleep.
Oberon: What have you done ?
You have put the liquid on the eyes of the wrong man !
Iíll put it in this manís eyes . He must wake and love Helena.
Go, go, quickly, and bring Helena here before he wakes !
Puck: I go, I go ! Look how I go ! Swifter than an arrow from the
Oberon puts the juice on Demetriusí eyes.
Puck: Captain of our fairy band, Helena is here at hand,
and the other man is following her, telling her about
his love for her.
Oberon: Stand aside. The noise they make will cause
Demetrius to awake.
Enter Lysander, Helena.
Helena: Why are you making fun of me?
Lysander: Why should you think so? I love you,
Iím not making fun of you !
Helena: but you love Hermia !
Lysander: Forget about Hermia !I had no judgement
when I told her I loved her.
Helena: And you donít have any judgement now either,
now that youíve forgotten about her .
Lysander: Demetrius loves her , and he doesnít love you !
Demetrius: (walking) O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect,
divine ! you eyes are like jewels, oh, let me
Kiss you, my princess !
Helena: I see that you both want to make fun of me !
Hate me, as I know you do, but donít join together to hurt me.
Lysander: You are unkind, Demetrius. You love Hermia, you know I know that. So, I give you Hermia but let me love Helena.
Helena: Youíre both making fun of me !
Demetrius: Lysander, keep your Hermia, I donít want her. My heart belongs to Helen now.
Lysander: Helen, it is not so.
Demetrius: Look where you love comes.
Her: Lysander ! why did you unkindly
alone in the wood?
Lysander: Why should I stay when love does press me to go?
Her: What love could press Lysander from my side.
Lysander: Lysanderís love, beautiful Helena.
Why are you looking for me? you should
know that I left because I hate you.
Her: Youíre not speaking as you think; it cannot be !
Helena: She is one of this confederacy ! they have
conjoined all there to make fun of me !
Injurious Hermia! Most ungrateful maid! Have you forgotten all schooldays friendship? All childhood innocence? We grew together like a double cherry, seeming parted, but united in our partition! We were with two bodies but one heart! Why have you joined the 2 men to make a fool of your poor friend?
Her: Iím amazed at your passionate words. I do not
despise you. It seems that you despise me!
Helena: Havenít you set Lysander to follow me and praise my eyes and face? Havenít you made your other love Demetrius call me goddess, nymph and divine?
You shouldnít laugh at me! you should pity me rather than despise me!
Her: I donít understand what you mean by this!
Helena: If you have any pity, grace or manners, you
wouldnít make me such an argument.
But, farewell, Iíll go back to Athens and not
follow you anymore. I leave my foolish heart behind.
Lysander: Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse, my love,
my life, my soul, fair Helena!
Lysander: Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse, my love, my life !
Helena: O excellent !
Her: Sweet, do not make fun of her !
Lysander: Helen, I love you ; by my life, I do !
Demetrius: I love you more than he does .
Lysander: If you say so, withdraw and prove it too.
Demetrius: Quick, come !
Her: Lysander, where are you going?
Lysander: Away from you!
Her: No! no! Why are you grown so rude?
What change is this, sweet love?
Lysander: Your love? Out! Out!
Demetrius, Iíll keep my word with you
Demetrius: I donít trust your word.
Lysander: What, should I hurt her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, I wonít harm her so!
Her: What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
Hate me? Am I not Hermia? Are you not Lysander?
I am as beautiful now as I ever was.
Since night you loved me; yet since night you
left me. Why? What happened?
Lysander: Ah, by my life! I donít desire to see you any more.
Therefore, be out of hope, be certain that I do hate
you and love Helena.
Her: O you! You thief of love! What? Have you come by
night and stolen my loveís heart from him?
Helena: Good Hermia! Do not be so bitter with me!
Lysander: Go away, Hermia! Leave Helena alone!
Demetrius: Donít speak of Helena! donít take her part,
for if you intend to show love to her, you
shall pay for it
Lysander: Follow me if you dare to see who deserves Helena best.
Demetrius: Follow you? Iíll go with you!
Exit Lysander - Demetrius
Her: You, mistress, all this trouble
because of you.
Helena: Iíll no longer stay in your cursed company.
I shall run away!
Her: Iím amazed! I donít know what to say!
Oberon: Did this happen by mistake or
did you mean
to pour the magic liquid on the wrong person?
Puck: Believe me, King of Shadows, I made a mistake.
Didnít you tell me I should know the men
by the Athenian clothes he had on? Laugh
But I am glad this happened, itís fun to watch
Oberon: You see that these lovers have gone to look for
a good place to fight. Fill the night with a thick
black cloud, then lead the two men far from each
other. When they are tried of looking for each other,
theyíll lie down and fall asleep. Pour this magic
liquid on Lysanderís eyes, it will make his old love
to Hermia come back to turn when he wakes. Then
everyone will be happy. They will think that all this
has been only a dream.
And while you do that, Iíll go to Titania and take the little boy from
her. Then Iíll set her free and she will stop loving the beast.
Puck: Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them, up and down
I am feared in field and town
I will lead them up and down....
Here comes one
Lysander: Where are you, proud Demetrius?
Puck: Here, Iím ready. Where are you?
Lysander: I will be with you immediately.
Puck: Follow me then.
Demetrius: Lysander, Speak again! You
coward! Where do you hide your head?
Puck: You, coward! Come, coward, come! you child!
Demetrius: Are you there?
Puck: Follow my voice.
Lysander: He goes before me and still
dares me on,
When I come where he calls, then heís gone!
I followed fast, but faster he did fly!
I will rest here. (Lie down)
Come, you gentle day, for when you show me
your great light, Iíll find Demetrius and get
Enter Puck, Demetrius.
Puck: Hey, coward, why donít you come?
Demetrius: Wait for me, if you dare.
Where are you now?
Puck: come, Iím here.
Demetrius: You are mocking me! You shall pay for
that whenever. I see your face in the day light.
Lies down and sleeps
Her: Never so tired, never so hurt. I can no further go.
Here will I rest till the break of day.
Lies down and sleeps
Puck: On the ground, sleep sound.
Iíll apply to your eye,
gentle loverís remedy.
(Squeezes the herb on Lysander eyelids)
When you wake, you shall take
true delight in the sight
of your former ladyís eye.
And the country proverb known,
that every man should take his own,
in your waking shall be shown.
Jack shall have Jill
and all shall be well
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Scene 1: (The wood. Lysander, Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, all lying asleep)
Enter Titania, Bottom, Fairies (4).
Oberon behind them.
Titania: Come, sit down on this flowery bed,
I kiss your beautiful face.
Bottom: Whereís Peaseblossom?
Bottom: Scratch my head, Peaseblossom. Whereís
Bottom: Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get your
weapon in your hand, and kill me a bee; and, good
mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag... Be careful
so it doesnít break!
Whereís Mounsieur Mustardseed?
Mustardseed: Ready. Whatís your will?
Bottom: Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Peaseblossom
to scratch if my hair tickles me.
Titania: Will you hear some music, my sweet love.
Bottom: I have a reasonable good ear in
music. Letís have a rural one.
Titania: Say, sweet love, what do you desire to eat?
Bottom: I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay,
sweet hay, has no equal... and I want some nuts too...
Titania: I have a venturous fairy who shall seek the forest
and bring you new nuts.
Bottom: And now, I pray you, let none of you people
bother me; I have a disposition for sleep come upon me.
Titania: Sleep, my dear, I shall sing for you and wind you in
my arms. Fairies, be gone, and spread yourselves to guard us from all sides.
O, how I love you!
Oberon: Welcome, good Puck. Have you
seen this sweet sight?
I do begin to pity her. (He takes the boy)
Now, that I have the boy, I will undo this
hateful imperfection of her eyes.
Now, my Titania! Wake up, my sweet queen.
Titania: My Oberon, what visions have
I thought I was in love with a beast!
Oberon: There lies your love.
Titania: Ah! How did this happen? I canít bear the sight of him now!
Oberon: Silence. Puck, take off this head, and make all these
five (Bottom, Demetrius, Helena, Lysander, Her) fall into a deep
sleep and forget what has happened.
Puck: Fairy King, I hear the morning coming...
Oberon: Then, my queen, in silence... quickly, letís go.
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.
Enter Theseus (+train), Hippolyta, Egeus.
Theseus: What nymphs are these?
Egeus: My Lord, this is my daughter here asleep.
This Lysander, this Demetrius and this Helena
I wonder why they are here together.
The: No doubt they rose up early to observe the
rite of May; and, hearing our intent, came here
in grace of our solemnity.
But, Egeus, isnít this the day that Hermia should
give answer of her choice?
Egeus: It is, my Lord
The: Go, wake them.
(Servant wakes them with wind horns.
They all start up).
Good morning, friends. St. Valentine is past.
Lysander: Pardon, my lord
The: I pray you all, stand up. I know
are rival enemies, so how come youíre
sleeping next to each other?
Lysander: My Lord, I shall reply amazedly, half sleeping
half waking; but, I swear, I cannot truly say
how I came here.
But, as I think, I came with Hermia. Our intent
was to be gone from Athens, where we would get
married without the peril of the Athenian Law.
Egeus: Enough, enough, my lord! I beg the law upon his head.
They wanted to run away!
Demetrius, they would have defeated you and me!
Demetrius: My lord, Helen told me of their escape, and I, in fury,
followed them. Helena followed me also because she loves me.
But, my Lord, I donít know by what power my love to Hermia
melted as the snow, and all the faith, the power of my heart is
only Helena, now.
The: Fair lovers, you are fortunately met. Egeus, I will overrule
you will for, in the temple, with us, these couples shall eternally
Away, with us to Athens!
Three and three, weíll hold a feast in great solemnity.
Exit Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus.
Demetrius: Are you sure that we are awake?
It seems to
me that yet we sleep, we dream. Donít you think
the Duke was here, and told us to follow him?
Her: Yes, and my father.
Helena: And Hippolyta.
Lysander: And he told us to follow him to the temple.
Demetrius: Then, we are awake. Letís follow him and letís
recount our dreams
Bottom (Waking): Quince! Flute! Snout!
They went away and left we asleep!
What a vision Iíve had! What a dream!
I thought I was a clown!
How strange! No man can report what my dream was!
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Scene 1: (Athens, the Palace
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta....
Hip: Itís strange, my Theseus, what these lovers speak of.
The: More strange than true. I can never believe
these antique fables nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and poets have the same imagination.
Hip: But, all the story of the night told over, and all their minds
transfigured so together, How strange and admirable!
Enter Lovers (Lysander, Demetrius, Her, Helena)
The: Here come the lovers, full of joy
May joy, gentle friends, joy and fresh days of
love accompany your hearts!
Lysander: And yours too!
The: Come, now, what show shall we have to
pass away this long age of three hours between
our after-supper and bedtime?
The iron tongue of midnight has told twelve. Lovers to bed, it is almost fairy time!
Puck: Now, itís the time of night,
and we, fairies, that do run
from the presence of the sun,
following darkness like a dream
We are now playful and merry;
Not a mouse, shall disturb this hallowed house.
I am sent to sweep the dust behind the door.
Enter King, Queen + train
Oberon: Through the house give a weak light,
so that we can sing and dance tonight.
Titania: Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
will we sing and bless this place.
Puck: Music, Song, dance
Oberon: Now until the break of day,
through this house each fairy stays, (wanders)
So shall all the couples three
ever true in loving be
and the owner of this palace,
ever shall in safety rest.
Puck: If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
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.
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Page Created on September 8th, 1998
Last updated on January 30, 2009
Copyright © 1998-2009 Nada Salem Abisamra