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A Midsummer Nights Dream

Narrator: The course of true love never did run smooth, and never did it stumble worse
than on one summer day when all Athens was bright with expectancy for the wedding of
Duke Theseus and Hippolyta. But love was not as simple for other in the town. Hermia loved
Lysander and Lysander loved Hermia, and what could have been better than that? At the
same time, Helena loved Demetrius, but Demetrius did not love Helena. Instead, he loved
Hermia. What could have been worse than that? Only Hermias father. Although there was
nothing to choose between the two young men, Hermias father had chosen; and he had
chosen Demetrius.
Lysander: So quick bright things come to confusion.
Narrator: And such was the law of Athens that if Hermia disobeyed her father, she would be
shut up in a nunnery for the rest of her life. The lovers were in despair, but despair leads to
desperation, and desperation to desperate measures. The very next night, first Hermia, then
Lysander, crept from the town. At midnight, they were to meet in a wood not far from
Athens, and from there to fly away together to some distant place where the cruel law could
not touch them. And all might have turned out well had Hermia not confided in Helena, who
was her best friend. For Helena, hoping for no more than a grateful smile, told Demetrius.
Outraged, Demetrius rushed after the runaways, meaning to win Hermias heart by plunging
his sword in Lysanders. And after him stumbled Helena, still hoping for a kindness to be
flung over his shoulder like a bone to a starving dog. And so the four lovers hastened to the
wood. But they were not the only ones to leave the town that night. For the secrecy of the
wood. Peter Quince, the carpenter and scholar of the company; Nick Bottom, a weaver, a
great man and a tower of strength in any enterprise which not even he would deny; Flute
the bellows mender, Snug the joiner, Snout the tinker, and Starveling the tailor.
Peter Quince: Is all our company here?
Narrator: Six good men of Athens, they were met in secret to rehearse a play for the
wedding of the duke. The play theyd chosen was, most fittingly, about love. It was the most
lamentable tragedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe. Nick Bottom, of course,
was to play Pyramus, although he could have taken any or all the other parts with equal
Nick Bottom: Let me play Thisbe, too.
Peter Quince: No, no, you must play Pyramus.
Nick Bottom: Let me play the lion, too. I will roar, that I will make the Duke say, Let him
roar again.
Narrator: It was a strange wood, huge and mysterious, and haunted by more than spinning
spiders, beetles, hedgehogs, and softly gliding spotted snakes. Oberon, the dread king of
the nighttime world, with Puck, his wild henchman, and all his goblin train.
Oberon: Ill-met by moonlight, proud Titania!
Titania: What, jealous Oberon? Fairies, skip hence! I have forsworn his bed and company!
Oberon: Tarry, rash wanton! Why should Titania cross her Oberon? I do but beg a little
changing boy to be my henchman.
Titania: Set your heart at rest. The fairy land buys not the child of me. His mother was a
votress of my order.

Oberon: Give me that boy!

Titania: Not for thy fairy kingdom! Fairies, away!
Oberon: Well, go thy way! Thou shalt not from this grove til I torment thee for this injury. My
gentle Puck, come hither.
Narrator: Even the seasons were disturbed, for as among the mortal lovers, there was
discord among the spirit king and queen and so dangerous a quarrel made a sickness in
Oberon (to Puck): Fetch me this herb!
Puck: Ill put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes!
Narrator: The herb that Puck had gone to fetch grew far away in the west. It was a certain
purple flower, possessed of strange powers. If the juice of it was dropped on sleeping eyes,
then the moment they awoke, the sleeper would fall wildly, madly in love with the very first
living creature their magically anointed eyes beheld, no matter who or what it was.
Demetrius: I love thee not, therefore pursue me not!
Helena: I am your spaniel; and Demetrius, the more you beat me, I will fawn on you! Spurn
me, strike me, neglect me, lose me; only give me leave, unworthy as I am to follow you!
Demetrius: I am sick when I do look on thee!
Helena: And I am sick when I look not on you!
Demetrius: Or if thou follow me, do not believe but I shall do thee mischief in the wood!
Helena: We should be wood and were not made to woo!
Oberon: Fare thee well, nymph. Ere he do leave this grove, thou shalt fly him, and he shall
seek thy love! I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding
violet grows, quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine with sweet musk-roses and with
eglantine; there sleeps Titania some time of the night. With the juice of this, Ill 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.
Puck: Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.
Titania: Come now, a roundel and a fairy song.
Fairies (song portion): You spotted snakes with double tongue. Thorny hedgehogs be not
seen, newts and blind-worms do no wrong, come not near our fairy queen. Weaving spiders
come not here, hence you long-legged spinners hence! Beetles black, approach not near.
Worms nor snail, do no offense.
Oberon: What thou seest, when thou dost wake, do it for thy true love take. Wake when
something vile is near!
Lysander: Well rest us Hermia, if you think it good.

Hermia: Be it so, Lysander. Find you out a bed, for I upon this bank will rest my head.
Lysander: One turf shall serve as pillow for us both.
Hermia: Nay, Lysander. For my sake, my dear, lie further off yet. 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 goodnight, sweet friend.
Puck: 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 hear this lack-love this
kill-courtesy! Churl, upon thine eyes I throw all the power this charm doth owe.
Demetrius: Hence, hence, I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus!
Helena: Owilt thou darkling leave me? But who is here? Lysander, on the ground? Dead, or
asleep? I see no blood, no wound. Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake!
Lysander: (wakes up) Not Hermia, but Helena I love: who will not change a raven for a
Helena: Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do! (Walks away from Lysander) Fare
you well!
Lysander: (Glances at Hermia sleeping) Hermia, sleep thou there, and never mayesr thou
come Lysander near! (Forwards to Hermia) All my powers, address you love and might, to
honour Helen and to be her knight! (Walks away and follows Helena)
Hermia: (wakes up) Lysander! Lysander, lord! (Walks and finds Lysander) Alack, where art
PUCK appears
(Enters the men in the woods)
Narrator: From love in earnest to love in play: the six good men of Athens.
Bottom: Are we all met?
Peter Quince: Heres a marvelous convenient place for our rehearsal.
Narrator: So their parts were allotted: (hands over the script to Bottom) Pyramus, the lover,
to Bottom. (hands over the script to Flute) Thisbe, the lady, to Flute.
Flute: Let me not play a woman. I have a beard coming.
Narrator: Thisbe, the lady, to Flute. (Flute sighs), Snug, to play the lion. (Snug RAWRS)
Starveling to represent the moon (doing eye tricks) and Snout to be the wall that cruelly
separated the lovers, one from another. And Peter Quince, the scholar, to direct the play.


Narrator: But though they had chosen the time and place for rehearsing with care so as to
be quite secret, they had an audience, though they knew it not. (Puck staring at them)

Puck: What hempen homspuns have we swaggering here, so near the cradle to the Fairy
Queen? (walks slowly and follows Bottom)
Flute: (practicing) Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue! Ill meet thee, Pyramus at
Ninnys tomb.
Peter: (Correcting Flute) At NINUS tomb, man! Why, you must not speak that yet; that you
must answer to Pyramus. You speak all your part at once, cues and all! (Looks at Bottom)
Pyramus, enter! Your cue is past. (Puck sprinkles something powers and turned Bottom in a

(Peter, angrily) Pyramus, enter!

Bottom: (horse-y voice) If I were fair, fair Thisbe~
Peter, Flute, Straveling, Snug, Snout: AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! (SHOUTED,
Peter: O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted! Pray, masters! Fly, masters! Help!
Peter, Flute, Straveling, Snug, Snout: HELP (running in different direction)
Bottom: Why do they run away?
Peter: Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee! Thou are translated! (runs)
Bottom: Ahhhhhh! I see their knavery: (holds tail and puts it in his pocket) This is to make
an ass of me, to fright me, if they could.. I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
(sings) The ousel cock, so black of hue, with orange-tawny bill, the throstle, with his note so
true (Puck slowly gets near to Bottom and pushes him) the wren with little quill.. the throstle,
with him not so tru-e-ue.. (puck follows him) the wren with little quill.. (laughs and got near
to Titania)


Titania: What angel wakes me from my flowery bed? I, gentle mortal, sing again: Mine ear is
much enamoured of thy note. So is mine eye enthralled to they shape, (stands up from bed)
The first view to say, I swear, I love thee.
Donkey Man: Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that.
Titania: 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...
Fairies giggle
Puck: whispering something to Oberon
Oberon: This falls out better than I could devise. But hast thou yet latched the Athenian's
eyes with the love juice?
Puck: I took him sleeping.
Hermia and Demetrius enter
Oberon: Stand close: This is the same Athenian.

Puck: This is the woman, but not this the man!

Hermia: Out, dog! Out, cur! Hast thou slain him then?
Demetrius: I am not guilty of Lysander's blood!
Helena: See me no more, whether he be dead or no!
Helena exits
Demetrius: There is no following her in this fierce vein... *sigh*
Demetrius exits
Oberon: What has thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite, And laid the love-juice on some
true love's sight. About the wood go swifter than the wind, and Helena of Athens look thou
Puck: I go, I go, look how I go! Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow!
Puck flies
Demetrius sleeping, Oberon enters
Oberon: Flower of this purple dye hit with Cupid's archery. Sink in apple if his eye. When his
love he doth espy.
Puck enters
Puck: Helena is here at hand. Shall we their fond pageant see?
Demetrius wakes up
Demetrius: O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
Helena: O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent to set against me for your merriment.
Lysander enters
Helena: You both are rivals, and love Hermia
Demetrius: Lysander, keep thy Hermia. If ere I loved her, all that love is gone, and now to
Helen is it home returned!
Lysander: Helena, it is not soDemetrius: Look where thy love comes: yonder is thy dear!
Hermia enters
Hermia: You Juggler! You canker-blossom! You thief of love!
Helena: Have you no modesty, no maiden shame? You puppet, you!
Hermia: Puppet? Thou painted maypole!
They fight
Puck: *laughs* Lord, what fools these mortals be.
Helena: She was a vixen when she went to school!
Hermia: Let me come to her!
Lysander stops Hermia
Lysander: Get you gone, you dwarf!
Oberon: This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st. Or else commite thy knaveries wilfully.
Lysander and Demetrius sword chuva
Puck: Belive me, king of shadows I mistook.
Oberon: Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight. Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the
Lysander and Demetrius exit to fight
Oberon: And lead these testy rivals so astray. That one comes not within another's way...
The crush this herb into Lysander's eye...
Puck: When thou wak'st, thou tak'st, true delight in the sight of the former lady's eye; and
the country proverb known, that every man should take his own...
Narrator: But the madness of love still lingered in another part of the wood.

Titania and the donkeyman enter with the fairies

Titania: Sweet love, what desir'st thou to eat?
Donkey man: Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your good dry oats. *yawn* But I
pray you, let none of your people stir me: