A Midsummer Night's Dream - The Folger SHAKESPEARE

A Midsummer Night's Dream - The Folger SHAKESPEARE (PDF)

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Summary of A Midsummer Night's Dream - The Folger SHAKESPEARE

Get even more from the Folger You can get your own copy of this text to keep. Purchase a full copy to get the text, plus explanatory notes, illustrations, and more. Buy a copy Folger Shakespeare Library https://shakespeare.folger.edu/ Front Matter From the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library Textual Introduction Synopsis Characters in the Play ACT 1 Scene 1 Scene 2 ACT 2 Scene 1 Scene 2 ACT 3 Scene 1 Scene 2 ACT 4 Scene 1 Scene 2 ACT 5 Scene 1 Contents Michael Witmore Director, Folger Shakespeare Library It is hard to imagine a world without Shakespeare. Since their composition four hundred years ago, Shakespeare’s plays and poems have traveled the globe, inviting those who see and read his works to make them their own. Readers of the New Folger Editions are part of this ongoing process of “taking up Shakespeare,” finding our own thoughts and feelings in language that strikes us as old or unusual and, for that very reason, new. We still struggle to keep up with a writer who could think a mile a minute, whose words paint pictures that shift like clouds. These expertly edited texts are presented to the public as a resource for study, artistic adaptation, and enjoyment. By making the classic texts of the New Folger Editions available in electronic form as The Folger Shakespeare (formerly Folger Digital Texts), we place a trusted resource in the hands of anyone who wants them. The New Folger Editions of Shakespeare’s plays, which are the basis for the texts realized here in digital form, are special because of their origin. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is the single greatest documentary source of Shakespeare’s works. An unparalleled collection of early modern books, manuscripts, and artwork connected to Shakespeare, the Folger’s holdings have been consulted extensively in the preparation of these texts. The Editions also reflect the expertise gained through the regular performance of Shakespeare’s works in the Folger’s Elizabethan Theatre. I want to express my deep thanks to editors Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine for creating these indispensable editions of Shakespeare’s works, which incorporate the best of textual scholarship with a richness of commentary that is both inspired and engaging. Readers who want to know more about Shakespeare and his plays can follow the paths these distinguished scholars have tread by visiting the Folger either in-person or online, where a range of physical and digital resources exists to supplement the material in these texts. I commend to you these words, and hope that they inspire. From the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library Until now, with the release of The Folger Shakespeare (formerly Folger Digital Texts), readers in search of a free online text of Shakespeare’s plays had to be content primarily with using the Moby™ Text, which reproduces a late-nineteenth century version of the plays. What is the difference? Many ordinary readers assume that there is a single text for the plays: what Shakespeare wrote. But Shakespeare’s plays were not published the way modern novels or plays are published today: as a single, authoritative text. In some cases, the plays have come down to us in multiple published versions, represented by various Quartos (Qq) and by the great collection put together by his colleagues in 1623, called the First Folio (F). There are, for example, three very different versions of Hamlet, two of King Lear, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, and others. Editors choose which version to use as their base text, and then amend that text with words, lines or speech prefixes from the other versions that, in their judgment, make for a better or more accurate text. Other editorial decisions involve choices about whether an unfamiliar word could be understood in light of other writings of the period or whether it should be changed; decisions about words that made it into Shakespeare’s text by accident through four hundred years of printings and misprinting; and even decisions based on cultural preference and taste. When the Moby™ Text was created, for example, it was deemed “improper” and “indecent” for Miranda to chastise Caliban for having attempted to rape her. (See The Tempest, 1.2: “Abhorred slave,/Which any print of goodness wilt not take,/Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee…”). All Shakespeare editors at the time took the speech away from her and gave it to her father, Prospero. The editors of the Moby™ Shakespeare produced their text long before scholars fully understood the proper grounds on which to make the thousands of decisions that Shakespeare editors face. The Folger Library Shakespeare Editions, on which the Folger Shakespeare texts depend, make this editorial process as nearly transparent as is possible, in contrast to older texts, like the Moby™, which hide editorial interventions. The reader of the Folger Shakespeare knows where the text has been altered because editorial interventions are signaled by square brackets (for example, from Othello: “ If she in chains of magic were not bound, ”), half-square brackets (for example, from Henry V: “With blood and sword and fire to win your right,”), or angle brackets (for example, from Textual Introduction By Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine Hamlet: “O farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved/you?”). At any point in the text, you can hover your cursor over a bracket for more information. Because the Folger Shakespeare texts are edited in accord with twenty-first century knowledge about Shakespeare’s texts, the Folger here provides them to readers, scholars, teachers, actors, directors, and students, free of charge, confident of their quality as texts of the plays and pleased to be able to make this contribution to the study and enjoyment of Shakespeare. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, residents of Athens mix with fairies from a local forest, with comic results. In the city, Theseus, Duke of Athens, is to marry Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Bottom the weaver and his friends rehearse in the woods a play they hope to stage for the wedding celebrations. Four young Athenians are in a romantic tangle. Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia; she loves Lysander and her friend Helena loves Demetrius. Hermia’s father, Egeus, commands Hermia to marry Demetrius, and Theseus supports the father’s right. All four young Athenians end up in the woods, where Robin Goodfellow, who serves the fairy king Oberon, puts flower juice on the eyes of Lysander, and then Demetrius, unintentionally causing both to love Helena. Oberon, who is quarreling with his wife, Titania, uses the flower juice on her eyes. She falls in love with Bottom, who now, thanks to Robin Goodfellow, wears an ass’s head. As the lovers sleep, Robin Goodfellow restores Lysander’s love for Hermia, so that now each young woman is matched with the man she loves. Oberon disenchants Titania and removes Bottom’s ass’s head. The two young couples join the royal couple in getting married, and Bottom rejoins his friends to perform the play. Synopsis THESEUS, duke of Athens HIPPOLYTA, queen of the Amazons EGEUS, father to Hermia PHILOSTRATE, master of the revels to Theseus NICK BOTTOM, weaver PETER QUINCE, carpenter FRANCIS FLUTE, bellows-mender TOM SNOUT, tinker SNUG, joiner ROBIN STARVELING, tailor OBERON, king of the Fairies TITANIA, queen of the Fairies ROBIN GOODFELLOW, a “puck,” or hobgoblin, in Oberon’s service A FAIRY, in the service of Titania Lords and Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta Other Fairies in the trains of Titania and Oberon Characters in the Play four lovers HERMIA LYSANDER HELENA DEMETRIUS fairies attending upon Titania PEASEBLOSSOM COBWEB MOTE MUSTARDSEED THESEUS HIPPOLYTA THESEUS Philostrate exits. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, and Philostrate, with others. 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! She lingers my desires Like to a stepdame or a dowager Long withering out a young man’s revenue. Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; Four nights will quickly dream away the time; And then the moon, like to a silver bow New -bent in heaven, shall behold the night Of our solemnities. Go, Philostrate, Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments. Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth. Turn melancholy forth to funerals; The pale companion is not for our pomp. 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 reveling. 7 ACT 1 Scene 1 FTLN 0001 FTLN 0002 FTLN 0003 FTLN 0004 FTLN 0005 5 FTLN 0006 FTLN 0007 FTLN 0008 FTLN 0009 FTLN 0010 10 FTLN 0011 FTLN 0012 FTLN 0013 FTLN 0014 FTLN 0015 15 FTLN 0016 FTLN 0017 FTLN 0018 FTLN 0019 FTLN 0020 20 9 A Midsummer Night’s Dream ACT 1. SC. 1 EGEUS THESEUS EGEUS THESEUS Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, and Lysander and Demetrius. Happy be Theseus, our renownèd duke! Thanks, good Egeus. What’s the news with thee? 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 the bosom of my child.— Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes And interchanged love tokens with my child. Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung With feigning voice verses of feigning love And stol’n the impression of her fantasy With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gauds, conceits, Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats—messengers Of strong prevailment in unhardened youth. 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, according to our law Immediately provided in that case. What say you, Hermia? Be advised, fair maid. To you, your father should be as a god, One that composed your beauties, yea, and one FTLN 0021 FTLN 0022 FTLN 0023 FTLN 0024 FTLN 0025 25 FTLN 0026 FTLN 0027 FTLN 0028 FTLN 0029 FTLN 0030 30 FTLN 0031 FTLN 0032 FTLN 0033 FTLN 0034 FTLN 0035 35 FTLN 0036 FTLN 0037 FTLN 0038 FTLN 0039 FTLN 0040 40 FTLN 0041 FTLN 0042 FTLN 0043 FTLN 0044 FTLN 0045 45 FTLN 0046 FTLN 0047 FTLN 0048 FTLN 0049 11 A Midsummer Night’s Dream ACT 1. SC. 1 HERMIA THESEUS HERMIA THESEUS HERMIA THESEUS To whom you are but as a form in wax By him imprinted, and within his power To leave the figure or disfigure it. Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. So is Lysander. In himself he is, But in this kind, wanting your father’s voice, The other must be held the worthier. I would my father looked but with my eyes. Rather your eyes must with his judgment look. 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. 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 mewed, To live a barren sister all your life, Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Thrice-blessèd they that master so their blood To undergo such maiden pilgrimage, But earthlier happy is the rose distilled Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness. FTLN 0050 50 FTLN 0051 FTLN 0052 FTLN 0053 FTLN 0054 FTLN 0055 55 FTLN 0056 FTLN 0057 FTLN 0058 FTLN 0059 FTLN 0060 60 FTLN 0061 FTLN 0062 FTLN 0063 FTLN 0064 FTLN 0065 65 FTLN 0066 FTLN 0067 FTLN 0068 FTLN 0069 FTLN 0070 70 FTLN 0071 FTLN 0072 FTLN 0073 FTLN 0074 FTLN 0075 75 FTLN 0076 FTLN 0077 FTLN 0078 FTLN 0079 FTLN 0080 80 13 A Midsummer Night’s Dream ACT 1. SC. 1 HERMIA THESEUS DEMETRIUS LYSANDER EGEUS LYSANDER So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up Unto his Lordship whose unwishèd yoke My soul consents not to give sovereignty. 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 on Diana’s altar to protest For aye austerity and single life. Relent, sweet Hermia, and, Lysander, yield Thy crazèd title to my certain right. You have her father’s love, Demetrius. Let me have Hermia’s. Do you marry him. 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. , to Theseus 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 Nedar’s daughter, Helena, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, FTLN 0081 FTLN 0082 FTLN 0083 FTLN 0084 FTLN 0085 85 FTLN 0086 FTLN 0087 FTLN 0088 FTLN 0089 FTLN 0090 90 FTLN 0091 FTLN 0092 FTLN 0093 FTLN 0094 FTLN 0095 95 FTLN 0096 FTLN 0097 FTLN 0098 FTLN 0099 FTLN 0100 100 FTLN 0101 FTLN 0102 FTLN 0103 FTLN 0104 FTLN 0105 105 FTLN 0106 FTLN 0107 FTLN 0108 FTLN 0109 FTLN 0110 110 15 A Midsummer Night’s Dream ACT 1. SC. 1 THESEUS EGEUS All but Hermia and Lysander exit. LYSANDER HERMIA LYSANDER HERMIA LYSANDER Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry, Upon this spotted and inconstant man. I must confess that I have heard so much, And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; But, being overfull 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 (Which by no means we may extenuate) To death or to a vow of single life.— Come, my Hippolyta. What cheer, my love?— Demetrius and Egeus, go along. I must employ you in some business Against our nuptial and confer with you Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. With duty and desire we follow you. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale? How chance the roses there do fade so fast? Belike for want of rain, which I could well Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes. Ay me! For aught that I could ever read, Could ever hear by tale or history, The course of true love never did run smooth. But either it was different in blood— O cross! Too high to be enthralled to low. Or else misgraffèd in respect of years— FTLN 0111 FTLN 0112 FTLN 0113 FTLN 0114 FTLN 0115 115 FTLN 0116 FTLN 0117 FTLN 0118 FTLN 0119 FTLN 0120 120 FTLN 0121 FTLN 0122 FTLN 0123 FTLN 0124 FTLN 0125 125 FTLN 0126 FTLN 0127 FTLN 0128 FTLN 0129 FTLN 0130 130 FTLN 0131 FTLN 0132 FTLN 0133 FTLN 0134 FTLN 0135 135 FTLN 0136 FTLN 0137 FTLN 0138 FTLN 0139 17 A Midsummer Night’s Dream ACT 1. SC. 1 HERMIA LYSANDER HERMIA LYSANDER HERMIA LYSANDER O spite! Too old to be engaged to young. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends— O hell, to choose love by another’s eyes! Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, Making it momentany as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, Brief as the lightning in the collied night, That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and Earth, And, ere a man hath power to say “Behold!” The jaws of darkness do devour it up. So quick bright things come to confusion. If then true lovers have been ever crossed, It stands as an edict in destiny. Then let us teach our trial patience Because it is a customary cross, As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs, Wishes and tears, poor fancy’s followers. 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 tomorrow night, And in the wood a league without the town (Where I did meet thee once with Helena To do observance to a morn of May), There will I stay for thee. FTLN 0140 140 FTLN 0141 FTLN 0142 FTLN 0143 FTLN 0144 FTLN 0145 145 FTLN 0146 FTLN 0147 FTLN 0148 FTLN 0149 FTLN 0150 150 FTLN 0151 FTLN 0152 FTLN 0153 FTLN 0154 FTLN 0155 155 FTLN 0156 FTLN 0157 FTLN 0158 FTLN 0159 FTLN 0160 160 FTLN 0161 FTLN 0162 FTLN 0163 FTLN 0164 FTLN 0165 165 FTLN 0166 FTLN 0167 FTLN 0168 FTLN 0169 FTLN 0170 170 19 A Midsummer Night’s Dream ACT 1. SC. 1 HERMIA LYSANDER HERMIA HELENA HERMIA HELENA My good Lysander, I swear to thee by Cupid’s strongest bow, By his best arrow with the golden head, By the simplicity of Venus’ doves, By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves, And by that fire which burned the Carthage queen When the false Trojan under sail was seen, By all the vows that ever men have broke (In number more than ever women spoke), In that same place thou hast appointed me, Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee. Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena. Enter Helena. Godspeed, fair Helena. Whither away? Call you me “fair”? That “fair” again unsay. Demetrius loves your fair. O happy fair! Your eyes are lodestars and your tongue’s sweet air More tunable than lark to shepherd’s ear When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. Sickness is catching. O, were favor 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! I frown upon him, yet he loves me still. O, that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill! FTLN 0171 FTLN 0172 FTLN 0173 FTLN 0174 FTLN 0175 175 FTLN 0176 FTLN 0177 FTLN 0178 FTLN 0179 FTLN 0180 180 FTLN 0181 FTLN 0182 FTLN 0183 FTLN 0184 FTLN 0185 185 FTLN 0186 FTLN 0187 FTLN 0188 FTLN 0189 FTLN 0190 190 FTLN 0191 FTLN 0192 FTLN 0193 FTLN 0194 FTLN 0195 195 FTLN 0196 FTLN 0197 FTLN 0198 FTLN 0199 FTLN 0200 200 21 A Midsummer Night’s Dream ACT 1. SC. 1 HERMIA HELENA HERMIA HELENA HERMIA HELENA HERMIA LYSANDER HERMIA I give him curses, yet he gives me love. O, that my prayers could such affection move! The more I hate, the more he follows me. The more I love, the more he hateth me. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. None but your beauty. Would that fault were mine! Take comfort: he no more shall see my face. Lysander and myself will fly this place. Before the time I did Lysander see Seemed Athens as a paradise to me. O, then, what graces in my love do dwell That he hath turned a heaven unto a hell! Helen, to you our minds we will unfold. Tomorrow night when Phoebe doth behold Her silver visage in the wat’ry glass, Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass (A time that lovers’ flights doth still conceal), Through Athens’ gates have we devised to steal. And in the wood where often you and I Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie, Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet, 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.— FTLN 0201 FTLN 0202 FTLN 0203 FTLN 0204 FTLN 0205 205 FTLN 0206 FTLN 0207 FTLN 0208 FTLN 0209 FTLN 0210 210 FTLN 0211 FTLN 0212 FTLN 0213 FTLN 0214 FTLN 0215 215 FTLN 0216 FTLN 0217 FTLN 0218 FTLN 0219 FTLN 0220 220 FTLN 0221 FTLN 0222 FTLN 0223 FTLN 0224 FTLN 0225 225 FTLN 0226

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