A Midsummer Night's Dream

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Titania, and Bottom, and Fairies; and Oberon

behind them


Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed

While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
amiable (adj.) 2 beloved, desirable, lovable
coy (v.) 1 caress, stroke, pet

And stick muskroses in thy sleek, smooth head,

And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind


Where's Peaseblossom?




Scratch my head, Peaseblossom. Where's

Monsieur Cobweb?




Monsieur Cobweb, good Monsieur, get you your

weapons in your hand and kill me a red-hipped humble

bee on the top of a thistle; and, good mounsieur, bring

me the honey bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the

action, Monsieur; and, good Monsieur, have a care the

honey bag break not, I would be loath to have you overflown

with a honey bag, signor. Where's Monsieur





Give me your neaf, Monsieur Mustardseed.
neaf (n.) fist, clenched hand

Pray you, leave your courtesy, good Monsieur.
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 1 courteous service, polite behaviour, good manners


What's your will?


Nothing, good Monsieur, but to help Cavalery
Cavalery (n.) cavalier, courtly gentleman

Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, Monsieur,

for methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face. And
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I

must scratch.


What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?


I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have

the tongs and the bones.
bone (n.) 4 (plural) pieces of bone [used as a musical instrument]
tongs (n.) type of simple metal musical instrument


Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.


Truly, a peck of provender. I could munch your
peck (n.) 1 heap, quantity, measure [a quarter of a bushel]

good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle
bottle (n.) 1 bundle, truss [of hay]
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

of hay. Good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.


I have a venturous fairy that shall seek

The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.


I had rather have a handful or two of dried pease.

But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me. I have

an exposition of sleep come upon me.
exposition (n.) malapropism for ‘disposition’ [= inclination]


Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.

Fairies be gone, and be all ways away.

Exeunt Fairies

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
woodbine (n.) 2 bindweed, convolvulus See Topics: Plants

Gently entwist; the female ivy so
entwist (v.) clasp with a twist, entwine, wreathe around

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
barky (adj.) bark-covered
enring (v.) form a ring round, encircle, surround

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

They sleep. Enter Puck


(comes forward)

Welcome, good Robin. Seest thou this sweet sight?

Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
dotage (n.) 1 doting, infatuation, excessive affection

For, meeting her of late behind the wood

Seeking sweet favours from this hateful fool,
favour (n.) 5 mark of favour, gift, token [often a love-token]

I did upbraid her and fall out with her,

For she his hairy temples then had rounded
round (v.) 1 ring, encircle, surround

With a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers.
coronet (n.) 2 garland, wreath, circlet [of flowers, etc]

And that same dew which sometime on the buds
sometime (adv.) 1 formerly, at one time, once

Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
orient (adj.) 1 lustrous, brilliant, bright
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

Stood now within the pretty flowerets' eyes
floweret (n.) small flower

Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.

When I had at my pleasure taunted her,

And she in mild terms begged my patience,

I then did ask of her her changeling child,
changeling (n./adj.) 1 child taken by fairies, stolen child

Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

To bear him to my bower in Fairyland.

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,
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow

That, he awaking when the other do,

May all to Athens back again repair
repair (v.) 1 come, go, make one's way

And think no more of this night's accidents
accident (n.) 1 occurrence, event, happening

But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
fierce (adj.) 2 wild, lively, violent
vexation (n.) 1 agitation, disturbance, turmoil

But first I will release the Fairy Queen.

(to Titania)
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

Be as thou wast wont to be;

See as thou wast wont to see.

Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower

Hath such force and blessed power.

Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweet Queen!



My Oberon, what visions have I seen!

Methought I was enamoured of an ass.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


There lies your love.


                         How came these things to pass?

O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
visage (n.) 1 face, countenance See Topics: Frequency count


Silence awhile! Robin, take off this head.

Titania, music call, and strike more dead

Than common sleep of all these five the sense.


Music, ho! Music such as charmeth sleep.
charm (v.) 2 produce, bring, cause [as by magic]


(to Bottom, removing the ass's head)

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


Sound, music! (Music) Come, my Queen, take hands with me,

And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.

They dance

Now thou and I are new in amity,

And will tomorrow midnight solemnly
solemnly (adv.) ceremoniously, with ritual celebration

Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
triumphantly (adv.) as in a festive pageant, with great celebration

And bless it to all fair prosperity.

There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be

Wedded with Theseus all in jollity.


Fairy king, attend, and mark:
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

I do hear the morning lark.


Then, my queen, in silence sad,
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Trip we after night's shade.

We the globe can compass soon,
compass (v.) 6 go around, orbit, make a circuit of

Swifter than the wandering moon.
wandering (adj.) 1 [astrology] having its own motion


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.

Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and Puck

Horns sound. Enter Theseus with Hippolyta, Egeus,

and all his train


Go, one of you; find out the forester;

For now our observation is performed.
observation (n.) 1 observance, rite, customary practice

And since we have the vaward of the day,
vaward (n.) 2 foremost part, front line, vanguard

My love shall hear the music of my hounds.

Uncouple in the western valley; let them go.
uncouple (v.) release pairs of hunting dogs for the chase

Dispatch, I say, and find the forester.
dispatch, despatch (v.) 4 hurry up, be quick

Exit an Attendant

We will, fair Queen, up to the mountain's top,

And mark the musical confusion
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Of hounds and echo in conjunction.


I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,

When in a wood of Crete they bayed the bear
bay (v.) 1 bring to bay, drive to a last stand

With hounds of Sparta. Never did I hear

Such gallant chiding, for besides the groves,
chiding (n.) 2 barking, brawling, angry noise

The skies, the fountains, every region near

Seemed all one mutual cry. I never heard
mutual (adj.) 1 common, general, omnipresent

So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.


My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind;
kind (n.) 5 breed, lineage, stock, family

So flewed, so sanded; and their heads are hung
flewed (adj.) with large cheek folds [flews], chapped
sanded (adj.) sandy-coloured

With ears that sweep away the morning dew;

Crook-kneed, and dewlapped like Thessalian bulls;
dewlapped (adj.) with folds of loose skin around the throat

Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bells,

Each under each. A cry more tuneable
cry (n.) 1 company, pack [as of hounds]
tuneable (adj.) tuneful, musical, melodious

Was never hallooed to nor cheered with horn
cheer (v.) encourage, urge on, galvanize

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.

Judge when you hear.

He sees the sleepers
nymph (n.) beauty, damsel, siren

                         But soft, what nymphs are these?


My lord, this is my daughter here asleep,

And this Lysander; this Demetrius is,

This Helena – old Nedar's Helena.

I wonder of their being here together.


No doubt they rose up early to observe

The rite of May, and hearing our intent
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

Came here in grace of our solemnity.
grace (n.) 1 honour, favour, recognition, respect
solemnity (n.) 1 celebration, jubilation, festivity

But speak, Egeus: is not this the day

That Hermia should give answer of her choice?


It is, my lord.


Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.

Horns sound; the lovers wake; shout within; the

lovers start up

Good morrow, friends – Saint Valentine is past!
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

Begin these woodbirds but to couple now?


Pardon, my lord.


                         I pray you all, stand up.

I know you two are rival enemies.

How comes this gentle concord in the world,
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence

That hatred is so far from jealousy
jealousy (n.) 1 suspicion, mistrust, apprehension

To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?


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 – for truly would I speak –

And now do I bethink me, so it is:
bethink (v.), past form bethought 1 call to mind, think about, consider, reflect See Topics: Frequency count

I came with Hermia hither. Our intent

Was to be gone from Athens where we might

Without the peril of the Athenian law...


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 –
defeat (v.) 2 frustrate, bring to nought

You of your wife, and me of my consent –

Of my consent that she should be your wife.


My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,

Of this their purpose hither to this wood,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

And I in fury hither followed them,

Fair Helena in fancy following me.
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation

But, my good lord – I wot not by what power,
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

But by some power it is – my love to Hermia,

Melted as the snow, seems to me now

As the remembrance of an idle gaud
gaud (n.) gaudy toy, showy plaything, trinket
idle (adj.) 1 useless, barren, worthless
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

Which in my childhood I did dote upon;

And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
virtue (n.) 2 essence, heart, soul

The object and the pleasure of mine eye,

Is only Helena. To her, my lord,

Was I betrothed ere I saw Hermia;

But like in sickness did I loathe this food.

But, as in health come to my natural taste,

Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,

And will for evermore be true to it.


Fair lovers, you are fortunately met.

Of this discourse we more will hear anon.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

Egeus, I will overbear your will;
overbear (v.) 2 overrule, overcome, put down

For in the temple by and by with us

These couples shall eternally be knit.

And – for the morning now is something worn –
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.

Away with us to Athens. Three and three,

We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.
solemnity (n.) 1 celebration, jubilation, festivity

Come, Hippolyta.

Exit Theseus with Hippolyta, Egeus, and his train


These things seem small and undistinguishable,
undistinguishable (adj.) unrecognizable, undetectable, impossible to pick out

Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.


Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
parted (adj.) 1 divided, unfocused, indistinct

When everything seems double.


                         So methinks,

And I have found Demetrius, like a jewel,

Mine own and not mine own.


                         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?


Yea, and my father.


                         And Hippolyta.


And he did bid us follow to the temple.


Why, then, we are awake. Let's follow him,

And by the way let's recount our dreams.

Exeunt Demetrius, Helena, Lysander, and Hermia

Bottom wakes


When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer.

My next is ‘ Most fair Pyramus.’ Heigh ho! Peter

Quince! Flute the bellows-mender! Snout the tinker!

Starveling! God's my life – stolen hence and left me

asleep! – I have had a most rare vision. I have had a

dream past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream. Methought
go about (v.) 1 endeavour, set to work, start trying

I was – there is no man can tell what. Methought
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

I was – and methought I had – but man is but a patched
patched (adj.) wearing a patchwork costume, multi-coloured

fool if he will offer to say what methought I had. The
fool (n.) 4 [professional] clown, jester

eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen,

man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive,
conceive (v.) 1 understand, comprehend, follow

nor his heart to report what my dream was! I will get

Peter Quince to 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.

Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing
gracious (adj.) 9 delightful, lovely, charming
peradventure (adv.) perhaps, maybe, very likely See Topics: Frequency count

it at her death.


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