list of parts
THESEUS, Duke of Athens
HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus
EGEUS, an Athenian courtier, father to Hermia
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia
HERMIA, in love with Lysander, but ordered by her father to marry Demetrius
DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia, though once a suitor to Helena
HELENA, in love with Demetrius
Peter QUINCE, a carpenter and leader of an amateur dramatic group, who speaks the PROLOGUE to their play
Nick BOTTOM, a weaver, who plays PYRAMUS in the amateur play
Francis FLUTE, a bellows-mender, who plays THISBE in the amateur play
SNUG, a joiner, who plays a LION in the amateur play
Tom SNOUT, a tinker, who plays a WALL in the amateur play
Robin STARVELING, a tailor, who plays MOONSHINE in the amateur play
OBERON, King of Fairies
TITANIA, Queen of Fairies
ROBIN Goodfellow, also known as Puck, a sprite in the service of Oberon
PHILOSTRATE, an official in Theseus' court
Other Attendants at the court of Theseus; other Fairies attendant upon Oberon
Act 1 [Scene 1] running scene 1
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, with others [Philostrate and attendants]
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; she lingers my desires,
Like to a stepdame or a dowager
Long withering out a young man's revenue.
HIPPOLYTA Four days will quickly steep themselves in
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.
THESEUS 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 revelling.
Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, Lysander and Demetrius
EGEUS Happy be Theseus, our renownèd duke.
THESEUS Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee?
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 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.
THESEUS 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
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.
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.
HERMIA I would my father looked but with my eyes.
THESEUS Rather your eyes must with his judgement l