A Midsummer Night’s Dream

genre comedy
“green world” Shakespeare’s comedies include an alternative space outside of society
“once I sat upon a promontory, And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath That the rude sea grew civil at her songAnd certain stars shot madly from their spheres, To hear the sea-maid’s music.” Oberon, to puck after he and Titania have the conversation about the changeling boy
Chaucer’s “Knight’s Tale” Theseus deals with two knights who compete for the same woman’s love
Robin Goodfellow Puck
Edmund Spencer’s “The Faerie Queene” background source
“And stolen the impression of her fantasy” Egeus, Act 1 when discussing Lysander and Hermia’s love to Theseus
“Turn’d her obedience, which is due to me,To stubborn harshness” Egeus, Act 1 when discussing Lysander and Hermia’s love to Theseus
“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.” Egeus, Act 1 when discussing Lysander and Hermia’s love to Theseus
“To you your father should be as a god” Theseus to Hermia about her father’s plea
“whom you are but as a form in waxBy him imprinted and within his powerTo leave the figure or disfigure it.” Theseus to Hermia about her father’s plea
“I would my father look’d but with my eyes” Hermia to Theseus about her father’s inability to understand why she doesn’t want to marry Demetrius
“your eyes must with his judgment look.” Theseus to Hermia about her father’s inability to understand why she doesn’t want to marry Demetrius
“I do entreat your grace to pardon me.I know not by what power I am made bold” Hermia about her father’s inability to understand why she doesn’t want to marry Demetrius
“Either to die the death or to abjureFor ever the society of men.””You can endure the livery of a nun,””Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon””Than that which withering on the virgin thorn Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.” Theseus’s speech to Hermia about her disobedience to her father
“Or on Diana’s altar to protestFor aye austerity and single life.” Theseus during the conversation about Hermia’s marriage to Demetrius
“Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry, Upon this spotted and inconstant man” Lysander about Helena’s love for Demetrius
“To fit your fancies to your father’s will” Theseus about Hermia’s need to either marry Demetrius or die/become a nun
“O hell! to choose love by another’s eyes” Hermia to Lysander about Theseus’s decision
“When thou hast stolen away from fairy land, And in the shape of Corin sat all day,Playing on pipes of corn and versing loveTo amorous Phillida. Why art thou here, Come from the farthest step of India?But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,Your buskin’d mistress and your warrior love,” Titania to Oberon, their fight about the other’s relationships and the changeling boy
“And this same progeny of evils comesFrom our debate, from our dissension;We are their parents and original.” Titania to Oberon, their fight about the other’s relationships and the changeling boy
“Do you amend it then; it lies in you: Why should Titania cross her Oberon? I do but beg a little changeling boy,To be my henchman.” Oberon to Titania, their fight about the other’s relationships and the changeling boy
“Set your heart at rest:The fairy land buys not the child of me.His mother was a votaress of my order:And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,Full often hath she gossip’d by my side,And sat with me on Neptune’s yellow sands,Marking the embarked traders on the flood,When we have laugh’d to see the sails conceiveAnd grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait Following,–her womb then rich with my young squire,– Would imitate, and sail upon the land,To fetch me trifles, and return again,As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;And for her sake do I rear up her boy,And for her sake I will not part with him.” Titania’s description of the relationship she had with the changeling boy’s mother
“Because that she as her attendant hathA lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;She never had so sweet a changeling;And jealous Oberon would have the childKnight of his train, to trace the forests wild;But she perforce withholds the loved boy,Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy:” Puck, sets the scene before the fight between Titania and Oberon in Act II
“The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me, Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave, Unworthy as I am, to follow you.” Helena’s plead to Demetrius before he goes to look for Hermia in the wood
“Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit” Demetrius to Helena in regards to her plead for his love before he goes into the wood
“You do impeach your modesty too much, To leave the city and commit yourself Into the hands of one that loves you not; To trust the opportunity of night And the ill counsel of a desert place With the rich worth of your virginity.””But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.” Demetrius to Helena in regards to her plead for his love before he goes into the wood
“I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit So that but one heart we can make of it” Lysander to Hermia when they have first gotten to the wood
“To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!””Methought a serpent ate my heart away,And you sat smiling at his cruel pray.””Either death or you I’ll find immediately” Hermia’s description of her dream
“Seeking sweet favours from this hateful fool,I did upbraid her and fall out with her;For she his hairy temples then had rounded With a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers; And that same dew, which sometime on the buds Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls, Stood now within the pretty flowerets’ eyesLike tears that did their own disgrace bewail.” Oberon about Titania’s strange behavior with Bottom and the handing over of the changeling boy due to her being under the spell
“Methought I was enamour’d of an ass.””O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!” Titania when she comes out of the spell and realizes what happened
“My love shall hear the music of my hounds.””And mark the musical confusion Of hounds and echo in conjunction.” Theseus to Hipployta on their wedding day
“I was with Hercules and Cadmus once, When in a wood of Crete they bay’d the bear With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear Such gallant chiding: for, besides the groves, The skies, the fountains, every region near Seem’d all one mutual cry: I never heard So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.” Hipployta in response to Theseus bragging about his hounds
“My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,So flew’d, so sanded, and their heads are hungWith ears that sweep away the morning dew; Crook-knee’d, and dew-lapp’d like Thessalian bulls; Slow in pursuit, but match’d in mouth like bells, Each under each. A cry more tuneableWas never holla’d to, nor cheer’d with horn,In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:Judge when you hear.” Theseus to Hipployta on their wedding day
“The object and the pleasure of mine eye,Is only Helena” Demetrius at the end of the play
“Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:Of this discourse we more will hear anon. Egeus, I will overbear your will;For in the temple by and by with usThese couples shall eternally be knit:” Theseus in regards to the fact that the love triangle worked itself out
“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,Such shaping fantasies, that apprehendMore than cool reason ever comprehends.The lunatic, the lover and the poet” Hippolyta at the end of the play about the new couples
“The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And as imagination bodies forthThe forms of things unknown, the poet’s penTurns them to shapes and gives to airy nothingA local habitation and a name.” Hippolyta at the end of the play about the new couples
“But all the story of the night told over,And all their minds transfigured so together, More witnesseth than fancy’s images” Hippolyta at the end of the play about the new couples
“The 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, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.” Bottom, when he awakes from the spell at the end of the play
“How shall we find the concord of this discord?” Theseus when he is deciding what play should be performed at the wedding ceremony

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