A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare
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A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare c. 1595 or 1596. The play is set in Athens, and consists of several subplots that revolve around the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta. One subplot involves a conflict between four Athenian lovers. Another follows a group of six amateur actors rehearsing the play which they are to perform before the wedding. Both groups find themselves in a forest inhabited by fairies who manipulate the humans and are engaged in their own domestic intrigue. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular and is widely performed.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Dramatis Personæ

THESEUS, Duke of Athens
EGEUS, Father to Hermia
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia
DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia
PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus

QUINCE, the Carpenter
SNUG, the Joiner
BOTTOM, the Weaver
FLUTE, the Bellows-mender
SNOUT, the Tinker
STARVELING, the Tailor

OBERON, King of the Fairies
TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies
MOTH, Fairy

HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, bethrothed to Theseus
HERMIA, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander
HELENA, in love with Demetrius

PYRAMUS, THISBE, WALL, MOONSHINE, LION; Characters in the Interlude performed by the Clowns

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta

Scene: Athens, and a Wood Not Far from It

Act I

Scene I.
Athens. A Room in the Palace of Theseus

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate and Attendants.

Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon; but oh, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame 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.

[Exit Philostrate.]

Hippolyta, I woo’d 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, Hermia, Lysander and Demetrius.

Happy be Theseus, our renownèd Duke!

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