A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Important Quotations Explained

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

Puck makes this declaration in his amazement at the ludicrous behavior of the young Athenians (III.ii.115). This line is one of the most famous in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for its pithy humor, but it is also thematically important: first, because it captures the exaggerated silliness of the lovers’ behavior; second, because it marks the contrast between the human lovers, completely absorbed in their emotions, and the magical fairies, impish and never too serious.