A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Important Quotations Explained

3
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.