A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

I must confess that I have heard so much
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof,
But being overfull of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it.—But, Demetrius, come.
115And come, Egeus. You shall go with me.
I have some private schooling for you both.—
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
To fit your fancies to your father’s will,
Or else the law of Athens yields you up
120(Which by no means we may extenuate)
To death, or to a vow of single life.—
Come, my Hippolyta. What cheer, my love?—
Demetrius and Egeus, go along.
I must employ you in some business
125Against our nuptial and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
I have to admit I’ve heard something about that, and meant to ask Demetrius about it, but I was too busy with personal matters and it slipped my mind.—Anyway, Demetrius and Egeus, both of you, come with me. I want to say a few things to you in private.—As for you, beautiful Hermia, get ready to do what your father wants, because otherwise the law says that you must die or become a nun, and there’s nothing I can do about that.—Come with me, Hippolyta. How are you, my love?—Demetrius and Egeus, come with us. I want you to do some things for our wedding, and I also want to discuss something that concerns you both.
With duty and desire we follow you.
We’re following you not only because it is our duty, but also because we want to.
Exeunt. Manent LYSANDER and HERMIA
They all exit except LYSANDER and HERMIA.
How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the roses there do fade so fast?
What’s going on, my love? Why are you so pale? Why have your rosy cheeks faded so quickly?
130Belike for want of rain, which I could well
Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.
Probably because my cheeks' roses needed rain, which I could easily give them with all the tears in my eyes.
Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth.
135But either it was different in blood—
Oh, honey! Listen, in books they say that true love always faces obstacles. Either the lovers have different social standings—