A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 10

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If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
245You would not make me such an argument.
But fare ye well. 'Tis partly my own fault,
Which death or absence soon shall remedy.
If you had any sense of pity, or manners, you wouldn’t pretend to fight over me like this. But goodbye. It’s partly my own fault, since I followed you here. Leaving—or dying—will soon take care of everything.

LYSANDER

Stay, gentle Helena. Hear my excuse.
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!

LYSANDER

Stay, lovely Helena. Listen to my excuse. My love, my life, my soul, beautiful Helena!

HELENA

250Oh, excellent!

HELENA

That’s a good one.

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER)
  Sweet, do not scorn her so.

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER) Don’t insult her like that, Lysander darling.

DEMETRIUS

If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

DEMETRIUS

(to LYSANDER) If Hermia’s begging can’t make you stop insulting Helena, I can force you to do so.

LYSANDER

Thou canst compel no more than she entreat.
Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.—
255Helen, I love thee. By my life, I do.
I swear by that which I will lose for thee
To prove him false that says I love thee not.

LYSANDER

You can’t force me any more than Hermia can beg me. Your threats are no stronger than her whining.—Helena, I love you. I swear I do. I’ll give my life for you, just to prove this guy wrong when he says I don’t love you.

DEMETRIUS

I say I love thee more than he can do.

DEMETRIUS

I say that I love you more than he does.

LYSANDER

If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too.

LYSANDER

If that’s what you say, go fight a duel with me and prove it.

DEMETRIUS

260Quick, come.

DEMETRIUS

You’re on. Let’s do it.

HERMIA

  Lysander, whereto tends all this?

HERMIA

Lysander, where are you going with all this?
(holds LYSANDER back)
(she holds LYSANDER back)

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Away, you Ethiope!

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Get away, you African!

DEMETRIUS

(to HERMIA)
    No, no. He’ll
Seem to break loose.

DEMETRIUS

(to HERMIA) No, no. He’ll act like he’s going to break free from you, Hermia.