A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Be as thou wast wont to be.
55See as thou wast wont to see.
Dian’s bud o'er Cupid’s flower
Hath such force and blessèd power.
Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweet queen.
Be like you used to be, and see like you used to see. This bud belongs to Diana, the goddess of virginity, and it has the power to undo the effects of Cupid’s flower. Now, Titania, wake up, my sweet queen.
(waking) My Oberon, what visions have I seen!
60Methought I was enamored of an ass.
(waking up) Oberon, I’ve had such a strange dream! I dreamed I was in love with an ass.
There lies your love.
There’s your boyfriend, sleeping right over there.
    How came these things to pass?
Oh, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
How did this happen? Oh, I hate looking at his face now!
Silence awhile.—Robin, take off this head.—
Titania, music call, and strike more dead
65Than common sleep of all these five the sense.
Be quiet for a while.—Robin, take off his donkey head.—Titania, get the fairies to play some music, and make these five people sleep more soundly than humans have ever slept before.
Music, ho! Music such as charmeth sleep!
Music! Play the kind of music that puts people to sleep.
The music plays.
(taking the ass’s head off BOTTOM)
Now when thou wakest, with thine own fool’s eyes peep.
(removing the ass’s head from BOTTOM) When you wake up, see things with your own foolish eyes again.
Sound, music!—Come, my queen, take hands with me,
70And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
(dances with TITANIA)
Now thou and I are new in amity,
And will tomorrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
75And bless it to all fair prosperity.
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
Play the music.—Take my hands, my queen, and we’ll lull these people to sleep with our soft dancing. (he dances with TITANIA) Now that you and I are friends again, we can dance for Duke Theseus tomorrow at midnight, and bless his marriage and his marriage bed. These other lovers will get married alongside him, and they’ll all be in high spirits.