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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 5

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OBERON

Do you amend it then. It lies in you.
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
105I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman.

OBERON

Do something about it, then. You have the power to fix it. Why would Titania want to argue with her Oberon? All I’m asking for is to have that little human boy as part of my crew.

TITANIA

  Set your heart at rest.
The Fairyland buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order,
And in the spicèd Indian air by night
110Full often hath she gossiped by my side,
And sat with me on Neptune’s yellow sands,
Marking th' embarkèd traders on the flood,
When we have laughed to see the sails conceive
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
115Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
Following—her womb then rich with my young squire—
Would imitate, and sail upon the land
To fetch me trifles and return again
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
120But she, being mortal, of that boy did die.
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.

TITANIA

Get over it. I won’t give up this child for all of Fairyland. His mother was one of my worshippers, and we always used to gossip together at night in India, sitting together by the ocean and watching the merchant ships sailing on the ocean. We used to laugh to see the sails fill up with wind so that they looked like they had big, pregnant bellies, as if the wind had gotten them pregnant. She would imitate them—since she was already pregnant with the little boy—and she would go sailing over the land herself to go get me little presents, and come back carrying gifts like she was a ship coming back from a voyage. But since she was a mortal, she died giving birth to that boy, and for her sake I’m raising him and will not give him up.

OBERON

How long within this wood intend you stay?

OBERON

How long do you plan to stay here in this forest?

TITANIA

Perchance till after Theseus' wedding day.
125If you will patiently dance in our round
And see our moonlight revels, go with us.
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

TITANIA

Maybe until after Theseus’s wedding day. If you behave yourself and join us in our circle dance and moonlight celebrations, then you can come with us. If not, leave me alone, and I’ll stay away from your turf.

OBERON

Give me that boy and I will go with thee.

OBERON

Give me that boy and I’ll come with you.

TITANIA

Not for thy fairy kingdom.—Fairies, away!
130We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.

TITANIA

Not for your entire fairy kingdom.—Come, fairies, let’s go. We’re going to have an out-and-out brawl if I stay any longer.
Exeunt TITANIA and her train
TITANIA and her FAIRIES exit.