A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Exit ROBIN
ROBIN exits.

OBERON

  Having once this juice,
I’ll watch Titania when she is asleep
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
The next thing then she waking looks upon—
165Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey or on busy ape—
She shall pursue it with the soul of love.
And ere I take this charm from of her sight—
As I can take it with another herb—
170I’ll make her render up her page to me.
But who comes here? I am invisible.
And I will overhear their conference.

OBERON

When I have the juice of that flower, I’ll trickle some drops of it on Titania’s eyes while she’s sleeping. She’ll fall madly in love with the first thing she sees when she wakes up—even if it’s a lion, a bear, a wolf, a bull, a monkey, or an ape. And before I make her normal again—I can cure her by treating her with another plant—I’ll make her give me that little boy as my page. But who’s that coming this way? I’ll make myself invisible and listen to their conversation.
Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him
DEMETRIUS enters, followed by HELENA.

DEMETRIUS

I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
175The one I’ll stay, the other stayeth me.
Thou told’st me they were stol'n unto this wood.
And here am I, and wood within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

DEMETRIUS

Look, I don’t love you, so stop following me around. Where are Lysander and beautiful Hermia? Lysander I want to stop, but Hermia stops my heart from beating. You told me they escaped into this forest. And here I am, going crazy in the middle of the woods because I can’t find my Hermia. Go away, get out of here, and stop following me.

HELENA

180You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant.
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as steel. Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.

HELENA

You attract me to you, you cruel magnet! But you must not attract iron, because my heart is as true as steel. If you let go of your power to attract me, I won’t have any power to follow you.

DEMETRIUS

Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
185Or rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you I do not, nor I cannot, love you?

DEMETRIUS

Do I ask you to follow me? Do I speak to you kindly? Don’t I tell you in the clearest terms that I do not and cannot love you?