A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

HERMIA
A privilege never to see me more.
80And from thy hated presence part I so.
See me no more, whether he be dead or no.
HERMIA
The privilege of never seeing me again. And now I’m going to leave your despised company. You’ll never see me again, whether or not he’s dead.
Exit HERMIA
HERMIA exits.
DEMETRIUS
There is no following her in this fierce vein.
Here therefore for a while I will remain.
So sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow
85For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe,
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.
(lies down and sleeps)
DEMETRIUS
I can’t go after her when she’s in a rage like this. So I’ll stay here for a while. Sadness gets worse when you haven’t had enough sleep. I’ll try to sleep a little here. ( DEMETRIUS lies down and falls asleep)
OBERON
(to ROBIN) What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite,
90And laid the love juice on some true love’s sight.
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Some true love turned, and not a false turned true.
OBERON
(to ROBIN) What have you done? You’ve made a mistake and put the love-juice on someone else, someone who was truly in love. Because of your mistake someone’s true love must have turned bad, instead of this man’s false love being turned into a true love.
ROBIN
Then fate o'errules that, one man holding troth,
A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
ROBIN
In that case, it must be fate. That’s the way of the world. For every man who’s faithful to his true love, a million end up running after a different lover.
OBERON
95About the wood go swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou find—
All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear.
By some illusion see thou bring her here.
100I’ll charm his eyes against she do appear.
OBERON
Go around the forest, moving faster than the wind, and make sure you find Helena of Athens.—She’s lovesick, and her face is pale from all the sighing she’s been doing, because sighing is bad for the blood. Bring her here with some trick or illusion, and I’ll put the charm on his eyes for when she comes.
ROBIN
I go, I go. Look how I go,
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar’s bow.
ROBIN
I go, I go, look at me go—faster than an arrow from a

Tartar’s

The Tartars were a people from Asia Minor famous for their archery

Tartar’s
bow.
Exit ROBIN
ROBIN exits