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A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act IV, Scene 2

8 annotations

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Act IV, Scene 2

Athens. A room in Quince’s house.

The mechanicals lament Bottom's disappearance, and assume their play cannot go forward. Bottom shows up and tells them he has wondrous tales to tell, but cannot tell them right away. They all scatter to get ready for the play.
  1. Enter Quince, Flute, Thisbe and the rabble.
    Mar 31, 2019 Miko
    In this stage direction from the First Quarto, somebody seems to have forgotten that Flute and Thisbe are the same person.

Quince

1 - 2
  1. Have you sent to Bottom’s house? Is he come
  2. home yet?

Starveling

3 - 4
  1. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is
  2. transported.
    Apr 25, 2019 Miko
    dead

Flute

5 - 6
  1. If he come not, then the play is marr’d. It goes
  2. not forward, doth it?

Quince

7 - 8
  1. It is not possible. You have not a man in all
  2. Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.

Flute

9 - 10
  1. No, he hath simply the best wit of any
  2. handicraft man in Athens.

Quince

11 - 12
  1. Yea, and the best person too; and he is a very
  2. paramour for a sweet voice.
    Apr 1, 2019 Miko
    love or sexual desire

Flute

13 - 14
  1. You must say paragon.” A paramour is (God
  2. bless us!) a thing of naught.
    Mar 31, 2019 Miko
    Evil. Some modern editions keep the original spelling of “nought”.
  1. Enter Snug the joiner.

Snug

15 - 18
  1. Masters, the Duke is coming from the temple,
  2. and there is two or three lords and ladies more
  3. married. If our sport had gone forward, we had
  4. all been made men.

Flute

19 - 25
  1. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost
  2. sixpence a day during his life; he could not
    Apr 1, 2019 Miko
    In Elizabethan times, craftsmen earned about sixpence a day. A sixpence was worth six pennies.
  3. have scaped sixpence a day. And the Duke had
  4. not given him sixpence a day for playing
  5. Pyramus, I’ll be hang’d. He would have
  6. deserv’d it. Sixpence a day in Pyramus, or
  7. nothing.
  1. Enter Bottom.

Bottom

26 - 27
  1. Where are these lads? Where are these
  2. hearts?
    Mar 31, 2019 Miko
    Good fellows. The First Quarto reads “harts”, the First Folio reads “hearts”. Modern editions follow the First Folio.

Quince

28 - 29
  1. Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy
  2. hour!

Bottom

30 - 32
  1. Masters, I am to discourse wonders; but ask me
  2. not what; for if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I
  3. will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.

Quince

33
  1. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bottom

34 - 46
  1. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that
  2. the Duke hath din’d. Get your apparel together,
  3. good strings to your beards, new ribands
    Mar 31, 2019 Miko
    Strings to tie on false beards. Remember that in Act I, Scene 2, Bottom ponders what color beard he should wear.
  4. to your pumps; meet presently at the palace;
    Mar 31, 2019 Miko
    Ribbons for your shoes. Some modern editions do change the word to “ribbons”.
  5. every man look o’er his part; for the short and
  6. the long is, our play is preferr’d. In any case, let
  7. Thisbe have clean linen; and let not him that
  8. plays the lion pare his nails, for they shall hang
  9. out for the lion’s claws. And, most dear actors,
  10. eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter
  11. sweet breath; and I do not doubt but to hear
  12. them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words.
  13. Away, go, away!
  1. Exeunt.
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