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A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act V, Scene 1

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Act V, Scene 1

Scene 1

Athens. A room in the palace of Theseus.

After the weddings of Theseus, Hippolyta, and the four lovers, they gather for a celebration. Theseus and and Hippolyta discuss the bizarre story the lovers have told. Theseus is offered several choices for entertainment, and he chooses the mechanicals' play. In the play, Pyramus and Thisbe are in love but are divided by a wall constructed by their parents, Through a chink in the wall they agree to sneak away to meet. By moonlight, Thisbe sees a lion and runs, leaving behind her shawl. Pyramus sees the lion and the shawl and thinks Thisbe is dead and so kills himself. Thisbe then finds Pyramus dead and kills herself. When the play is ended, the newlyweds retire to bed for the night. The fairies have a song and dance and make plans to bless the marital beds. Robin gives a final epilogue.
  1. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, and Philostrate,
  2. Lords, and Attendants.

Hippolyta

1
  1. ’Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.

Theseus

2 - 22
  1. More strange than true. I never may believe
  2. These antic fables, nor these fairy toys.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Bizarre. The First Quarto spells this word "antique", which some modern editions follow. In that case the meaning could be that these are old-fashioned tales.
    Apr 1, 2019 Miko
    fantastical tales
  3. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
  4. Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
  5. More than cool reason ever comprehends.
  6. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
  7. Are of imagination all compact.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    are made up entirely of imagination
  8. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
  9. That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
  10. Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt.
    Apr 1, 2019 Miko
    In another racist comparison, Theseus marvels that a lover can see beauty in someone with a dark complexion. Helen is Helen of Troy, the mythical most beautiful woman in the world. Egypt refers to a gypsy.
  11. The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
  12. Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
  13. And as imagination bodies forth
  14. The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
  15. Turns them to shapes, and gives to aery nothing
    Jul 9, 2020 Miko
    imaginary
  16. A local habitation and a name.
  17. Such tricks hath strong imagination,
  18. That if it would but apprehend some joy,
  19. It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Theseus is saying that if the mind finds some joy in something fanciful, then the mind will find a reason ("comprehends some bringer") to believe it.
  20. Or in the night, imagining some fear,
  21. How easy is a bush suppos’d a bear?
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Many modern editions end this sentence with an exclamation point, but both the First Quarto and First Folio end it with a question mark.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    At night when you're afraid, it's easy to see a bush but think it's a bear.

Hippolyta

23 - 27
  1. But all the story of the night told over,
  2. And all their minds transfigur’d so together,
  3. More witnesseth than fancy’s images,
    Apr 1, 2019 Miko
    Hippolyta points out that because the lovers' stories agree with each other, there might be some truth to the stories.
  4. And grows to something of great constancy;
    Mar 4, 2019 Miko
    certainty
  5. But howsoever, strange and admirable.
    Apr 1, 2019 Miko
    astonishing
  1. Enter lovers, Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia,
  2. and Helena.

Theseus

28 - 30
  1. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
  2. Joy, gentle friends, joy and fresh days of love
  3. Accompany your hearts!

Lysander

31 - 32
  1.                        More than to us
  2. Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Even more joy to you in your walks, meals, and bed.

Theseus

33 - 39
  1. Come now; what masques, what dances shall we have,
  2. To wear away this long age of three hours
  3. Between our after-supper and bed-time?
    Mar 2, 2019 Miko
    a meal taken late in the evening after the usual evening meal
  4. Where is our usual manager of mirth?
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Master of the Revels
  5. What revels are in hand? Is there no play
  6. To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
  7. Call Philostrate.

Philostrate

40
  1.                   Here, mighty Theseus.

Theseus

41 - 43
  1. Say, what abridgment have you for this evening?
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    What do you have to make the time go by more quickly?
  2. What masque? What music? How shall we beguile
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    courtly entertainment
  3. The lazy time, if not with some delight?
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    sluggish

Philostrate

44 - 45
  1. There is a brief how many sports are ripe.
    Mar 4, 2019 Miko
    list
  2. Make choice of which your Highness will see first.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    In the First Folio, Egeus is assigned many of the lines that are spoken by Philostrate in the First Quarto. Because those lines concern the festivities, it makes more sense to assign them to Philostrate, who is Master of the Revels.
  1. Giving a paper.

Theseus

46 - 62
  1. Reads.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    In the following lines, the First Folio has Lysander reading the potential events and Theseus commenting on them. In the First Quarto, which is followed here, Theseus speaks all the lines himself.
  2. The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Both Theseus and Hercules fought centaurs at various times in their lives.
  3. By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.”
  4. We’ll none of that: that have I told my love,
  5. In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
    Apr 3, 2019 Miko
    According to Plutarch, Theseus and Hercules were cousins. In most Greek mythology, however, they were not actually related.
  6. The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
  7. Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.”
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Orpheus (the "Thracian singer") was the greatest singer of Greek Mythology. He was torn to death in a feast honoring Bacchus (the god of wine) because Orpheus preferred the God Apollo.
  8. That is an old device; and it was play’d
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    That's an old story. Theseus is saying he's seen it produced before.
  9. When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
  10. The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
  11. Of Learning, late deceas’d in beggary.”
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    The nine muses were Greek and Roman Goddesses of art. This title is probably a reference to Edmund Spenser's "The Teares of the Muses", published in 1593. Whether or not Shakespeare was complimenting or parodying Spenser is a subject of debate.
  12. That is some satire, keen and critical,
  13. Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
    Apr 24, 2019 Miko
    appropriate
  14. A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
  15. And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.”
  16. Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
  17. That is hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
  18. How shall we find the concord of this discord?

Philostrate

63 - 72
  1. A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
  2. Which is as brief as I have known a play;
  3. But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
  4. Which makes it tedious; for in all the play
  5. There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
  6. And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
  7. For Pyramus therein doth kill himself;
  8. Which when I saw rehears’d, I must confess,
  9. Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
  10. The passion of loud laughter never shed.

Theseus

73
  1. What are they that do play it?

Philostrate

74 - 77
  1. Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    rough hands from manual labor
  2. Which never labor’d in their minds till now;
  3. And now have toiled their unbreathed memories
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    labored their unexercised minds
  4. With this same play, against your nuptial.

Theseus

78
  1. And we will hear it.

Philostrate

79 - 84
  1.                      No, my noble lord,
  2. It is not for you. I have heard it over,
  3. And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
  4. Unless you can find sport in their intents,
  5. Extremely stretch’d, and conn’d with cruel pain,
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    learned with great difficulty
  6. To do you service.

Theseus

85 - 88
  1.                    I will hear that play;
  2. For never any thing can be amiss,
  3. When simpleness and duty tender it.
  4. Go bring them in; and take your places, ladies.
  1. Exit Philostrate.

Hippolyta

89 - 90
  1. I love not to see wretchedness o’ercharged,
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    "Wretchedness" is variously explained as incompetence, weakness, or social inferiority. In any case, Hippolyta means that she does not like to see someone whom she feels sorry for being overburdened.
  2. And duty in his service perishing.

Theseus

91
  1. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.

Hippolyta

92
  1. He says they can do nothing in this kind.

Theseus

93 - 109
  1. The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
  2. Our sport shall be to take what they mistake;
  3. And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
  4. Takes it in might, not merit.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Theseus is saying to judge the performance based on the performer's ability. Today we might say to give someone an "A for effort".
  5. Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    scholars, or possibly church officials
  6. To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
    Apr 23, 2019 Miko
    prepared
  7. Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
  8. Make periods in the midst of sentences,
  9. Throttle their practic’d accent in their fears,
    Apr 25, 2019 Miko
    cut short
  10. And in conclusion dumbly have broke off,
  11. Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
  12. Out of this silence yet I pick’d a welcome;
    Apr 23, 2019 Miko
    deduced
  13. And in the modesty of fearful duty
  14. I read as much as from the rattling tongue
  15. Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
  16. Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
  17. In least speak most, to my capacity.
  1. Enter Philostrate.

Philostrate

110
  1. So please your Grace, the Prologue is address’d.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    The person who will speak the prologue is ready. In this sense, the prologue is the person, not the speech. The First Folio assigns Quince as the prologue.

Theseus

111
  1. Let him approach.
  1. Flourish trumpet.
  1. Enter Quince for the Prologue.

Prologue

112 - 121
  1. If we offend, it is with our good will.
  2. That you should think, we come not to offend,
  3. But with good will. To show our simple skill,
  4. That is the true beginning of our end.
  5. Consider then, we come but in despite.
  6. We do not come, as minding to content you,
  7. Our true intent is. All for your delight
  8. We are not here. That you should here repent you,
  9. The actors are at hand; and, by their show,
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    This phrase probably indicates that the other actors will give a dumb show before the beginning of the play.
  10. You shall know all, that you are like to know.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    The humor in this speech is not in the words themselves but in the pauses created by the punctuation. For example, It sounds like Quince is saying "All for your delight we are not here."

Theseus

122
  1. This fellow doth not stand upon points.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    1) He doesn't bother with details. 2) He doesn't pause at the right places in his speech.

Lysander

123 - 125
  1. He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; he
    Apr 24, 2019 Miko
    untamed
  2. knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord: it is
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    A play on words. Quince recited the prologue with pauses in the wrong places. To "stop" a horse is to suddenly check its running.
  3. not enough to speak, but to speak true.

Hippolyta

126 - 128
  1. Indeed he hath play’d on this prologue like a
  2. child on a recordera sound, but not in
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    a flute-like musical instrument
  3. government.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    control

Theseus

129 - 130
  1. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    not at all
  2. impair’d, but all disorder’d. Who is next?
  1. Tawyer with a Trumpet before them. Enter
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    This stage direction from the First Folio specifically mentions William Tawyer, an actor and musician in Shakespeare's production company, as entering with a trumpet. That same direction is in the Second Folio, but was not in the First Quarto.
  2. Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and
  3. Lion.

Prologue

131 - 155
  1. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
  2. But wonder on till truth make all things plain.
  3. This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
  4. This beauteous lady Thisbe is certain.
  5. This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
  6. Wall, that vile Wall, which did these lovers sunder;
  7. And through Wall’s chink, poor souls, they are content
  8. To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
  9. This man, with lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Lantern. Lanterns were usually made of horns, hence the spelling of the word.
  10. Presenteth Moonshine; for if you will know,
    Mar 11, 2019 Miko
    The man in the moon with sticks and a dog is a figure in several folkloric traditions. The common origin of those stories is that many people see in the moon the figure of a man carrying sticks and accompanied by his dog.
  11. By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
  12. To meet at Ninus’ tomb, there, there to woo.
  13. This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    designated, named
  14. The trusty Thisbe, coming first by night,
  15. Did scare away, or rather did affright;
  16. And as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
  17. Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
  18. Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    brave or handsome
  19. And finds his trusty Thisbe’s mantle slain;
  20. Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
  21. He bravely broach’d his boiling bloody breast;
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    stabbed
  22. And Thisbe, tarrying in mulberry shade,
  23. His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
  24. Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
  25. At large discourse, while here they do remain.
  1. Exit with Pyramus, Thisbe, Lion, and
  2. Moonshine.

Theseus

156
  1. I wonder if the lion be to speak.

Demetrius

157 - 158
  1. No wonder, my lord; one lion may, when many
  2. asses do.

Wall

159 - 168
  1. In this same enterlude it doth befall
  2. That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
  3. And such a wall, as I would have you think,
  4. That had in it a crannied hole or chink,
  5. Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe,
  6. Did whisper often, very secretly.
  7. This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone doth show
  8. That I am that same wall; the truth is so;
  9. And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
    Jul 7, 2020 Miko
    left
  10. Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.

Theseus

169
  1. Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    two components in the mortar used to make walls

Demetrius

170 - 171
  1. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Demetrius makes a pun on two meanings of the word "partition". 1) A division such as a wall. 2) A part of Cicero's classic divisions of a speech: Exordium, Narration, Partition, Confirmation, Refutation, and Peroration.
  2. discourse, my lord.
  1. Enter Pyramus.

Theseus

172
  1. Pyramus draws near the wall. Silence!

Pyramus

173 - 184
  1. O grim-look’d night! O night with hue so black!
  2. O night, which ever art when day is not!
  3. O night, O night! Alack, alack, alack,
  4. I fear my Thisbe’s promise is forgot!
  5. And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
  6. That stand’st between her father’s ground and mine!
  7. Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
  8. Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
    Mar 4, 2019 Miko
    glance
  9. Thanks, courteous wall; Jove shield thee well for this!
  10. But what see I? No Thisbe do I see.
  11. O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!
  12. Curs’d be thy stones for thus deceiving me!
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Possibly playing on the vulgar use of "stones" to mean testicles, a joke which works if the wall's "chink" is Snout's crotch.

Theseus

185 - 186
  1. The wall methinks, being sensible, should
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Capable of feeling. Perhaps Pyramus hit the wall.
  2. curse again.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    curse back

Pyramus

187 - 190
  1. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me
  2. is Thisbe’s cue. She is to enter now, and I am
  3. to spy her through the wall. You shall see it will
  4. fall pat as I told you. Yonder she comes.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    happen exactly
  1. Enter Thisbe.

Thisbe

191 - 194
  1. O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
  2. For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
  3. My cherry lips have often kiss’d thy stones,
  4. Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    The First Quarto reads "knit now againe".

Pyramus

195 - 197
  1. I see a voice! Now will I to the chink,
  2. To spy and I can hear my Thisbe’s face.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    The First Quarto and First Folio have this word as "and". Some modern texts change it to "an". In either case it means "if".
  3. Thisbe?
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Some modern editions change this question mark to an exclamation point.

Thisbe

198
  1.         My love thou art, my love I think.

Pyramus

199 - 200
  1. Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover’s grace;
  2. And, like Limander, am I trusty still.

Thisbe

201
  1. And I, like Helen, till the Fates me kill.
    Mar 10, 2019 Miko
    The three mythological goddesses that control a person's destiny.

Pyramus

202
  1. Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.

Thisbe

203
  1. As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    In these lines, Pyramus and Thisbe get various love stories mixed up. Limander is probably meant to refer to Leander who drowned while swimming to his love, Hero. By Helen he might mean Hero, or he might mean Helen of Troy, who was not actually very trustworthy. Shafalus and Procrus are Cephalus and Procris, two other tragic lovers from Greek mythology. There is irony in comparing themselves to Cephalus and Procris, who were greatly distrusting of each other.

Pyramus

204
  1. O, kiss me through the hole of this vild wall!
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Vile or viled. The First Quarto has "vilde", the First Folio has "vile".

Thisbe

205
  1. I kiss the wall’s hole, not your lips at all.

Pyramus

206
  1. Wilt thou at Ninny’s tomb meet me straightway?
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Just as Flute did in Act III, scene 1, Bottom says "Ninny's" when he should have said "Ninus'".

Thisbe

207
  1. ’Tide life, ’tide death, I come without delay.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Whether life or death. "'Tide" is short for "betide".
  1. Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe.

Wall

208 - 209
  1. Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
  2. And being done, thus Wall away doth go.
  1. Exit.

Theseus

210 - 211
  1. Now is the moon used between the two
  2. neighbors.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    This line is significantly different between the First Quarto and the First Folio. The First Quarto has it as it is written here. The First Folio reads "Now is the morall downe betweene the two Neighbors." "Morall" is presumed to be "mural", a wall. The Folio's sentence makes a little more sense because in the next lines Demetrius refers to the wall. However, there is significant disagreement among scholars about which are the better words to use.

Demetrius

212 - 213
  1. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so willful to
  2. hear without warning.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Probably a reference to the proverb that "the walls have ears".

Hippolyta

214
  1. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.

Theseus

215 - 216
  1. The best in this kind are but shadows; and the
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    "Shadows" was sometimes used to mean actors; more generally it means "illusions". At the end of the play, Robin will use the word again with the same sense.
  2. worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.

Hippolyta

217
  1. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

Theseus

218 - 221
  1. If we imagine no worse of them than they of
  2. themselves, they may pass for excellent men.
  3. Here come two noble beasts in, a man and a
  4. lion.
  1. Enter Lion and Moonshine.

Lion

222 - 229
  1. You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
  2. The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    There is irony here that Snug says ladies are so frightful, even though the audience includes Hippolyta, the Amazon warrior queen.
  3. May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,
  4. When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
  5. Then know that I as Snug the joiner am
  6. A lion fell, nor else no lion’s dam,
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    This phrase could have one or both of two meanings. 1) A fierce lion - "fell" means fierce or savage. 2) Wearing a lion costume - "fell" is a term for an animal skin.
    Apr 7, 2019 Miko
    Snug seems to be assuring the audience that he is also not a lion's mother. Perhaps there is some joke here that a modern audience doesn't get.
  7. For, if I should, as lion, come in strife
  8. Into this place, ’twere pity on my life.

Theseus

230
  1. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.

Demetrius

231 - 232
  1. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e’er I
  2. saw.

Lysander

233
  1. This lion is a very fox for his valor.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Snug is smart, brave.

Theseus

234
  1. True; and a goose for his discretion.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    The goose was a symbol of foolishness.

Demetrius

235 - 236
  1. Not so, my lord; for his valor cannot carry his
  2. discretion, and the fox carries the goose.

Theseus

237 - 239
  1. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valor;
  2. for the goose carries not the fox. It is well; leave
  3. it to his discretion, and let us listen to the Moon.

Moonshine

240
  1. This lanthorn doth the horned moon present
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    crescent

Demetrius

241
  1. He should have worn the horns on his head.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    A joke based on the idea that cuckolds (men whose wives are cheating on them) supposedly grow horns on their heads. Elizabethans loved cuckold jokes.

Theseus

242 - 243
  1. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible
  2. within the circumference.

Moonshine

244 - 245
  1. This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;
  2. Myself the man i’ th’ moon do seem to be.

Theseus

246 - 248
  1. This is the greatest error of all the rest.
  2. The man should be put into the lanthorn. How
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Theseus is pointing out that the man-in-the-moon should be inside the lanthorn, not outside.
  3. is it else the man i’ th’ moon?

Demetrius

249 - 250
  1. He dares not come there for the candle; for, you
  2. see, it is already in snuff.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Demetrius plays on two meanings of "snuff". 1) Part of the candle wick that needs to be trimmed. 2) Angry. Perhaps Moonshine (Robin Starveling) is becoming impatient with the audience's interruptions. Notice that he starts his speech over after the first interruption. Furthermore, in the next line, Hippolyta says she is ready for Moonshine to leave.

Hippolyta

251 - 252
  1. I am a-weary of this moon. Would he would
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    The First Folio only has "wearie" without the "a".
  2. change!

Theseus

253 - 255
  1. It appears, by his small light of discretion, that
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Theseus seems to be calling Starveling stupid. His "small light of discretion" refers to both the candle and Starveling's intelligence.
  2. he is in the wane; but yet in courtesy,
  3. in all reason, we must stay the time.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    To be reasonable, we must wait for him to finish.

Lysander

256
  1. Proceed, Moon.

Moonshine

257 - 260
  1. All that I have to say is to tell you that the
  2. lanthorn is the moon, I the man i’ th’ moon, this
  3. thorn-bush my thorn-bush, and this dog my
  4. dog.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Starveling has apparently gotten so flustered that he's given up on reciting verse and simply describes himself in prose.

Demetrius

261 - 263
  1. Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for all
  2. these are in the moon. But silence! Here comes
  3. Thisbe.
  1. Enter Thisbe.

Thisbe

264
  1. This is old Ninny’s tomb. Where is my love?

Lion

265
  1. O!
  1. The Lion roars. Thisbe runs off.

Demetrius

266
  1. Well roar’d, Lion.

Theseus

267
  1. Well run, Thisbe.

Hippolyta

268 - 269
  1. Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with
  2. a good grace.

Theseus

270
  1. Well mous’d, Lion.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Lion shook the mantle like a cat shakes a mouse in its mouth.
  1. Enter Pyramus.

Demetrius

271
  1. And then came Pyramus.
  1. Exit Lion.

Lysander

272
  1. And so the lion vanish’d.

Pyramus

273 - 288
  1. Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
  2. I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;
  3. For by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
  4. I trust to take of truest Thisbe sight.
  5. But stay! O spite!
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    bad fortune
  6. But mark, poor knight,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    take notice
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    In this sense, a man devoted to the service of a lady.
  7. What dreadful dole is here!
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    sorrow
  8. Eyes, do you see?
  9. How can it be?
  10. O dainty duck! O dear!
    Mar 5, 2019 Miko
    a term of endearment
  11. Thy mantle good,
  12. What, stain’d with blood?
  13. Approach, ye Furies fell!
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    The Furies, also called the Erinnyes, were three goddesses who punished wrongdoers.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    fierce or savage
  14. O Fates, come, come,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    The three Fates - Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos - spun human destiny as if it were a thread. That fits well with Bottom's next line which refers to thread.
  15. Cut thread and thrum,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Thrum is loose thread or yarn left over after a weaving project. Pyramus is calling on the Fates to finish the job and kill him.
  16. Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    literally, to cause a plant to wilt; more generally to kill
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    kill

Theseus

289 - 290
  1. This passion, and the death of a dear friend,
  2. would go near to make a man look sad.

Hippolyta

291
  1. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.

Pyramus

292 - 307
  1. O, wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?
  2. Since lion vild hath here deflow’r’d my dear;
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Shakespeare might be making a joke here - one definition of "deflower" is to take someone's virginity. Another definition is to ravage or destroy. Bottom might have meant "devoured".
  3. Which isno, nowhich was the fairest dame
  4. That liv’d, that lov’d, that lik’d, that look’d with cheer.
  5. Come, tears, confound,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    destroy
  6. Out, sword, and wound
  7. The pap of Pyramus;
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    breast or nipple
  8. Ay, that left pap,
  9. Where heart doth hop.
  10. Stabs himself.
  11. Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
  12. Now am I dead,
  13. Now am I fled;
  14. My soul is in the sky.
  15. Tongue, lose thy light,
  16. Moon, take thy flight,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    There are various explanations for what Bottom intended to say here. One is that he got the lines mixed up and should have said "Moon, lose thy light" (meaning Pyramus no longer sees because he is dead) and "Tongue, take thy flight" (meaning he can no longer speak because he is dead). Another explanation is that he should have said "eye" instead of "tongue".
  17. Now die, die, die, die, die.
  1. Dies.

Demetrius

308
  1. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    One meaning of "die" is the singular of dice. An ace is the side of a die with one dot.

Lysander

309 - 310
  1. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead, he is
  2. nothing.

Theseus

311 - 312
  1. With the help of a surgeon he might yet
  2. recover, and yet prove an ass.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    This second "yet" is not in the First Folio.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Another pun on the word "ace". Also funny because Bottom had the head of an ass earlier in the play.

Hippolyta

313 - 314
  1. How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    It may be that when Pyramus said "Moon, take thy flight", Starveling took the statement literally and left the stage.
  2. comes back and finds her lover?
  1. Enter Thisbe.

Theseus

315 - 316
  1. She will find him by starlight. Here she comes,
  2. and her passion ends the play.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    passionate speech

Hippolyta

317 - 318
  1. Methinks she should not use a long one
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    a long speech
  2. for such a Pyramus. I hope she will be brief.

Demetrius

319 - 321
  1. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    A speck of dust will tip the scales one way or the other. The folios and quarto spell it "moth".
  2. which Thisbe, is the better: he for a man. God
  3. warr’nt us; she for a woman. God bless us.

Lysander

322 - 323
  1. She hath spied him already with those sweet
  2. eyes.

Demetrius

324
  1. And thus she means, videlicet
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    laments
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    to wit

Thisbe

325 - 348
  1. Asleep, my love?
  2. What, dead, my dove?
  3. O Pyramus, arise!
  4. Speak, speak! Quite dumb?
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    silent
  5. Dead, dead? A tomb
  6. Must cover thy sweet eyes.
  7. These lily lips,
  8. This cherry nose,
  9. These yellow cowslip cheeks,
  10. Are gone, are gone!
  11. Lovers, make moan;
  12. His eyes were green as leeks.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    Green eyes were considered very attractive. In Romeo and Juliet, the nurse admiringly describes Paris by saying "An eagle, madam / Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye / As Paris hath."
  13. O Sisters Three,
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    another reference to the three Fates
  14. Come, come to me,
  15. With hands as pale as milk;
  16. Lay them in gore,
  17. Since you have shore
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    cut
  18. With shears his thread of silk.
  19. Tongue, not a word!
  20. Come, trusty sword,
  21. Come, blade, my breast imbrue!
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    stain
  22. Stabs herself.
  23. And farewell, friends;
  24. Thus Thisbe ends;
  25. Adieu, adieu, adieu.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    In the 1999 movie, Flute plays these lines seriously. The scene turns out to be quite dramatic.
  1. Dies.

Theseus

349
  1. Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.

Demetrius

350
  1. Ay, and Wall too.

Bottom

351 - 354
  1. Starting up.
  2. No, I assure you, the wall is down that parted
  3. their fathers. Will it please you to see the
  4. epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance
    Mar 4, 2019 Miko
    A rustic and sometimes comical dance. It supposedly originated in Bergamo, Italy. The dance ridicules the inhabitants of that town as being awkward.
  5. between two of our company?
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    In the First Quarto, Snug (Lion) speaks these lines.

Theseus

355 - 370
  1. No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no
  2. excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    It was common for epilogues to include apologies for any defects. In his speech at the end of the scene, Robin Goodfellow will make such an apology.
  3. all dead, there need none to be blam’d. Marry, if
  4. he that writ it had play’d Pyramus, and hang’d
  5. himself in Thisbe’s garter, it would have been a
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    This might be an allusion to the proverb "to hang himself in his own garters". However, resources such as The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs do not give any examples earlier than Shakespeare's works, so it might be that Shakespeare invented or popularized the phrase.
  6. fine tragedy; and so it is, truly, and very notably
  7. discharg’d. But come, your Bergomask; let your
  8. epilogue alone.
  9. A dance.
  10. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
    Apr 8, 2019 Miko
    the clapper of a bell
    Apr 15, 2019 Miko
    "Said it's midnight". There's a double meaning of "told" and "tolled".
  11. Lovers, to bed, ’tis almost fairy time.
  12. I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn
  13. As much as we this night have overwatch’d.
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    stayed up late
  14. This palpable-gross play hath well beguil’d
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    obviously dull, stupid, or crude
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    charmed or cheated
  15. The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    slow walk
  16. A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
  17. In nightly revels and new jollity.
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    They're going to continue the festivities for another two weeks.
  1. Exeunt.
  1. Enter Puck.

Robin

371 - 390
  1. Now the hungry lion roars,
  2. And the wolf behowls the moon;
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    The original texts have this word as "behold". However, in a 1733 edition of Shakespeare's works, Lewis Theobald and William Warburton changed the word to "behowl", believing it was more likely what Shakespeare actually wrote. Virtually all modern editions keep that change.
  3. Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    tired or sleepy
  4. All with weary task foredone.
    Apr 9, 2019 Miko
    exhausted or destroyed
  5. Now the wasted brands do glow,
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    logs burned down to embers
  6. Whilst the screech owl, screeching loud,
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    The owl was thought to be a sign of bad omens.
  7. Puts the wretch that lies in woe
  8. In remembrance of a shroud.
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    thinking about
  9. Now it is the time of night
  10. That the graves, all gaping wide,
  11. Every one lets forth his sprite,
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    The graves open up and the souls of the dead come out.
  12. In the church-way paths to glide.
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    public access roads leading to churches
  13. And we fairies, that do run
  14. By the triple Hecat’s team
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    Hecate, goddess of (among other things) crossroads and the night, is often portrayed as having three forms.
  15. From the presence of the sun,
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    Robin's statement that "we fairies" run from the sun would seem to be in contradiction of Oberon's statement in Act III, scene 2, lines 402-403 that they can stay out at daybreak.
  16. Following darkness like a dream,
  17. Now are frolic. Not a mouse
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    merry
  18. Shall disturb this hallowed house.
  19. I am sent with broom before,
  20. To sweep the dust behind the door.
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    Robin Goodfellow sometimes helped with domestic chores such as sweeping. He was often portrayed with a broom. It's unclear in this sentence if he means he sweeps dust and puts it behind the door, or if he sweeps dust from behind the door. Because Robin often punished sloppy housekeepers, the latter interpretation seems more likely.
  1. Enter King and Queen of Fairies, Oberon and
  2. Titania, with all their Train.

Oberon

391 - 396
  1. Through the house give glimmering light
  2. By the dead and drowsy fire,
  3. Every elf and fairy sprite
  4. Hop as light as bird from brier,
  5. And this ditty, after me,
  6. Sing, and dance it trippingly.

Titania

397 - 400
  1. First, rehearse your song by rote,
  2. To each word a warbling note.
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    sweet, vibratory notes
  3. Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
  4. Will we sing, and bless this place.
  1. Song and dance.
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    There is some evidence that there was supposed to be a song here but that it has been lost. The First Folio, however, specifically states that the following lines are the song.

Oberon

401 - 422
  1. Now, until the break of day,
  2. Through this house each fairy stray.
  3. To the best bride-bed will we,
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    the bed of Theseus and Hippolyta
  4. Which by us shall blessed be;
  5. And the issue, there create,
    Apr 10, 2019 Miko
    the baby conceived in the bride-bed
  6. Ever shall be fortunate.
  7. So shall all the couples three
  8. Ever true in loving be;
  9. And the blots of Nature’s hand
  10. Shall not in their issue stand;
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    Their children will not have birth defects or birthmarks.
  11. Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
    Jul 4, 2020 Miko
    cleft upper lip
  12. Nor mark prodigious, such as are
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    A birthmark could be considered a bad omen or a mark of a witch.
  13. Despised in nativity,
  14. Shall upon their children be.
  15. With this field-dew consecrate,
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    Use dew as if it were holy water.
  16. Every fairy take his gait,
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    go on his way
  17. And each several chamber bless,
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    bless each chamber
  18. Through this palace, with sweet peace,
  19. And the owner of it blest
  20. Ever shall in safety rest.
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    These lines are reversed in the sources. They don't make sense in that order, so they are usually put in the order presented here.
  21. Trip away; make no stay;
  22. Meet me all by break of day.
  1. Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and Train.

Robin

423 - 438
  1. If we shadows have offended,
  2. Think but this, and all is mended,
  3. That you have but slumb’red here
  4. While these visions did appear.
  5. And this weak and idle theme,
    Jul 7, 2020 Miko
    inconsequential
  6. No more yielding but a dream,
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    Producing nothing more than a dream would.
  7. Gentles, do not reprehend.
    Apr 16, 2020 Miko
    The First Folio has "Centles Gentles". The Second Folio and Quarto have just "Gentles".
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    reprimand
  8. If you pardon, we will mend.
  9. And, as I am an honest Puck,
  10. If we have unearned luck
  11. Now to scape the serpent’s tongue,
    Apr 11, 2019 Miko
    escape hissing (like a serpent) from the audience
  12. We will make amends ere long;
  13. Else the Puck a liar call.
  14. So, good night unto you all.
  15. Give me your hands, if we be friends,
    Mar 10, 2019 Miko
    Robin is asking for applause.
  16. And Robin shall restore amends.
  1. Exit.
finis
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