The Dream Unfolds
Arranged by: Amy
Close your eyes and imagine
yourself floating back in time to Athens. Here
the Duke, Theseus, is preparing for his wedding
to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Theseus is
looking forward to his wedding day...and night!
1) ...four happy
days bring in another moon -- but O,
methinks, how slow this old moon wanes!
Hippolyta, on the other
hand, is not thrilled with the prospect of
marrying Theseus. So, Theseus decides to send
Philostrate, Master of the Revels, to 'stir up
the Athenian youth to merriments' in hopes that a
good party will put Hippolyta in the marrying
mood. He tries to sweet talk her by saying:
2) Hippolyta, I
wooed thee with my sword, and won thy love
doing thee injuries; but I will wed thee in
another key, with pomp, with triumph, and
Hippolyta doesn't have a
chance to answer, because Egeus enters with his
daughter, Hermia, and the two men who wish to
3) Full of
vexation come I, with complaint against my
child, my daughter Hermia.
Egeus wants Hermia to marry
Demetrius, but she wants to marry Lysander. Egeus
believes that Lysander has 'bewitched' Hermia.
So, instead of getting rid of the so-called problem
(Lysander), Egeus gives his daughter a choice:
4) I beg the
ancient privilege of Athens; as she is mine,
I may dispose of her; which shall be either
to this gentleman or to her death, according
to our law...
Thinking that death is a
little EXTREME, Theseus tries to convince Hermia
to obey her father and marry Demetrius. She
responds by asking:
5) I beseech your
grace that I may know the worst that may
befall me in this case if I refuse to wed
Theseus adds a third choice
to Egeus' unpleasant list: marry Demetrius, be
put to death, or remain a virgin for the rest of
your life by becoming a nun. She continues to
refuse Demetrius, saying:
6) So will I
grow, so live, so die, my lord, ere I will
yield my virgin patent up unto his
Seeing that Hermia is very
upset, Theseus tells her to take a few days to
think about it. She will have to make her final
decision on his wedding day. Lysander tries to
argue his case -- not only is he as
'well-possessed' as Demetrius, but he is 'beloved
of beauteous Hermia.' Seeing this as his chance
to make some points, Lysander adds:
I'll avouch it to his head, made love to
Nedar's daughter, Helena, and won her soul...
Even though Theseus has
heard these rumors, he still feels that Hermia
should obey her father. He leaves with Hippolyta,
Egeus, and Demetrius, to discuss some wedding
business. Alone, Lysander and Hermia discuss
their situation, and the plight of all lovers.
Lysander sums it up with:
8) The course of
true love never did run smooth...
Finally, Lysander comes up
with a plan -- the two crazy kids decide to meet
the next night in the woods to run off and elope!
Suddenly, Helena enters, and Hermia quickly
changes the subject:
9) God speed,
fair Helena! Whither away?
Well, Helena isn't too sure
about this whole 'fair' business -- considering
Hermia stole her boyfriend! Helena asks Hermia to
teach her how to 'sway the motion of Demetrius'
heart.' Hermia assures Helena that she has done
nothing to lead Demetrius on. Helena, on the
other hand, has done everything to get him to
notice her, but nothing has worked. Hermia, in an
effort to convince Helena that she doesn't like
Demetrius, tells Helena that she and Lysander are
running away. Lysander tells Helena that he and
Hermia plan on eloping. The two love birds wish
Helena luck and leave. Alone, Helena says:
10) How happy
some o'er other some can be!
She reflects on the nature
of love a bit, and then decides to fight for her
11) I will go
tell him of fair Hermia's flight...
She thinks that ratting on
her friend will win her some brownie points with
Demetrius. She leaves to find her love.
Elsewhere in Athens, a
group of working men (also known as the
Mechanicals) meet to prepare a play for the
Duke's wedding. The group is lead by Quince the
Carpenter. The other group members include Bottom
the Weaver, Snug the Joiner, Flute the
Bellows-mender, Snout the Tinker, and Starveling
the Tailor. Quince tells the others that the play
12) 'The most
lamentable comedy and most cruel death of
Pyramus and Thisbe.'
He has assigned the role of
Pyramus to Bottom. Bottom sees this as an
opportunity to take center stage, and he begins acting.
Quince tries to assign all the parts, but Bottom
keeps interrupting. Bottom seems to think he can
play ALL the parts! Quince is finally able to
hand out the parts to the other actors, and he
tells the group to memorize their lines and meet
at the 'Duke's oak' the next night.
Meanwhile, in the woods
outside of Athens, two fairies meet. Puck, or
Robin Goodfellow, is a loyal subject of King
Oberon, and he warns the Queen's fairy that:
13) Oberon is
passing fell and wrath, because that she as
her attendant hath a lovely boy stol'n from
an Indian king...
It seems that Oberon wants
the Indian boy for himself, but since Titania
won't give up the child, the two are constantly
arguing. The Queen's fairy recognizes Puck, and
so Puck starts bragging about all the tricks he
has pulled on humans and animals. Just at that
moment, the King, Oberon, and Queen, Titania,
enter into the clearing.
14) Ill met by
moonlight, proud Titania!
15) What, jealous
Well, seeing that this is
not going to be a pleasant meeting, all the
fairies run and hide in the bushes. Titania
accuses Oberon of being attracted to the mortal,
Hippolyta. Oberon, in turn, accuses her of being
in love with Theseus. Titania calls these
accusations the 'forgeries of jealousy,' and she
describes to Oberon how their arguments have
caused the seasons to change. He tells her that
she can restore the natural order of things if
she simply gives him the 'changeling boy.'
16) Set your
heart at rest -- the fairy land buys not the
child of me!
Titania explains how the
boy's mother had been her dear friend, and that
she died during childbirth. Titania says that she
will never part with the boy, and she storms away
with her fairies. Seeing that she is serious,
Oberon promises to be revenged 'for this injury.'
He calls Puck out from hiding, and tells Puck to
fetch the flower 'love-in-idleness.' Oberon wants
the flower because:
17) The juice of
it on sleeping eyelids laid will make or man
or woman madly dote upon the next live
creature that it sees.
After Puck leaves to fetch
the flower, Oberon reveals a plan to use the
flower's juice on Titania so that she will give
him the Indian boy. When he hears voices, Oberon
makes himself invisible. Demetrius and Helena
enter arguing. Demetrius shouts:
18) I love thee
not, therefore pursue me not.
Unfortunately for her,
Helena's plan didn't work as well as she had
hoped. She throws herself at Demetrius' feet
proclaiming her undying love, but he won't have
any of it. She continues to try and 'woo' him,
but he runs off into the woods in search of
Hermia, and Helena must chase after him. Oberon
vows to help Helena, saying:
19) Ere he do
leave this grove thou shalt fly him, and he
shall seek they love.
Puck returns with the
flower, and Oberon instructs him to use the love
juice on the eye of the 'disdainful youth' that
just left the clearing.
20) Thou shalt
know the man by the Athenian garments he hath
While Puck is searching for
Demetrius and Helena, Oberon plans on finding
Elsewhere in the woods,
Titania's fairies sing her to sleep. When she is
asleep, Oberon sneaks in and squeezes the juice
on Titania's eyes. He hopes that she will:
21) Wake when
some vile thing is near!
He leaves as Lysander and
Hermia enter. They decide to go to sleep for the
night -- since they are lost! So, not only did
Lysander get them lost, he also tries to sleep
right by Hermia. She stands up for her modesty
and makes him sleep 'further off.' The two sleep.
Puck enters and sees Lysander in his 'Athenian
garments,' and mistakenly puts the juice in his
eyes! He leaves to find Oberon. Demetrius runs
past. Helena can no longer keep up, so she stops
to rest. She sees Lysander on the ground and
wakes him. Due to his love juice state, Lysander
immediately falls in love with Helena, saying:
22) And run
through fire I will for they sweet sake!
Lysander tells Helena that
he repents the 'tedious minutes' he spent with
Hermia, and that he now loves her. Helena is not
happy with Lysander's little game:
23) Is't not
enough, is't not enough, young man, that I
did never, no, nor never can deserve a sweet
look from Demetrius' eye but you must flout
She runs off, and Lysander
follows her. Hermia awakes from a nightmare and
finds herself alone. She is certain that
something horrible has happened to Lysander, and
so she runs off to try and find him.
After she leaves, the
Mechanicals enter to rehearse their play. Before
Quince has a chance to start rehearsal, Bottom
begins suggesting changes for the script so that
they won't fright the ladies. After settling on
prologues to help explain the action, the
Mechanicals discuss how they are going to show
moonlight and the wall in the play. They finally
decide on having Snout play the wall and
Starveling play Moonshine. They begin rehearsing
just as Puck enters:
24) What hempen
homespuns have we swaggering here so near the
cradle of the Fairy Queen?
After watching the
rehearsal, Puck decides to play a trick on
Bottom. Pyramus (Bottom) leaves to go check on a
noise. When Flute, as Thisbe, finally gets his
line right, Bottom re-enters as Pyramus. He is
surprised when all of his friends begin yelling
'O monstrous!' 'O strange!' They run away because
Puck has used his magic to put an ass head on
Bottom! Bottom thinks his friends are messing
with him, so he shouts to Snout:
25) What do you
see? You see an ass head of your own, do you?
Bottom is so certain that
they are trying to make an 'ass' of him, that he
decides to sing. He will prove to them that he
isn't afraid! Of course, his singing wakes
Titania, and she, in her love juice state,
immediately falls in love with him. She is so in
love with Bottom that she won't let him even
think about leaving the woods. Instead, she calls
four of her fairies (Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth,
and Mustardseed) to wait on Bottom.
26) Be kind and
courteous to this gentleman...
Bottom greets each of the
fairies, and then they lead him to Titania's
Puck can't wait to tell
Oberon about the new turn of events. Puck finds
Oberon, and tells him about the trick he played
on Bottom, and how, in that moment,
waked, and straightway loved an ass.
Oberon is very pleased . .
. until Demetrius and Hermia enter. Demetrius
tries to woo Hermia, but she is certain that he
has killed Lysander. When he won't tell her where
Lysander is, Hermia runs off. Demetrius realizes
that 'there is no following her in this fierce
vein,' so he decides to take a nap. Needless to
say, Oberon is not a happy camper! He orders Puck
to find Helena and bring her to Demetrius. Puck
runs off to find Helena, and Oberon puts the love
juice on Demetrius' eyes. Puck runs in to tell
Oberon that Helena is on her way -- but she isn't
alone. Puck is really enjoying the mess he has
created, and says:
28) Lord, what
fools these mortals be!
Lysander enters with
Helena. He tries to convince her that he really
does love her, but Helena thinks he is just
messing with her. When she stumbles on Demetrius,
he wakes and tells Helena how beautiful she is
and how much he loves her. By this point, Helena
is really upset:
29) O spite! O
Hell! I see you all are bent to set against
me for your merriment.
Off in the woods, Hermia
hears all the commotion, and follows the voices.
When she spots Lysander, she runs to her love and
asks him why he left her. Lysander tells her that
he hates her now and loves Helena. Well, that was
the finally straw for Helena. She is now certain
that they are all ganging up on her. Hermia
doesn't quite understand what is going on; she
runs after Lysander as he leaves to fight
Demetrius for Helena. She clings to him -- even
as he is telling her how much he now hates her.
When Hermia finally gets the picture, she turns
30) O me, you
juggler, you canker-blossom, you thief of
love! What, have you come by night and stol'n
my love's heart from him?
Hermia tries to fight
Helena, but the boys hold Hermia back. The boys
finally leave to settle their own dispute, Helena
runs away, and Hermia follows in bewilderment.
Oberon demands that Puck fix his mess. So, Puck
overcasts the night and disguises his voice to
get all of the lovers in the same spot. He puts
them all to sleep, and puts the antidote on
Lysander's eyes so he will love Hermia again.
Puck then leaves to find Oberon.
In another part of the
wood, Titania and her fairies are pampering
Bottom as Oberon watches. Titania finally tells
her fairies to go away so that she and Bottom can
go to bed. Puck enters, and Oberon tells Puck
that he now has the Indian boy, so he will
release Titania from this curse. He orders Puck
to remove the 'head of this Athenian swain' so
31) All to Athens
back again repair, and think no more of this
night's accidents but as the fierce vexation
of a dream.
Oberon removes the spell
from Titania. She wakes and wonders:
32) How it came
this night that I sleeping here was found
with these mortals on the ground.
All the fairies leave, and
as day breaks, Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and
their hunting party enter. They see the lovers on
the ground and wake them. Lysander tries to
explain the situation, and Egeus is furious that
Lysander and Hermia were going to elope. Egeus
wants Lysander punished. After Demetrius explains
that he really loves Helena, Theseus decides that
the lovers will be married along with himself and
Hippolyta. After the hunting party leaves,
33) It seems to
me that yet we sleep, we dream.
The lovers don't know what
to think about the night's events. They head back
to town to get married! Bottom wakes up, and
describes his dream! He also heads back to town
to find his friends and get ready for the play.
After the weddings, the
whole group gathers at the Palace to watch the
play. They make fun of the play and the actors.
When the play is over, everyone heads off to bed.
Oberon and Titania enter with their fairies to
bless the three couples. As the fairies leave to
bless the marriage beds, Puck says:
34) If we shadows
have offended, think but this, and all is
mended: that you have but slumbered here
while these visions did appear; and this weak
and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream!