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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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200
THESEUS
Now is the mural down between the two neighbors.
THESEUS
The lovers should’ve waited around a little longer—the wall between them is down now.

DEMETRIUS
No remedy, my lord, when walls are so willful to hear without warning.
DEMETRIUS
What can you do? That’s what happens with talking walls.

HIPPOLYTA
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
HIPPOLYTA
This is the silliest thing I’ve ever seen.

THESEUS
The best in this kind are but shadows, and the worst are no worse if imagination amend them.
THESEUS
The best plays are still only illusions, and the worst are just as good, if you just use your imagination to fill them in.

HIPPOLYTA
It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.
HIPPOLYTA
In that case it’s your imagination that’s interesting, not the play.

205
THESEUS
If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.
THESEUS
If we imagine these guys as they imagine themselves, then they’re first-class actors. Look, here come two noble animals, a man and a lion.
Enter LION and MOONSHINE
LION and MOONSHINE enter.



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LION
(played by SNUG)
You, ladies, you whose gentle hearts do fear
The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
May now perchance both quake and tremble here,
When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
Then know that I, as Snug the joiner, am
A lion fell, nor else no lion’s dam.
For if I should as lion come in strife
Into this place, ’twere pity on my life.
LION
(played by SNUG) You, ladies, whose gentle hearts make you afraid of the smallest monstrous mouse that crawls around on the floor, might quake and tremble now when the wild lion roars in his most violent rage. You should know that I, Snug the carpenter, am not a fierce lion or a lioness, because if I were a lion and I showed up here to cause trouble, I’d be taking my life in my hands.

THESEUS
A very gentle beast, of a good conscience.
THESEUS
Ah, it’s a sensitive animal, with a good conscience.

DEMETRIUS
A very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.
DEMETRIUS
He’s the best actor I’ve ever seen play a lion.

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