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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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220


There my Lysander and myself shall meet.
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet playfellow. Pray thou for us.
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!—
Keep word, Lysander. We must starve our sight
From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.
From then on we’ll turn our backs on Athens. We’ll look for new friends and keep the company of strangers. Goodbye, old friend. Pray for us, and I hope you win over Demetrius!—Keep your promise, Lysander. We need to stay away from each other until midnight tomorrow.

LYSANDER
I will, my Hermia.
LYSANDER
I will, my Hermia.
Exit HERMIA
HERMIA exits.

225
    Helena, adieu.
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!
Goodbye, Helena. I hope Demetrius comes to love you as much as you love him!
Exit LYSANDER
LYSANDER exits.





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HELENA
How happy some o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so.
He will not know what all but he do know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgment taste—
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy Love is perjured everywhere.
For ere Demetrius looked on Hermia’s eyne,
He hailed down oaths that he was only mine.
HELENA
It’s amazing how much happier some people are than others! People throughout Athens think I’m as beautiful as Hermia. But so what? Demetrius doesn’t think so, and that’s all that matters. He refuses to admit what everyone else knows. But even though he’s making a mistake by obsessing over Hermia so much, I’m also making a mistake, since I obsess over him. Love can make worthless things beautiful. When we’re in love, we don’t see with our eyes but with our minds. That’s why paintings of Cupid, the god of love, always show him as blind. And love doesn’t have good judgment either—Cupid, has wings and no eyes, so he’s bound to be reckless and hasty. That’s why they say love is a child. because it makes such bad choices. Just as boys like to play games by telling lies, Cupid breaks his promises all the time. Before Demetrius ever saw Hermia, he showered me with promises and swore he’d be mine forever.

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