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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Stay, on thy peril. I alone will go.
Stay here at your own risk. I’m going on alone.



Oh, I am out of breath in this fond chase.
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies,
For she hath blessèd and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears.
If so, my eyes are oftener washed than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear,
For beasts that meet me run away for fear.
Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Hermia’s sphery eyne?
(sees LYSANDER)But who is here? Lysander, on the ground?
Dead or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.—
Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.
Oh, I’m out of breath from this foolish chase. The more I pray, the less I get out of it. Hermia is lucky, wherever she is, because she has beautiful eyes. How did her eyes get so bright? Not from crying. If that’s the case, tears wash my eyes more than hers. No, no, I’m as ugly as a bear, since animals that see me run away in terror. So it’s no surprise that Demetrius runs away from me as if I were a monster. What evil and deceitful mirror made me think I could rival Hermia’s starry eyes? (she sees LYSANDER) But who’s this here? Lysander, on the ground? Is he dead or sleeping? I don’t see any blood or injuries—Lysander, if you’re alive, wake up.

(waking) And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
Transparent Helena! Nature shows art
That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
Where is Demetrius? Oh, how fit a word
Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
(waking up) I’d even run through fire if you told me to. Radiant, beautiful Helena! I feel like Mother Nature has allowed me to see into your heart, as if by magic. Where is Demetrius? Oh, I’d kill that name with my sword if I could!

Do not say so, Lysander. Say not so.
What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?
Yet Hermia still loves you. Then be content.
Don’t say that, Lysander. Don’t say that. Why do you care that he loves Hermia? What does it matter? Hermia still loves you, so be happy.


Content with Hermia? No. I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Not Hermia but Helena I love.
Who will not change a raven for a dove?
The will of man is by his reason swayed,
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Happy with Hermia? No. I regret all the boring time I wasted with her. I don’t love Hermia; I love Helena. Who wouldn’t love a dove more than a crow? A man’s desires are influenced by his logical mind, and it’s simply logical that you’re more worthy of love than Hermia is.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream (No Fear Shakespeare)