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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Enter ROBIN unseen
ROBIN enters, unseen by the characters onstage.

25


ROBIN
(aside) What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
What, a play toward? I’ll be an auditor.
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.
ROBIN
(to himself) Who are these country bumpkins swaggering around so close to where the fairy queen is sleeping? What? Are they about to put on a play? I’ll watch. And I’ll act in it, too, if I feel like it.

QUINCE
Speak, Pyramus.—Thisbe, stand forth.
QUINCE
Speak, Pyramus.—Thisbe, come forward.

30
BOTTOM
(as PYRAMUS) Thisbe, the flowers of odious savors sweet—
BOTTOM
(as PYRAMUS) Thisbe, flowers with sweet odious smells—

QUINCE
“Odors,” “odors.”
QUINCE
“Odors,” “odors.”





35
BOTTOM
(as PYRAMUS)
    —odors savors sweet,
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisbe dear.
And by and by I will to thee appear.
But hark, a voice!
  Stay thou but here awhile,
BOTTOM
(as PYRAMUS) —odors and smells are like your breath, my dearest Thisbe dear. But what’s that, a voice! Wait here a while. I’ll be right back!
Exit BOTTOM
BOTTOM exits.

ROBIN
(aside) A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.
ROBIN
(to himself) That’s the strangest Pyramus I’ve ever seen.
Exit ROBIN
ROBIN exits.

FLUTE
Must I speak now?
FLUTE
Am I supposed to talk now?

QUINCE
Ay, marry, must you. For you must understand he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
QUINCE
Yes, you are. You’re supposed to show that you understand that Pyramus just went to check on a noise he heard and is coming right back.


40


FLUTE
(as THISBE ) Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
Of color like the red rose on triumphant brier,
Most brisky juvenal and eke most lovely Jew,
As true as truest horse that yet would never tire.
I’ll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny’s tomb.
FLUTE
(as THISBE) Most radiant Pyramus, you are as white as a lily, and the color of a red rose on a splendid rosebush, a very lively young man and also a lovely Jew. You are as reliable as a horse that never gets tired. I’ll meet you, Pyramus, at Ninny’s grave.

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