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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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160


To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia,
And now both rivals to mock Helena—
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid’s eyes
With your derision! None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul’s patience, all to make you sport.
Hermia’s love, and now you’re competing to see which one of you can make fun of me the most. That’s a great idea, a really manly thing to do—making a poor girl cry! No respectable person would offend an innocent girl just to have some fun.


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LYSANDER
You are unkind, Demetrius. Be not so.
For you love Hermia. This you know I know.
And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermia’s love I yield you up my part.
And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Whom I do love and will do till my death.
LYSANDER
Don’t be cruel, Demetrius. I know you love Hermia, and you know I know it. Right here, right now, I swear I’m giving up all my claims on her and handing her to you. In exchange, give up your claim to love Helena, since I love her and will love her until I die.

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HELENA
Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
HELENA
Nobody’s ever gone to so much trouble just to make fun of someone.





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DEMETRIUS
Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.
If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourned,
And now to Helen is it home returned,
There to remain.
DEMETRIUS
Lysander, keep your Hermia. I don’t want her. If I ever loved her, all that love is gone now. My love for her was temporary. Now I’ll love Helena forever.

LYSANDER
Helen, it is not so.
LYSANDER
Helena, it’s not true.



DEMETRIUS
Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear.
Look, where thy love comes. Yonder is thy dear.
DEMETRIUS
Don’t insult a deep love that you don’t understand, or you’ll pay the price. Look, here comes the woman you love.
Enter HERMIA
HERMIA enters.

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HERMIA
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes.
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense.
HERMIA
It’s hard to see clearly in the dark of night, but it’s easier to hear well.

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