A Midsummer Night’s Dream Quotations

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” Act I Lysander to Hermia. Love is difficult. Egeus just made his ultimatum to her.
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” Act I Helena to herself saying that love is blind. She is upset about Demetirus not loving her. It doesn’t make sense because he loved her before.
“I would my father looked but with my eyes” Hermia to Theseus–I WISH my father could see MY point of view. Hermia is challenging authority here which is a pretty big deal.
“This man hath bewitch’d the bosom of my child.” Egeus to Theseus–he thinks that Lysander’s has stolen his daughter away with love poems and gifts. He is a stubborn man who wants his own way and won’t see what’s good for his own daughter.
“To you your father should be as a god.” Theseus to Hermia. You need to listen to you father. He has control over you.
“O, hell! to choose love by another’s eyes.” Act I Hermia to Lysander. Listing the reasons why love is difficult. It is terrible when friends or family choose the ones you should be with.
“I’ll put a girdle round about the earth In forty minutes.” Puck to Oberon. Puck is going to get the love in idleness/pansy with the magic potion.
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.” Oberon to Puck. Oberson is talking about the majestic place where Titania rests.
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Puck to himself
“The true beginning of our end.” Prologue (Quince). Comedy. They start performing the play and it is terrible. They say all of the words incorrectly.
“For never anything can be amiss, When simpleness and duty tender it.” Theseus to Hippolyta. He wants to see the play even though it may be bad. This says a lot about his character.
“When thou wakest, thou takest true delight in the sight of thy former lady’s eye.” Puck to Lysander
“But all the story of the night told over, and all their minds transfigured so together.” Hippolyta to Theseus. The lovers’ stories are strange but all the same.
“Give me your hands, if we be friends, and Robin shall restore amends.” Puck–epilogue. Even if you don’t like the play, try to see the good in it anyway.
“Call you me fair? That fair again unsay.” Helena to Hermia. Hermia addresses her as “fair” and she takes offense to it b/c she thinks she is referencing Helena’s light colored hair that Demetrius doesn’t seem to like anymore.
“Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia.” Egeus to Theseus. Egeus is telling the duke about his daughter’s disobedience and how he wants the duke to punish her according to the law.
“If thou lovest me, then Steal forth from thy father’s house tonight.” Lysander to Hermia. Sounds like a smart plan (not really). Sneak out of your house and walk with him 20+ miles through the woods (he gets them lost, by the way)
“I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight.” Helena to herself about H+L. She thinks Demetrius will be happy and like her b/c she tells him about the plan.
“Let me play the lion too.” Bottom to actors. He is overzealous and wants to play all of the parts in the play.
“Thou speakest aright I am the merry wanderer of the night. I jest to Oberon and make him smile.” Puck to Fairy
“And this same progeny of evil comes. From our debate, from our dissention: We are their parents and original.” Titania to Oberon. Our fighting has caused natural disasters to occur. Conflict creates a cause and effect relationship. Bad things come from discord.
“Thou shalt know the man By the Athenian garments he hath on.” Oberon to Puck.
“I am your spaniel.” Helena to Demetrius. She is degrading herself to be with him. Showing how subservient women would be to men.
“Not Hermia but Helena I love; who would not change a raven for a dove?” Lysander to Helena. After he is under the spell, he tells Helena that he loves her and she is the dove while Hermia is a raven (not good).
“O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray masters, fly masters! Help!” Quince to actors. When Bottom turns into a donkey.
“I am a spirit of no common rate. The summer still doth tend upon my state. And I do love thee.” Titania to Bottom. Titania falls in love with Bottom, the donkey. He is elevated in status. He is no longer at the bottom.
“Most ungrateful maid! Have you conspired, have you with these contrived To bait me with this foul derision?” Helena to Hermia. Helena thinks that Hermia is making fun of her too because both men are after her.
“How came these thing to pass? O! How mine eyes do loathe his visage now!” Titania to Oberon about Bottom. The spell was taken off of her and she despises the sight of the “donkey.” Love is blind though, really.
“Get you gone you dwarf; You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made; you bead, you acorn!” Lysander to Hermia. Insulting and berating.
“Do thy best To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast. Methought a serpent eat my heart away, and you sat smiling at his cruel prey.” Hermia to herself. Lysander got the juice put on him and runs after Helena and leaves her alone. She wakes up after having a terrible nightmare.
“I woo’d thee with my sword but I will wed thee in another key.” Theseus to Hippolyta. Although I got you by force, I want to marry you out of love.
“Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord; this man hath my consent to marry her. Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke, this man hath bewitch’d the bosom of my child.” Egeus to Demetrius and Lysander. Egeus is upset that he wants Hermia to marry Demetrius and she has fallen in love with Lysander.
“With feigning voice, verses of feigning love, and stolen the impression of her fantasy. With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits, knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers.” Egeus to Theseus about Lysander. He thinks Lysander has bought his daughter’s love with gifts.
“As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentlemen or to her death, according to our law.” Egeus to Theseus. The father has the ultimate control over his daughter. Women had no say in their lives.
“But in this kind, wanting your father’s voice, the other must be held worthier.” Theseus to Hermia. Your father has the ultimate say in your life. You have no rights as a woman.
“Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires; Know of your youth, examine well your blood, Whether, if you yield not to your father’s choice, you can endure the livery of a nun.” Theseus to Hermia. Telling Hermia that she must marry, die, or become a nun.
“So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up Unto his lordship.” Hermia to Theseus. Hermia refuses to marry Demetrius.
“I am, my lord, as well derived as he, as well possess’d, my love is more than his; my foruntes every way as fairly rank’d, if not with vantage” Lysander to Egeus and Theseus. Lysander is pointing out that he has just as much money and comes from the same social status (upper class) as Demetrius does.
“We will meet; and there we may rehearse most obscenely.” Bottom to actors. Bottom says the incorrect word. It’s funny. He talks about meeting in the woods–the place where reality is suspended. The place of mystery. All things are possible in our dreams.
“An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek; and that were enough to hang us all.” Quince to Bottom. Quince fears that the Duke and Duchess will condemn them to death for their performance. They truly don’t understand the illusion of theater.
“She never had so sweet a changeling, and jealous Oberon would have the child knight of his train, to trace the forests wild; but she perforce with holds the loved boy, crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy.” Puck to Fairy. Puck describes the problems between Titania and Oberon. They are fighting over the Indian child. Really, Oberon wants control over her, like all men do in the story.
“Are not you he that frights the maidens of the villagery, skim milk and sometimes labour in the queen, and bootless make the breath less housewife churn; and sometime make the drink to bear no barm.” Fairy to Puck. Fairy describes some of the tricks that Puck plays on people. He illustrates that mortals are truly foolish.
“These are the forgeries of jealousy: and never, since the middle summer’s spring…And this same progeny of evils comes from our debate, from our dissension; we are their parents and original” Titania to Oberon. We have cause
“But she, being mortal, of that boy did die; and for her sake do I rear up her boy; and for her sake I will not part with him,” Titania to Oberon
“Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew’d thee once: the juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid, will make of man or woman madly dote, upon the next live creature that it sees,” Oberon to Puck
“I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.” Demetrius to Helena
“You do impeach your modesty too much, to leave the city and commit yourself into the of one that loves you not; trust the opportunity of the night.” Demetrius to Helena
“Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex: we cannot fight for love, as men may do; we should be woo’d, and were not mad to woo. I’ll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell, to die upon the hand I love so well.” Helena to Demetrius.
“And with the juice of this I’ll streak her eyes, and make her full of hateful fantasies.” Oberon to Puck
“This is the woman, but not this the man.” Puck to Oberon. Puck sees Demetrius and Hermia and realizes that he put the spell on the wrong person.
“Have with our needles created both one flower, both on one sampler sitting on one cushion, both warbling of one song, both in one key.” Helena to Hermia. They are close friends and she does not understand why Hermia is against her (she has no evidence of this, but she thinks it anyway).
“You thief of love what have you come by night and stolen my love’s heart from him.” Hermia to Helena. Thinks Helena has stolen Lysander. Why would a friend think that? What kind of friend is this?
“She was a vixen when she went to school; And though she be but little, she is fierce.” Helena about Hermia. Calling her short. Famous line.
“On the ground sleep sound, I’ll apply to your eye, gentle lover, remedy.” Puck to Lysander
“Jack shall have Jill; Nought shall go ill.” Puck about the four lovers. After he takes the potion off of Lysander and makes everything right.
“One turf shall serve as a pillow for us both. One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.” Lysander to Hermia. He wants to sleep next to Hermia but she reminds him that it is not appropriate.
“Oh, why rebuke you him that loves you so? Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.” Demetrius to Helena
“If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep, Being o’er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep, And kill me too.” Hermia to Demetrius
“Out, dog! Out, cur! Thou drivest me past the bounds Of maiden’s patience. Hast thou slain him then? Henceforth be never numbered among men? Oh, once tell true, tell true even for my sake- Durst thou have looked upon him being awake, And hast thou killed him sleeping? O brave touch! Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?” Hermia to Demetrius
“These vows are Hermia’s. Will you give her o’er?” Helena to Demetrius
“O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine! To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne? Crystal is muddy. Oh, how ripe in show Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!” Demetrius to Helena
“What love could press Lysander from my side?” Hermia to Lysander
“Why seek’st thou me? Could not this make thee know The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?” Lysander to Hermia
“‘Puppet’? Why so? -Ay, that way goes the game. Now I perceive that she hath made compare Between our statures. She hath urged her height, And with her personage, her tall personage, Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him. Hermia to Helena
“Welcome, good Robin. Seest thou this sweet sight? Her dotage now I do begin to pity.” Oberon to Puck
“My lord, I shall reply amazedly, Half asleep, half waking. But as yet, I swear, I cannot truly say how I came here.” Lysander to Theseus
“Enough, enough, my lord. You have enough! I beg the law, the law, upon his head.” Egeus to Theseus
“But by some power it is – my love to Hermia, Melted as the snow, seems to me now As the remembrance of an idle gaud Which in my childhood I did dote upon” Demetrius to Egeus about Hermia and Helena
“I have had a dream – past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.” Bottom to himself
“‘Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.” Hippolyta to Theseus
“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet Are of imagination all compact.” Theseus to Hippolyta
“If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended – That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream” Puck to himself
“Reason and love keep little company together these days.” Bottom to Titania