A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Adapted by Jennifer Hughes
"A MIdsummer Night's Dream" Script - Adapted by Jennifer Hughes
Good evening, distinguished guests! My name is Egeus. Sadly, most of you won’t remember me. But, it is my daughter, Hermia, who really sets our story in motion. You see, Hermia, though she be but little, is FIERCE!
Ah, well, I’m getting ahead of myself. I will be your narrator for this evenin’gs performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream!” Who knew my family crisis would become such a favorite story, especially when told through the magnificent music of Felix Mendelssohn and the peerless prose of William Shakespeare.
Before we set forth on our journey, may I remind you that cell phones should be silenced, mint and cough- drop wrappers should be dealt with, and any and all distractions laid aside for this brief time we have together. In addition, should you need to use the restroom during our production, please exit toward the restroom signs as discreetly as possible to ensure an uninterrupted performance for all! The conductor, orchestra, cast & crew thank you most kindly!
Now, the overture you are about to hear is truly spectacular. Even more amazing? Felix Mendelssohn was only 17 when he wrote it! About the same age as my headstrong daughter....ahem....
“What Mendelssohn created in his ground-breaking piece was a musical genre, and a musical language and expression, unlike any that had come before. It was the first ‘concert overture,’ a work intended not to introduce a dramatic presentation, but to represent, complete in itself, a literary work.”-Lawyer and lutenist Howard Posner has also annotated programs for the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, the Coleman Chamber Concerts, and the Salzburg Festival.
"The overture opens with four of the most evocative chords in music. the chords beguilingly invite the listener into the magical forest outside of Athens where the comedy plays out. Scurrying staccato strings depict the fairies darting through the woods, and the full orchestra proclaims the noble lovers' music. A series of accented, fortissimo chords in the low strings and brass pound out an earthy rhythm for the Mechanicals before the orchestra gives us a musical picture of Bottom, braying after Puck's mischievous magic has transformed him into an ass. After a development section, Mendelssohn recapitulates the theme for the lovers, Bottom's hee-hawing, and the fairy music before a passage of gentle modulation in the winds opens the coda. The strings play a serenely beautiful transformation of the lovers' theme before the overture ends as it began, with those four magical chords.”- John Mangum is the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's Program Designer/Annotator.
Allow me now to take you into the world of Athens, the forest without our city gates and the dream of a Midsummer’s Night...
What an incredible feat. And to think he was just 17?! My 17 year-old can’t even find her way in the woods, yet she thinks she’s old enough to choose a mate? Preposterous! Which leads me to the very beginning of our story.
You see, as her father, I have the legal right to choose for Hermia whom she will marry. I chose Demetrius, but she preferred Lysander, which I will never understand. As Helena says, “love is blind.” Being out of patience and out of ideas, I went to the Duke of Athens, my good friend, Theseus. He and his fiancé, Hippolyta, were to be married the next day so I figured he would be especially empathetic to my case. Naturally, he sided with me, and told Hermia she could either marry Lysander, take a vow of chastity and become a nun for life, or die.
I know, I know, this seems harsh, but are you telling me you wouldn’t like to choose who your kids marry? Ah well, I digress.
Lysander made some accusation that Demetrius was playing it fast and loose with Helena, so Theseus asked Demetrius and I to go with him to clear that up. Hippolyta was none too pleased with Theseus’ edict, but the law is the law.
As it turns out, after we all left, Lysander encouraged Hermia to run away with him to the palace woods where his aunt lived and where they could elope! This didn’t exactly score points with me...
8/13 Adapted by Jen Hughes 2
NEXT Ensemble "A MIdsummer Night's Dream" Script
How now, my love! why is your cheek so pale? How chance the roses there do fade so fast?
Belike for want of rain, which I could well beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.
Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth; therefore, hear me, Hermia. I
If thou lovest me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night; Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
To do observance to a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.
My good Lysander! In that same place thou hast appointed me, To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.
God speed fair Helena! whither away?
Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
O, teach me how you look, and with what art You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.
Take comfort: he no more shall see my face; Lysander and myself will fly this place.
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.
I will, my Hermia. Helena, adieu:
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!
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:
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
Then to the wood will he to-morrow night Pursue her; and for this intelligence If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.
Meanwhile, in another part of town, while my daughter, Hermia, was making plans to run off with that scoundrel, Lysander, a local acting troupe was meeting to start rehearsals for a play they hoped to perform for Theseus & Hippolyta’s wedding reception.
You see, in Athens, local acts would audition for the Assistant to the Duke, Philostrate, another thankless character in our story....
Anyway, this motley crew of blue-collar-workers-by-day-amateur-actors-by-night were hoping for their big break with a new play called “Pyramus and Thisby.”
As the actors pledge to meet in the forest to rehearse the next night, the orchestra plays the first movement, or Scherzo, which evokes the nighttime flight into the thick, dark woods, by both the mechanicals and the lovers.
Join me now as we watch Peter Quince try to manage the irrepressible Nick Bottom....
Is all our company here?
Marry, our play is, The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.
Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.
Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.
You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?
A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.
That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms,
The raging rocks
And shivering shocks
Shall break the locks
Of prison gates;
Now name the rest of the players.
Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Here, Peter Quince.
Flute, you must take Thisby on you.
What is Thisby? a wandering knight?
It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming.
That's all one: you shall play it in a mask, and you may speak as small as you will.
An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too, I'll speak in a monstrous little voice. 'Thisne,
Thisne;' 'Ah, Pyramus, lover dear! thy Thisby dear, and lady dear!'
No, no; you must play Pyramus: and, Flute, you Thisby.
Tom Snout, the tinker.
Here, Peter Quince.
You, Pyramus' father: myself, Thisby's father: Snug, the joiner; you, the lion's part: and, I hope, here is a play fitted.
Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say 'Let him roar again, let him roar again.'
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.
That would hang us, every mother's son.
You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely gentleman- like man: therefore you must needs play Pyramus.
Well, I will undertake it.
But, masters, here
are your parts: by to-morrow night meet me in the palace wood, by moonlight; there will we rehearse. I pray you, fail me not.
At the duke's oak we meet.
NO. 1: SCHERZO
Not surprisingly, of course, the humans are not alone. For the fairy King, Oberon, and his Queen, Titania have come to the forest to square off over a claim to a young, Indian squire.
The King’s fairy, Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, encounters another Fairy who serves the Queen, each warning the other of their respective royal master’s temperament.
In the second movement Melodrama that follows we encounter for the first time in the score where Mendelssohn has chosen to intersperse and underscore Shakespeare’s text with the music. This wonderful exchange leads into the March of the Fairies, as Oberon and Titania bound in with their respective fairy entourages.
Despite Oberon’s efforts to placate her, Titania is full of sass and tells him off as she leaves. Well, none-too-pleased with her attitude, Oberon enlists Puck to find the magical flower whose nectar will play a naughty trick on Titania. While he waits for Puck’s return, he encounters Helena and Demetrius who have also taken a forest flight, Demetrius to find Hermia, and Helena, to woo Demetrius.
How now, spirit! whither wander you?
NO. 2: L'ISTESSO TEMPO
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier, Overpark, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire, I do Wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere; And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green. The cowslips tall her pensioners be: In their gold coats spots you see; Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
The king doth keep his revels here to-night: Take heed the queen come not within his sight; For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she as her attendant hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
And now they never meet in grove or green,
By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen, But, they do square, that all their elves for fear Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.
Either I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite Call'd Robin Goodfellow: Are not you he?
Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.
And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!
MARCH OF THE FAIRIES
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence: I have forsworn his bed and company.
Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?
Then I must be thy lady: Why art thou here, Come from the farthest Steppe of India?
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love, To Theseus must be wedded, and you come To give their bed joy and prosperity.
How canst thou thus for shame, Titania, Glance at my credit with Hippolyta, Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And never, since the middle summer's spring, Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Do you amend it then; it lies in you: Why should Titania cross her Oberon? I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman.
Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away! We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
Exit TITANIA with her train
Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove Till I torment thee for this injury.
My gentle Puck, come hither.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once: The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote Upon the next live creature that it sees. Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
I'll put a girdle round about the earth In forty minutes.
Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
The next thing then she waking looks upon, Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
She shall pursue it with the soul of love: But who comes here? I am invisible;
And I will overhear their conference.
Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA, following him
I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.
Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?
And even for that do I love you the more.
Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit; For I am sick when I do look on thee.
And I am sick when I look not on you.
I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes, And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
The wildest hath not such a heart as you. Fie, Demetrius!
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex: We cannot fight for love, as men may do; We should be wood and were not made to woo.
Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove, Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love.
Re-enter PUCK (WITH MUSIC)
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
Ay, there it is.
I pray thee, give it me.
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: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight; And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin, Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes, And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove: A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
But do it when the next thing he espies
May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care, that he may prove More fond on her than she upon her love:
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so. (MUSIC)
While Puck endeavors to find the flower Oberon needs, in another part of the forest, Titania is lulled to sleep by her adoring fairy entourage.
NO. 3: SONG WITH CHORUS
Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,
Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings, To make my small elves coats, and some keep back The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices and let me rest.
You spotted snakes with double tongue, Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong, Come not near our fairy queen.
(COBWEB, PEASEBLOSSOM AND MOTH JOIN CHORUS)
Philomel, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby: Never harm,
Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.
Weaving spiders, come not here; Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence! Beetles black, approach not near; Worm nor snail, do no offence.
(MUSTARDSEED, PEASEBLOSSOM AND MOTH JOIN CHORUS)
Philomel, with melody, & c.
Hence, away! now all is well: One aloof stand sentinel.
TITANIA & FAIRIES sleep
Enter OBERON and squeezes the flower on TITANIA's eyelids
NO. 4: MELODRAMA
What thou seest when thou dost wake, Do it for thy true-love take,
Love and languish for his sake:
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wakest, it is thy dear: Wake when some vile thing is near.
As Lysander and Hermia wander through the woods, they quickly discover they might be lost and find a spot to rest for awhile, when who but our very own Puck should arrive on the scene, mistaking Lysander and Hermia for Demetrius and Helena.
Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA
Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood; And to speak troth, I have forgot our way:
We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
And tarry for the comfort of the day.
Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed; For I upon this bank will rest my head.
One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.
Hey, watch it buddy...
Lysander riddles very prettily:
But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy, Lie further off!
That's my girl! Now, beat it, kid, you bother me!
Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest!
And with half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!
He falls asleep
Who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he, my master said,
Despised the Athenian maid;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound, On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy. Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe. When thou wakest, let love forbid Sleep his seat on thy eyelid:
So awake when I am gone; For I must now to Oberon. Exit
Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running
O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace. But who is here? Lysander! on the ground! Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound. Lysander if you live, good sir, awake.
[Awaking] 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? O, how fit a word
Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
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.
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?
Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born? When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?O, that a lady, of one man refused.
Should of another therefore be abused!
She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep thou there: And never mayst thou come Lysander near! And, all my powers, address your love and might To honour Helen and to be her knight!
Entering from where she was sleeping
Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here! Lysander, look how I do quake with fear: Methought a serpent eat my heart away, And you sat smiling at his cruel pray. Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord! What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word? Alack, where are you speak, an if you hear; Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear. No? then I well perceive you all not nigh Either death or you I'll find immediately.
NO. 5: INTERMEZZO (INTERMEZZO UNDERSCORES THE FOLLOWING)
You see what comes of disobeying your father, young lady! Ah well, yes. Back to Puck, who discovers QUINCE, BOTTOM AND FLUTE rehearsing their play right next to where Titania and her fairies are sleeping.
Re-enter TITANIA with FAIRIES
Enter OBERON WITH PUCK who applies the nectar to TITANIA'S eyes Enter BOTTOM, FLUTE, and QUINCE
When you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake; and so everyone according to his cue.
NO. 6: MELODRAMA
What hempen home-spuns 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.
Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.
Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet,--
--odours savours sweet:
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear. But hark, a voice! stay thou but here awhile, And by and by I will to thee appear.
A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.
Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue, Of colour 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.
'Ninus' tomb,' man: why, you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus: you speak all your part at once, cues and all Pyramus enter: your cue is past; it is, 'never tire.'
O,--As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.
Re-enter BOTTOM with an ass's head and PUCK behind laughing mischievously
If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters! fly, masters! Help!
Exeunt QUINCE, FLUTE
I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round,
Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier: Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn, Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them to make me afeard.
O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?
What do you see? you see an asshead of your own, do you?
I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir
from this place, do what they can: I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
The ousel cock so black of hue, With orange-tawny bill,
The throstle with his note so true, The wren with little quill,--
[Awaking] What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
The finch, the sparrow and the lark,
The plain-song cuckoo gray,
Whose note full many a man doth mark,
And dares not answer nay;--
for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish
a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry 'cuckoo' never so?
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again: Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.
Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!
Enter PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, and MUSTARDSEED
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman; Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower. (MUSIC)
The moon methinks looks with a watery eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Tie up my love's tongue bring him silently.
I wonder if Titania be awaked;
Then, what it was that next came in her eye, Which she must dote on in extremity.
Here comes my messenger.
How now, mad spirit!
NO. 6- ALLEGRO MOLTO
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
My mistress with a monster is in love!
This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
I took him sleeping,--that is finish'd too,-- And the Athenian woman by his side:
That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.
Stand close: this is the same Athenian.
But this is not the man.
Believing I have her Lysander slain,
There is no following Hermia in this fierce vein: Here therefore for a while I will remain.
Lies down and sleeps
What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight: About the wood go swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou find:
All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear: By some illusion see thou bring her here:
I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.
I go, I go; look how I go,
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
Exit WITH MUSIC
Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye.
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wakest, if she be by, Beg of her for remedy.
Re-enter PUCK WITH MUSIC
According to my King's command, Helena is here at hand;
And the youth, mistook by me, Pleading for a lover's fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be! Puck will hide; the noise they make Will cause Demetrius to awake. Then will two at once woo one; That must needs be sport alone; And those things do best please me That befal preposterously.
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA
Why should you think that I should woo in scorn? Look, when I vow, I weep.
You do advance your cunning more and more. These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
I had no judgment when to her I swore.
Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
[Awaking] O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine! To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?Crystal is muddy.
O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent To set against me for your merriment.
You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
For you love Hermia; this you know I know.
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 sojourn'd, And now to Helen is it home return'd,
There to remain.
Helen, it is not so.
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes, The ear more quick of apprehension makes; Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know, The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?
You speak not as you think: it cannot be.
Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three To fashion this false sport, in spite of me. Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid! Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it, Though I alone do feel the injury.
I am amazed at your passionate words.
I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.
Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me and praise my eyes and face? And made your other love, Demetrius,
Who even but now did spurn me with his foot, To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare?
Why are you grown so rude? what change is this? (To Lysander) Sweet love,--
Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!
O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right, Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.
Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS
You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you: Nay, go not back.
I will not trust you, I,
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray, My legs are longer though, to run away.
I am amazed, and know not what to say.
NO. 6- ALLEGRO CON MOLTO CONTINUES
Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog as black as Acheron,
And lead these testy rivals so astray
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue, Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus, Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep: Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with his might,
And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight. When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision,
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league whose date till death shall never end. Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town: Goblin, lead them up and down. Here comes the Athenian.
LYSANDER enters as Puck is spelling him to sleep, then lies down
On the ground
To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.
Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eyes When thou wakest,
In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye:
And the country proverb known, That every man should take his own, In your waking shall be shown:
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill;
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
NO. 7 CON MOTO TRANQUILLO (music underscores Puck putting on asshead, then joining Titania/fairies to sleep)
NO. 8: ANDANTE
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes:
And, alas, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That, he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair
And think no more of this night's accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see:
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
My Oberon! what visions have I seen! Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.
There lies your love.
How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
Come, my queen, take hands with me,
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be. Now thou and I are new in amity,
And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair prosperity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
PUCK (taking off asshead)
Fairy king, attend, and mark:
I do hear the morning lark.
As the night gave way to morning, the Duke and his bride to be, set out with a hunting party. Hippolyta told Theseus that when she heard the hounds of Sparta that she'd "...never heard so musical a discord, such sweet thunder." Not to be outdone, Theseus started bragging about his dogs when who should we encounter, fast asleep? My daughter, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena! Bless his heart, Theseus tried to cover for them by suggesting that "No doubt they rose up early to observe the rite of May, and hearing our intent,
came here to grace our solemnity." Rrrrriiiiiight. Then he ordered the huntsmen to wake them with their horns! (horns play!) Seeing their determination, Theseus overruled my paternal authority and not only did he give them his blessing, but he invited them to be married in royal fashion that very day with him and Hippolyta. And, just in case you're wondering about Bottom, well, he woke up believing the whole donkey, fairy business was but a dream. He was so inspired that he even convinced Peter Quince to write a play about it. Well, the wedding was beautiful. I hate to admit it, but I cried...a little....
NO. 9: WEDDING MARCH (ALLEGRO VIVACE)
EGEUS-After the wedding we were all invited to see a play put on by that acting company we saw earlier. Let's just say, I've never seen anything like it....
NO. 10: ALLEGRO COMODO (PROLOGUE) SCENE 9
Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show; But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
This beauteous lady Thisby is certain.
This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present Wall, that vile Wall which did these lovers sunder; And through Wall's chink, poor souls, they are content To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
for, if you will know,
By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
The trusty Thisby, coming first by night,
Did scare away, or rather did affright;
And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain:
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
He bravely broach'd is boiling bloody breast;
And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,
His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
At large discourse, while here they do remain.
In this same interlude it doth befall
That I, one Snout by name, present a wall.
O night, O night! alack, alack, alack!
O wall! O, sweet and lovely wall,
Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
Wall holds up his fingers
Thanks, courteous wall:
Jove shield thee well for this!
But what see I?
No Thisby do I see.
O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss! Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!
O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans, For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones, Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.
I see a voice: now will I to the chink, To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby!
My love thou art, my love I think.
O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall!
I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.
Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?
'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.
Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe
Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so; And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. Enter Lion and Moonshine
You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor, May now perchance both quake and tremble here, When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
Then know that I, one Snug the joiner, am
A lion-fell, nor else no lion's dam;
For, if I should as lion come in strife
Into this place, 'twere pity on my life.
This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?
Thisbe runs off
Well roared, Lion.
Well run, Thisbe.
Lion shakes Thisbe's mantle, and exits And then came Pyramus.
Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams; I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright; For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
I trust to take of truest Thisby sight.
O dainty duck! O dear! Thy mantle good,
What, stain'd with blood!
This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame? Since lion vile hath here deflower'd my dear: Which is--no, no--which was the fairest dame That lived, that loved, that liked, that look'd with cheer.
Come, tears, confound; Out, sword, and wound The pap of Pyramus; Ay, that left pap, Where heart doth hop: Stabs himself
Thus die I, thus, thus, thus. Now am I dead,
Now am I fled;
My soul is in the sky: Tongue, lose thy light; Moon take thy flight:
Now die, die, die, die, die.
With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and prove an ass.
Asleep, my love?
What, dead, my dove?
O Pyramus, arise!
O Sisters Three,
Come, come to me,
With hands as pale as milk;
Lay them in gore,
Since you have shore
With shears his thread of silk. Tongue, not a word:
Come, trusty sword;
Come, blade, my breast imbrue: Stabs herself
And, farewell, friends;
Thus Thisby ends:
Adieu, adieu, adieu.
Moonshine, Lion, and Wall are left to bury the dead.
[Starting up] No I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance by two of our company?
No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. But come, your Bergomask!
NO. 11: A DANCE OF CLOWNS-ORCHESTRA
Quince and Flute Dance
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve: 'tis almost fairy time.
This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled The heavy gait of night.
A fortnight hold we this solemnity, In nightly revels and new jollity.
NO. 12: MELODRAM-ORCHESTRA
Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe In remembrance of a shroud. Now it is the time of night
That the graves all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide: And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun, Following darkness like a dream, Now are frolic: not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.
Through the house give gathering light, By the dead and drowsy fire: Every elf and fairy sprite
Hop as light as bird from brier; And this ditty, after me, Sing, and dance it trippingly.
First, rehearse your song by rote To each word a warbling note: Hand in hand, with fairy grace, Will we sing, and bless this place.
NO. 13: FINALE-ORCHESTRA
Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be;
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless, Through this palace, with sweet peace; And the owner of it blest
Ever shall in safety rest.
Trip away; make no stay;
Meet me all by break of day.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumber'd here While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue, We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
8/13 Adapted by Jen Hughes