A Midsummer Night's Dream

Act I
scene III
Act II
scene III
Act IV
scene III
Act V
scene I
First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Quince the Carpenter, Snug the Ioyner, Enter Quince the carpenter, and Snug the joiner, and MND I.ii.1.1
Bottome the Weauer, Flute the bellowes-mender,Bottom the weaver, and Flute the bellows-mender, MND I.ii.1.2
Snout the Tinker, and Starueling the Taylor.and Snout the tinker, and Starveling the tailor MND I.ii.1.3
Is all our company heere?Is all our company here? MND I.ii.1
You were best to call them generally, man byYou were best to call them generally, man by  MND I.ii.2
man according to the scrip.man, according to the scrip.scrip (n.)
script, text
MND I.ii.3
Here is the scrowle of euery mans name, which isHere is the scroll of every man's name which is MND I.ii.4
thought fit through all Athens, to play in our Enterludethought fit through all Athens to play in our interludeinterlude, enterlude (n.)
short play, theatrical performance [staged to fill an interval]
MND I.ii.5
before the Duke and the Dutches, on his wedding day atbefore the Duke and the Duchess on his wedding-day at MND I.ii.6
night.night. MND I.ii.7
First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treatsFirst, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats MND I.ii.8
on: then read the names of the Actors: and so grow on to aon; then read the names of the actors; and so grow to a MND I.ii.9
point.point. MND I.ii.10
Marry our play is the most lamentable Comedy,Marry, our play is The most lamentable comedymarry (int.)
[exclamation] by Mary
MND I.ii.11
and most cruell death of Pyramus and Thisbie.and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.Pyramus (n.)
lover of Thisbe; kept apart by their parents, they talked through a crack in their dividing wall; arriving at a rendezvous, Pyramus found Thisbe’s cloak stained with blood from a lion’s prey; thinking she had been killed by a lion
MND I.ii.12
Thisbe (n.)
[pron: 'thizbee] lover of Pyramus
A very good peece of worke I assure you, and aA very good piece of work, I assure you, and a MND I.ii.13
merry. Now good Peter Quince, call forth your Actorsmerry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors MND I.ii.14
by the scrowle. Masters spread your selues.by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves. MND I.ii.15
Quince. QUINCE 
Answere as I call you. Nick Bottome the Weauer.Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver? MND I.ii.16
Bottome. BOTTOM 
Ready; name what part I am for, andReady! – Name what part I am for, and MND I.ii.17
proceed.proceed. MND I.ii.18
Quince. QUINCE 
You Nicke Bottome are set downe for Pyramus. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus. MND I.ii.19
What is Pyramus, a louer, or a tyrant?What is Pyramus? – a lover or a tyrant? MND I.ii.20
A Louer that kills himselfe most gallantly for loue.A lover that kills himself, most gallant, for love. MND I.ii.21
That will aske some teares in the true performingThat will ask some tears in the true performing MND I.ii.22
of it: if I do it, let the audience looke to their eies: I willof it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes! I willdo (v.)
perform, play one's part, act
MND I.ii.23
mooue stormes; I will condole in some measure. To themove storms. I will condole, in some measure. To thecondole (v.)
lament, grieve, express great sorrow
MND I.ii.24
rest yet, my chiefe humour is for a tyrant. I could play rest. – Yet my chief humour is for a tyrant. I could playhumour (n.)
fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
MND I.ii.25
Ercles rarely, or a part to teare a Cat in, to make all splitErcles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split:rarely (adv.)
splendidly, beautifully, excellently
MND I.ii.26
Ercles (n.)
['airkleez] comic form of Hercules
the raging Rocks;The raging rocks MND I.ii.27
and shiuering shocks And shivering shocksshivering (adj.)

old form: shiuering
shattering, splintering
MND I.ii.28
shall break the locksShall break the locks MND I.ii.29
of prison gates,Of prison gates, MND I.ii.30
and Phibbus carre And Phibbus' carPhoebus (n.)
[pron: 'feebus] Latin name for Apollo as the sun-god; also called Phoebus Apollo
MND I.ii.31
car (n.)

old form: carre
carriage, cart, chariot [often of the sun god]
shall shine from farre,Shall shine from far MND I.ii.32
and make and marreAnd make and mar MND I.ii.33
the foolish Fates.The foolish Fates.Fates (n.)
trio of goddesses who control human destiny: Atropos (‘the inflexible’) cuts the thread of life allotted and spun by Lachesis (‘the distributor’) and Clotho (‘the spinner’)
MND I.ii.34
This was lofty. Now name the rest of the Players.This was lofty! – Now name the rest of the players. –  MND I.ii.35
This is Ercles vaine, a tyrants vaine: a louer is moreThis is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein. A lover is morevein (n.)

old form: vaine
style, manner
MND I.ii.36
condoling. condoling.condoling (adj.)
moving, affecting, poignant
MND I.ii.37
Francis Flute the Bellowes-mender.Francis Flute, the bellows-mender? MND I.ii.38
Heere Peter Quince.Here, Peter Quince. MND I.ii.39
You must take Thisbie on you.Flute, you must take Thisbe on you. MND I.ii.40
Flut. FLUTE 
What is Thisbie, a wandring Knight?What is Thisbe? – a wandering knight? MND I.ii.41
It is the Lady that Pyramus must loue.It is the lady that Pyramus must love. MND I.ii.42
Flut. FLUTE 
Nay faith, let not mee play a woman, I haue aNay, faith, let not me play a woman – I have a MND I.ii.43
beard comming.beard coming. MND I.ii.44
That's all one, you shall play it in a Maske, andThat's all one: you shall play it in a mask, and MND I.ii.45
you may speake as small as you will.you may speak as small as you will.small (adj.)
high-pitched, fluting, thin
MND I.ii.46
And I may hide my face, let me play Thisbie too:An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too.and, an (conj.)
if, whether
MND I.ii.47
Ile speake in a monstrous little voyce; Thisne, Thisne,I'll speak in a monstrous little voice: ‘ Thisne, Thisne!’monstrous (adv.)
exceedingly, wonderfully, extraordinarily
MND I.ii.48
ah Pyramus my louer deare, thy Thisbie deare, and Lady‘ Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisbe dear, and lady MND I.ii.49
deare.dear.’ MND I.ii.50
No no, you must play Pyramus, and Flute, youNo, no; you must play Pyramus; and Flute, you MND I.ii.51
Thisby.Thisbe. MND I.ii.52
Well, proceed.Well, proceed. MND I.ii.53
Robin Starueling the Taylor.Robin Starveling, the tailor? MND I.ii.54
Heere Peter Quince.Here, Peter Quince. MND I.ii.55
Quince. QUINCE 
Robin Starueling, you must play ThisbiesRobin Starveling, you must play Thisbe's MND I.ii.56
mother? Tom Snowt, the Tinker.mother. Tom Snout, the tinker? MND I.ii.57
Snowt. SNOUT 
Heere Peter Quince.Here, Peter Quince. MND I.ii.58
You, Pyramus father; my self, Thisbies father;You, Pyramus' father; myself, Thisbe's father; MND I.ii.59
Snugge the Ioyner, you the Lyons part: and I hope there isSnug, the joiner, you the lion's part; and I hope here is MND I.ii.60
a play fitted.a play fitted. MND I.ii.61
Snug. SNUG 
Haue you the Lions part written? pray you if be,Have you the lion's part written? Pray you, if it be, MND I.ii.62
giue it me, for I am slow of studie.give it me; for I am slow of study.study (n.)

old form: studie
preparation, learning, memorizing [of a part]
MND I.ii.63
You may doe it extemporie, for it is nothing butYou may do it extempore; for it is nothing butextempore (adj./adv.)

old form: extemporie
spontaneously, involuntarily, without thinking
MND I.ii.64
do (v.)

old form: doe
perform, play one's part, act
roaring.roaring. MND I.ii.65
Let mee play the Lyon too, I will roare that I willLet me play the lion too. I will roar that I will MND I.ii.66
doe any mans heart good to heare me. I will roare, that Ido any man's heart good to hear me. I will roar that I MND I.ii.67
will make the Duke say, Let him roare againe, let himwill make the Duke say ‘ Let him roar again; let him MND I.ii.68
roare againe.roar again!’ MND I.ii.69
If you should doe it too terribly, you would frightAn you should do it too terribly you would frightfright (v.), past form frighted
frighten, scare, terrify
MND I.ii.70
and, an (conj.)
if, whether
the Dutchesse and the Ladies, that they would shrike, andthe Duchess and the ladies that they would shriek; and MND I.ii.71
that were enough to hang vs all.that were enough to hang us all. MND I.ii.72
All. ALL Mechanicals 
That would hang vs euery mothers sonne.That would hang us, every mother's son. MND I.ii.73
Bottome. BOTTOM 
I graunt you friends, if that you should fright theI grant you, friends, if that you should fright the MND I.ii.74
Ladies out of their Wittes, they would haue no more discretionladies out of their wits they would have no more discretion MND I.ii.75
but to hang vs: but I will aggrauate my voyce so,but to hang us. But I will aggravate my voice soaggravate (v.)

old form: aggrauate
intensify; malapropism for ‘moderate’
MND I.ii.76
that I will roare you as gently as any sucking Doue; I willthat I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove. I will sucking (adj.)
unweaned, suckling
MND I.ii.77
roare and 'twere any Nightingale. roar you an 'twere any nightingale.and, an (conj.)
as if
MND I.ii.78
You can play no part but Piramus, for Piramus You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus MND I.ii.79
is a sweet-fac'd man, a proper man as one shall see in a is a sweet-faced man; a proper man as one shall see in aproper (adj.)
good-looking, handsome, comely
MND I.ii.80
summers day; a most louely Gentleman-like man, therforesummer's day; a most lovely, gentlemanlike man. Therefore MND I.ii.81
you must needs play Piramus.you must needs play Pyramus. MND I.ii.82
Well, I will vndertake it. What beard were IWell, I will undertake it. What beard were I MND I.ii.83
best to play it in?best to play it in? MND I.ii.84
Why, what you will.Why, what you will. MND I.ii.85
I will discharge it, in either your straw-colourI will discharge it in either your straw-colourdischarge (v.)
play, perform, execute
MND I.ii.86
beard, your orange tawnie beard, your purple in grainebeard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grainorange-tawny (adj.)

old form: orange tawnie
dull yellowish brown
MND I.ii.87
purple-in-grain (adj.)dyed bright red
beard, or your French-crowne colour'd beard, your perfect beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfectFrench-crown-colour (adj.)light yellow coloured [as the French crown coin]MND I.ii.88
yellow.yellow. MND I.ii.89
Some of your French Crownes haue no haire at all,Some of your French crowns have no hair at all;French crown
baldness caused by syphilis [often punning on the French coin]
MND I.ii.90
crown (n.)

old form: Crownes
and then you will play bare-fac'd. But masters hereand then you will play bare-faced! But, masters, here MND I.ii.91
are your parts, and I am to intreat you, request you, andare your parts, and I am to entreat you, request you, and MND I.ii.92
desire you, to con them by too morrow night: and meet medesire you to con them by tomorrow night, and meet mecon (v.)
learn by heart, commit to memory
MND I.ii.93
in the palace wood, a mile without the Towne, by Moone-light,in the palace wood a mile without the town by moonlight. MND I.ii.94
there we will rehearse: for if we meete in the Citie,There will we rehearse; for if we meet in the city MND I.ii.95
we shalbe dog'd with company, and our deuiseswe shall be dogged with company, and our devicesdevice (n.)

old form: deuises
plan, scheme, intention
MND I.ii.96
knowne. In the meane time, I wil draw a bil of properties, known. In the meantime I will draw a bill of propertiesproperty (n.)
(plural) stage requisites, accessories, props
MND I.ii.97
draw (v.)
draw up, draft, frame
bill (n.)

old form: bil
inventory, list, catalogue
such as our play wants. I pray you faile me not.such as our play wants. I pray you, fail me not.want (v.)
require, demand, need
MND I.ii.98
Bottom. BOTTOM 
We will meete, and there we may rehearse moreWe will meet, and there we may rehearse most MND I.ii.99
obscenely and couragiously. Take paines, be perfect,obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfect.obscenely (adv.)
malapropism possibly for ‘seemly’
MND I.ii.100
adieu.Adieu! MND I.ii.101
At the Dukes oake we meete.At the Duke's oak we meet. MND I.ii.102
Enough, hold or cut bow-strings.Enough; hold, or cut bowstrings.hold (v.)
keep, maintain, observe
MND I.ii.103
Exeunt Exeunt Bottom and his fellows MND I.ii.103
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