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'A Midsummer Nights Dream' Script - A Midsummer Night's...

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream By William Shakespeare, Edited by Anthony Tassa ACT I. SCENE I. A song sets the atmosphere of London. People are milling about, lining up to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Dutchess. The Gate of the palace opens as music plays. Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendants . The train processes out, lead by horses and great fanfare. THESEUS Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace; four happy days bring in Another moon: but, O, methinks, how slow This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires, HIPPOLYTA Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; Four nights will quickly dream away the time; And then the moon, shall behold the night Of our solemnities. THESEUS Go, Philostrate, Stir up the London youth to merriments; Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth. Exit PHILOSTRATE Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key, With pomp, with triumph and with revelling. Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS EGEUS Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke! THESEUS Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee? EGEUS 1
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Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia. 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; Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, And interchanged love-tokens with my child: Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung, With feigning voice verses of feigning love, With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart, Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me, To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke, Either she; consent to marry with Demetrius, Or I beg the ancient privilege of the law, As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death. THESEUS What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid: To you your father should be as a god. Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. HERMIA So is Lysander. THESEUS In himself he is; But in this kind, wanting your father's voice, The other must be held the worthier. HERMIA I would my father look'd but with my eyes. THESEUS Rather your eyes must with his judgment look. HERMIA I do entreat your grace to pardon me. I beseech your grace that I may know The worst that may befall me in this case, If I refuse to wed Demetrius. 2
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THESEUS Either to die the death or to abjure For ever the society of men. Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires; If you yield not to your father's choice, You can endure the livery of a nun, HERMIA So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will my virgin patent up Unto his lordship. THESEUS Take time to pause; and, by the nest new moon-- The wedding-day betwixt my love and me, Upon that day either prepare to die For disobedience to your father's will, Or else to wed Demetrius.
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