directory
home contact

Famous Quotations from A Midsummer Night's Dream

Ay me! for aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth. (1.1.132)

O, hell! to choose love by another’s eyes. (1.1.140)

If there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
Making it momentany as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say, 'Behold!'
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion. (1.1.141)

Your eyes are lodestars! and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. (1.1.183)

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;
And as he errs, doting on Helen's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. (1.1.226)

The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby. (1.2.11)

Masters, spread yourselves. (1.2.16)

I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split. (1.2.31)

This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein. (1.2.43)

Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming. (1.2.50)

I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you as 'twere any nightingale. (1.2.85)

Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a summer's day. (1.2.89)

Hold, or cut bow-strings. (1.2.115)

Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
fairy Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moone'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 dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. (2.1.1)

The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and loff. (2.1.51)

Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania. (2.1.60)

The fold stands empty in the drownèd field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine men's morris is filled up with mud. (2.1.96)

Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose. (2.1.103)

Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music. (2.1.149)

But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quenched in the chaste beams of the wat'ry moon,
And the imperial votaress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it, Love-in-idleness. (2.1.161)

I'll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes. (2.1.175)

I know a bank whereon 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 some time of the night,
Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamelled skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. (2.1.249)

You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen;
Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong;
Come not near our fairy queen. (2.1.9)

Weaving spiders come not here;
Hence you long-legged spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence. (2.2.20)

God shield us!--a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living. (3.1.32)

Look in the almanack; find out moonshine, find out moonshine. (3.1.55)

What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen? (3.1.82)

Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated. (3.1.124)

What angel wakes me from my flowery bed? (3.1.135)

Out of this wood do not desire to go. (3.1.159)

As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky;
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly. (3.2.20)

Lord, what fools these mortals be! (3.2.115)

So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition;
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart. (3.2.208)

Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
Make mouths upon me when I turn my back. (3.2.237)

O! when she's angry she is keen and shrewd.
She was a vixen when she went to school:
And though she be but little, she is fierce. (3.2.323)

...Night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards. (3.2.379)

Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.(3.2.440)

Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill;
The man shall have his mare again,
And all shall be well. (3.2.461)

I must to the barber's, monsieur, for methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face. (4.1.25)

I have a reasonable good ear in music: let us have the tongs and the bones. (4.1.32)

Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow. (4.1.37)

I pray you, let none of your people stir me: I have an exposition of sleep come upon me. (4.1.43)

My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamoured of an ass.(4.1.82)

I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
When in a wood of Crete they bayed the bear
With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear...
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder. (4.1.118)

I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. (4.1.211)

The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. (4.1.218)

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman; the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear! (5.1.7)

What revels are in hand? Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour? (5.1.36)

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
And his love Thisbe: very tragical mirth.
Merry and tragical! tedious and brief!
That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow. (5.1.56)

For never anything can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it. (5.1.82)

Out of this silence yet I picked a welcome;
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much as from the rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence. (5.1.100)

If we offend, it is with our good will.
That you should think, we come not to offend,
But with good will. To show our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider then we come but in despite.
We do not come as minding to content you,
Our true intent is. All for your delight,
We are not here. (5.1.108)

Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
He bravely broached his boiling bloody breast. (5.1.148)

The best in this kind are but shadows, and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them. (5.1.215)

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve;
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time. (5.1.372)

Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone. (5.2.1)

Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallowed house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door. (5.2.17)

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear. (5.2.54)

_________

Related Articles

 A Midsummer Night's Dream: Complete Text with Explanatory Notes
 A True Gentleman: Examining Shakespeare's Theseus
 A History of A Midsummer Night's Dream to 1900.
 Shakespeare's Fairies: The Triumph of Dramatic Art
 How to Pronounce the Names in A Midsummer Night's Dream
 A Midsummer Night's Dream: Plot Summary

 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels