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  • Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)
  • Editor: Suzanne Westfall
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-465-3

    Copyright Suzanne Westfall. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Suzanne Westfall
    Not Peer Reviewed

    A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)

    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    Quin. Mary, our Play is the most lamentable comedy,
    280and most cruell death of Pyramus and Thisby.
    Bot. A very good peece of worke, I assure you, & a mer-
    ry. Now good Peeter Quince, call forth your Actors, by the
    scrowle. Masters, spreade your selues.
    Quin. Answere, as I call you. Nick Bottom, the Weauer?
    Bott. Readie: Name what part I am for, and proceede.
    Quin. You, Nick Bottom are set downe for Pyramus.
    290Bott. What is Pyramus? A louer, or a tyrant?
    Quin. A louer that kils himselfe, most gallant, for loue.
    Bott. That will aske some teares in the true performing
    of it. If I doe it, let the Audience looke to their eyes: I wil
    295mooue stormes: I will condole, in some measure. To the
    rest yet, my chiefe humour is for a tyrant. I could play Er-
    cles rarely, or a part to teare a Cat in, to make all split the
    raging rocks: and shiuering shocks, shall breake the locks
    of prison gates, and Phibbus carre shall shine from farre,
    300and make & marre the foolish Fates. This was loftie. Now,
    name the rest of the Players. This is Ercles vaine, a tyrants
    vaine: A louer is more condoling.
    Quin. Francis Flute, the Bellowes mender?
    305Flu. Here Peeter Quince.
    Quin. Flute, you must take Thisby, on you.
    Flu. What is Thisby? A wandring knight?
    Quin. It is the Lady, that Pyramus must loue.
    Fl. Nay faith: let not me play a womā: I haue a beard cō-
    Quin. Thats all one: you shall play it in a Maske: and you
    may speake as small as you will.
    Bott. And I may hide my face, let me play Thisby to: Ile
    speake in a monstrous little voice; Thisne, Thisne, ah Py-,
    315ramus my louer deare, thy Thysby deare, & Lady deare.
    Qu. No, no: you must play Pyramus: & Flute, you Thysby.
    Bot. Well, proceede. Qui. Robin Starueling, the Tailer?
    Star. Here Peeter Quince.
    Quin. Robin Starueling, you must play Thysbyes mother: