A Midsummer Night's Dream

Synopsis: Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.
Director(s): Michael Hoffman
  1 win & 1 nomination.
116 min

We'll eat with these.



[ Sighs ]

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,

like to a stepdame or a dowager,

long withering out

a young man's revenue.

Four days will quickly

steep themselves in night,

four nights will quickly

dream away the time.

[ Laughs ]

And then the moon,

like to a silver bow

new-bent in heaven,

shall behold the night

of our solemnities.

Happy be Theseus,

our renowned duke.

Thanks, good Egeus.

What's the news with thee?

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.

This man hath bewitched

the bosom of my child.

Thou, thou, Lysander,

thou hast given her rhymes

and interchanged love tokens

with my child.

With cunning hast thou filched

my daughter's heart.

Turned her obedience,

which is due to me,

to stubborn harshness.

And, my gracious duke,

be it so she will not

here before your grace

consent to marry

with Demetrius.

I beg the ancient

privilege of Athens.

As she is mine,

I may dispose of her,

and that shall be either

to this gentleman...

or to herdeath,

according to ourlaw...

immediately provided

in that case.

What say you, Hermia?

Relent, sweet Hermia,

and, Lysander, yield

thy crazed title

to my certain right.

You have her father's love,


Let me have Hermia's.

Do you marry him.

Cur. Cur!

Scornful Lysander,

true, he hath my love,

and what is mine

my love shall render him.

And she is mine,

and all my right of her

I do estate unto Demetrius.

I am, my lord,

as well derived as he,

as well possessed.

My love is more than his,

and which is more than

all these boasts can be,

I am beloved

of beauteous Hermia.

Why should not I

then prosecute my right?


I'll avouch it to his head,

made love to

Nedar's daughter Helena

and won her soul.

And she, sweet lady, dotes,

devoutly dotes,

dotes in idolatry,

upon this spotted

and inconstant man.

I must confess

I have heard so much.

I do entreat your grace

to pardon me.

I know not by what power

I am made bold,

nor how it may concern

my modesty

in such a presence here

to plead my thoughts...

but I beseech your grace

that I may know

the worst that may

befall me in this case.

Either to die the death,

orto abjure forever

the society of men.

And therefore, fair Hermia,

question your desires,

know of your youth,

examine well your blood,

whether, if you yield not

to your father's choice,

you can endure

the livery of a nun,

for aye to be

in shady cloister mewed,

to live a barren sister

all your life,

chanting faint hymns

to the cold fruitless moon.

So will I grow...

so live, so die, my lord,

ere I will yield

my virgin patent up

unto his lordship

whose unwished yoke

my soul consents

not to give sovereignty.

Take time to pause.

By the next new moon,

upon that day

either prepare to die

for disobedience

to your father's will,

or else to wed Demetrius,

as he would,

or on Diana's altar to protest

for aye austerity

and single life.

For you, fair Hermia,

look you arm yourself

to fit your fancies

to your father's will.

Come, Hippolyta.

Demetrius, come.

And come, Egeus.

I have some private schooling

for you both.

[Crying ]

Hownow, 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.

Aye me!

For aught

that I could ever read,

could ever hear

by tale or history,

the course of true love

never did run smooth.

If there were

a sympathy in choice,

war, death, or sickness

did lay siege to it,

making it momentary as a sound,

swift as a shadow,

short as any dream,

as 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

to devour it up.

So quick bright things

come to confusion.

Therefore hear me, Hermia.

I have a widow aunt,

a dowager of great revenue,

and she respects me

as her only son.



[ Indistinct Conversation ]




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 winged Cupid

painted blind.

God speed, fair Helena.

Whither away?

Call you me fair?

That fair again unsay.

Demetrius loves your fair.

O...happy fair!

Sickness is catching.

O, were favor so,

yours would I catch,

fair Hermia, ere I go.

O, teach me how you look,

and with what art

you sway the motion

of Demetrius' heart.

His folly, Helena,

is no fault of mine.

None but your beauty.

Would that fault were mine!

Take comfort.

He no more shall see my face.

Lysander and myself

shall fly this place.


to you our minds we will unfold.

Tomorrow night,

when Phoebe doth behold

her silver visage

in the watery glass,

a time that lovers' flights

doth still conceal,

through Athens gates

have we devised to steal.

And thence from Athens

turn away our eyes

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Michael Hoffman

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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