A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

by William Shakespeare

FIRST FAIRY

There is trouble in Fairyland. The King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania, have quarrelled over the possession of a little Indian boy. The FAIRY is awaiting the arrival of Titania and is met by Oberon’s servant, Puck, who asks her where she is going.
Note: This scene between Puck and the Fairy can also be played as a duologue.

Fairy

Enter a FAIRY at one door, and Puck (Robin Goodfellow) at another

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire –
I do wander everywhere
Swifter than the moon’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 dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I’ll be gone.
Our Queen and all her elves come here anon …
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Called Robin Goodfellow. Are you not he
That frights the maiden of the villagery,
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn,
And sometimes make the drink to bear no barm,
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that ‘Hobgoblin’ call you, and ‘Sweet Puck’,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.
Are not you he?

  • Orbs = fairy rings – circles of darker glass
  • Pensioners = attendants
  • Lob = clown
  • Elves = boy fairies
  • Shrewd = mischievous
  • Villagery = villages
  • Skim milk = steal cream
  • Bootless = fruitless
  • Barm = froth on the ale
  • Hobgoblin = another name for Puck

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (play script)
Watch A Midsummer Nights Dream - Act 2 Scene 1 on YouTube
A one-act version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – ‘Dream On’ – by Arts On The Move will be in the e-shop soon!

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