Speeches (Lines) for Hermia
in "Midsummer Night's Dream"

Total: 48

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,57

Theseus. What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid:
To you your father should be as a god;
One that composed your beauties, yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax
By him imprinted and within his power
To leave the figure or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

Hermia. So is Lysander.


2

I,1,61

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.


3

I,1,63

Theseus. Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.

Hermia. 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,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.


4

I,1,84

Theseus. Either to die the death or to abjure
For ever the society of men.
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 mew'd,
To live a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice-blessed they that master so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.

Hermia. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.


5

I,1,136

Lysander. How now, my love! why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the roses there do fade so fast?

Hermia. Belike for want of rain, which I could well
Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.


6

I,1,142

Lysander. Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But, either it was different in blood,—

Hermia. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low.


7

I,1,144

Lysander. Or else misgraffed in respect of years,—

Hermia. O spite! too old to be engaged to young.


8

I,1,146

Lysander. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,—

Hermia. O hell! to choose love by another's eyes.


9

I,1,156

Lysander. Or, 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.

Hermia. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross,
As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers.


10

I,1,175

Lysander. A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And in the wood, a league without the town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
To do observance to a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.

Hermia. My good Lysander!
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
When the false Troyan under sail was seen,
By all the vows that ever men have broke,
In number more than ever women spoke,
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.


11

I,1,188

(stage directions). [Enter HELENA]

Hermia. God speed fair Helena! whither away?


12

I,1,202

Helena. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching: O, were favour so,
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
O, teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.

Hermia. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.


13

I,1,204

Helena. O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!

Hermia. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.


14

I,1,206

Helena. O that my prayers could such affection move!

Hermia. The more I hate, the more he follows me.


15

I,1,208

Helena. The more I love, the more he hateth me.

Hermia. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.


16

I,1,210

Helena. None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!

Hermia. Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
Lysander and myself will fly this place.
Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me:
O, then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell!


17

I,1,222

Lysander. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
Her silver visage in the watery glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,
Through Athens' gates have we devised to steal.

Hermia. And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us;
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.


18

II,2,693

Lysander. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;
And to speak troth, I have forgot our way:
We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
And tarry for the comfort of the day.

Hermia. Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed;
For I upon this bank will rest my head.


19

II,2,697

Lysander. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.

Hermia. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.


20

II,2,707

Lysander. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
Love takes the meaning in love's conference.
I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
So that but one heart we can make of it;
Two bosoms interchained with an oath;
So then two bosoms and a single troth.
Then by your side no bed-room me deny;
For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

Hermia. Lysander riddles very prettily:
Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.
But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Lie further off; in human modesty,
Such separation as may well be said
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!


21

II,2,719

Lysander. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
And then end life when I end loyalty!
Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest!

Hermia. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!


22

II,2,806

(stage directions). [Exit]

Hermia. [Awaking] Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!
Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here!
Lysander, look how I do quake with fear:
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel pray.
Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord!
What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
Alack, where are you speak, an if you hear;
Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.
No? then I well perceive you all not nigh
Either death or you I'll find immediately.


23

III,2,1078

Demetrius. O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

Hermia. Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.
The sun was not so true unto the day
As he to me: would he have stolen away
From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
This whole earth may be bored and that the moon
May through the centre creep and so displease
Her brother's noontide with Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;
So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.


24

III,2,1095

Demetrius. So should the murder'd look, and so should I,
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty:
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

Hermia. What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?


25

III,2,1098

Demetrius. I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

Hermia. Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
Henceforth be never number'd among men!
O, once tell true, tell true, even for my sake!
Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.


26

III,2,1110

Demetrius. You spend your passion on a misprised mood:
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Hermia. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.


27

III,2,1112

Demetrius. An if I could, what should I get therefore?

Hermia. A privilege never to see me more.
And from thy hated presence part I so:
See me no more, whether he be dead or no.


28

III,2,1217

(stage directions). [Re-enter HERMIA]

Hermia. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense.
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?


29

III,2,1225

Lysander. Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?

Hermia. What love could press Lysander from my side?


30

III,2,1231

Lysander. Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?

Hermia. You speak not as you think: it cannot be.


31

III,2,1260

Helena. Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us,—O, is it all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds,
Had been incorporate. So we grow 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;
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Hermia. I am amazed at your passionate words.
I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.


32

III,2,1276

Helena. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius,
Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,
To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
And tender me, forsooth, affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent?
What thought I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
But miserable most, to love unloved?
This you should pity rather than despise.

Hermia. I understand not what you mean by this.


33

III,2,1288

Helena. O excellent!

Hermia. Sweet, do not scorn her so.


34

III,2,1298

Demetrius. Quick, come!

Hermia. Lysander, whereto tends all this?


35

III,2,1305

Lysander. Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!

Hermia. Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
Sweet love,—


36

III,2,1309

Lysander. Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!

Hermia. Do you not jest?


37

III,2,1316

Lysander. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.

Hermia. What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
Am not I Hermia? are not you Lysander?
I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
Since night you loved me; yet since night you left
me:
Why, then you left me—O, the gods forbid!—
In earnest, shall I say?


38

III,2,1329

Lysander. Ay, by my life;
And never did desire to see thee more.
Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
That I do hate thee and love Helena.

Hermia. O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
You thief of love! what, have you come by night
And stolen my love's heart from him?


39

III,2,1337

Helena. Fine, i'faith!
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!

Hermia. Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem;
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.


40

III,2,1354

Helena. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice:
Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
Because she is something lower than myself,
That I can match her.

Hermia. Lower! hark, again.


41

III,2,1367

Helena. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I evermore did love you, Hermia,
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him;
But he hath chid me hence and threaten'd me
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back
And follow you no further: let me go:
You see how simple and how fond I am.

Hermia. Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?


42

III,2,1369

Helena. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.

Hermia. What, with Lysander?


43

III,2,1376

Helena. 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.

Hermia. 'Little' again! nothing but 'low' and 'little'!
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her.


44

III,2,1393

(stage directions). [Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS]

Hermia. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
Nay, go not back.


45

III,2,1400

(stage directions). [Exit]

Hermia. I am amazed, and know not what to say.


46

III,2,1517

(stage directions). [Re-enter HERMIA]

Hermia. Never so weary, never so in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,
I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
Here will I rest me till the break of day.
Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!


47

IV,1,1747

Demetrius. These things seem small and undistinguishable,

Hermia. Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
When every thing seems double.


48

IV,1,1756

Demetrius. Are you sure
That we are awake? It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
The duke was here, and bid us follow him?

Hermia. Yea; and my father.


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