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

Total: 48

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Speech text



Theseus. Take time to pause; and, by the nest new moon—
The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
For everlasting bond of fellowship—
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.

Demetrius. Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield
Thy crazed title to my certain right.



(stage directions). [Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA, following him]

Demetrius. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood;
And here am I, and wode within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.



Helena. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.

Demetrius. Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?



Helena. And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love,—
And yet a place of high respect with me,—
Than to be used as you use your dog?

Demetrius. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
For I am sick when I do look on thee.



Helena. And I am sick when I look not on you.

Demetrius. You do impeach your modesty too much,
To leave the city and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
To trust the opportunity of night
And the ill counsel of a desert place
With the rich worth of your virginity.



Helena. Your virtue is my privilege: for that
It is not night when I do see your face,
Therefore I think I am not in the night;
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company,
For you in my respect are all the world:
Then how can it be said I am alone,
When all the world is here to look on me?

Demetrius. I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.



Helena. The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story shall be changed:
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
When cowardice pursues and valour flies.

Demetrius. I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.



Helena. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.

Demetrius. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.



Helena. O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.

Demetrius. Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go.



Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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



(stage directions). [Exit]

Demetrius. There is no following her in this fierce vein:
Here therefore for a while I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe:
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.



Lysander. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

Demetrius. [Awaking] O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!



Helena. Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

Demetrius. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
And now to Helen is it home return'd,
There to remain.



Lysander. Helen, it is not so.

Demetrius. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.
Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.



Hermia. Sweet, do not scorn her so.

Demetrius. If she cannot entreat, I can compel.



Lysander. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.
Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do:
I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
To prove him false that says I love thee not.

Demetrius. I say I love thee more than he can do.



Lysander. If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.

Demetrius. Quick, come!



Lysander. Away, you Ethiope!

Demetrius. No, no; he'll
Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow,
But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!



Lysander. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

Demetrius. I would I had your bond, for I perceive
A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.



Lysander. Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.

Demetrius. No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.



Lysander. Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
You bead, you acorn.

Demetrius. You are too officious
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone: speak not of Helena;
Take not her part; for, if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.



Lysander. Now she holds me not;
Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.

Demetrius. Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.



(stage directions). [Re-enter DEMETRIUS]

Demetrius. Lysander! speak again:
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?



Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled
That draws a sword on thee.

Demetrius. Yea, art thou there?



Puck. Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

Demetrius. Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place,
And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou now?



Puck. Come hither: I am here.

Demetrius. Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,
If ever I thy face by daylight see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
By day's approach look to be visited.



Egeus. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough:
I beg the law, the law, upon his head.
They would have stolen away; they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to have defeated you and me,
You of your wife and me of my consent,
Of my consent that she should be your wife.

Demetrius. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither to this wood;
And I in fury hither follow'd them,
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,—
But by some power it is,—my love to Hermia,
Melted as the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gaud
Which in my childhood I did dote upon;
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:
But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food;
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.



(stage directions). [Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train]

Demetrius. These things seem small and undistinguishable,



Helena. So methinks:
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.

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?



Lysander. And he did bid us follow to the temple.

Demetrius. Why, then, we are awake: let's follow him
And by the way let us recount our dreams.



Theseus. I wonder if the lion be to speak.

Demetrius. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.



Theseus. Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

Demetrius. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard
discourse, my lord.



Theseus. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.

Demetrius. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear
without warning.



Theseus. A very gentle beast, of a good conscience.

Demetrius. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.



Theseus. True; and a goose for his discretion.

Demetrius. Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his
discretion; and the fox carries the goose.



Starveling. [as Moonshine] This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;—

Demetrius. He should have worn the horns on his head.



Theseus. This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man
should be put into the lanthorn. How is it else the
man i' the moon?

Demetrius. He dares not come there for the candle; for, you
see, it is already in snuff.



Starveling. [as Moonshine] All that I have to say, is, to tell you that the
lanthorn is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this
thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.

Demetrius. Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for all
these are in the moon. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.



(stage directions). [Thisbe runs off]

Demetrius. Well roared, Lion.



Lysander. And so the lion vanished.

Demetrius. And then came Pyramus.



(stage directions). [Dies]

Demetrius. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.



Hippolyta. Methinks she should not use a long one for such a
Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.

Demetrius. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which
Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, God warrant us;
she for a woman, God bless us.



Lysander. She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.

Demetrius. And thus she means, videlicet:—



Theseus. Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.

Demetrius. Ay, and Wall too.

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