A Midsummer Night's Dream Text and Translation - eText

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Dramatis Personae

  • THESEUS, Duke of Athens
  • HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, bethrothed to Theseus
  • PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus
  • EGEUS, father to Hermia
  • LYSANDER, in love with Hermia
  • DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia
  • HERMIA, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander
  • HELENA, in love with Demetrius
  • OBERON, King of the Fairies
  • TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies
  • PUCK, or ROBIN GOODFELLOW
  • PEASEBLOSSOM, fairy
  • COBWEB, fairy
  • MOTH, fairy
  • MUSTARDSEED, fairy
  • QUINCE, a carpenter
  • SNUG, a joiner
  • BOTTOM, a weaver
  • FLUTE, a bellows-mender
  • SNOUT, a tinker
  • STARVELING, a tailor

PROLOGUE, PYRAMUS, THISBE, WALL, MOONSHINE, LION are presented
by: QUINCE, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, STARVELING, AND SNUG

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta

Notes on Stage Directions:

Prestwick House and the American Shakespeare Center share the belief that Shakespeare's stagecraft went hand-in-hand with his wordcraft. For that reason, we believe it is important for the reader to know which stage directions are modern and which derive from Shakespeare's earliest text—the single-play Quartos or the Folio, the first collected works (1623). All stage directions appear in italics, but the brackets enclose modern additions to the stage directions. Readers may assume that the unbracketed stage directions appear in the Quarto and/or Folio versions of the play.

Notes on Scene Locations:

Shakespeare imagined his play, first and foremost, on the stage of his outdoor or indoor theatre. The original printed versions of the plays do not give imaginary scene locations, except when they are occasionally mentioned in the dialogue. As an aid to the reader, this edition does include scene locations at the beginning of each scene, but puts all such locations in brackets to remind the reader that this is not what Shakespeare envisioned and only possibly what he imagined.