Sunday 21st May 2017
2 days ago
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hourHippolyta's response is conciliatory, but there's an immediate choice for the actor here. Is Hippolyta soothing her impatient fiance, as is traditionally played? Or is there a cord of sadness that her independence and royal authority about to disappear as she takes a consort's role. She is after all, with or without Theseus, the Queen of the Amazons.
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 step-dame or a dowager
Long withering out a young man revenue.
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;This is the first and last thing she says in the scene.
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.
Full of vexation come I, with complaintHe ends his speech by summoning an old patriarchal law giving him the power to decide his daughter's future
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke,
This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child;
What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid:Hermia contests a little and, although nervous that she is speaking out of turn, finds the courage to ask for clarification of the sentence should she refuse to marry Demetrius.
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.
Either to die the death or to abjureA mini argument breaks out between the two young men, during which Lysander reveals that Demetrius has broken off a previous relationship with Helena and left her heart broken. The implication is that he will in time treat Hermia in the same way. Like the Leopard he can not change his spots.
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.
I must confess that I have heard so much,There is a final twist. Theseus for all his bluster and confusion does engineer a way for Hermia and Lysander to be alone together. How smart is he being here? Is he giving room for them to plot and ultimately subvert Egeus' wishes and his own state decreed judgement?
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it.
But, Demetrius, come;He leaves making a public statement, however.
And come, Egeus; you shall go with me,
I have some private schooling for you both.