Act 1, Scene 1
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, and PHILOSTRATE, with others
THESEUS and HIPPOLYTA enter withPHILOSTRATE and others.
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace. Four happy days bring in
Another moon. But oh, methinks how slow
This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires,
5 Like to a stepdame or a dowager
Long withering out a young man’s revenue.
Our wedding day is almost here, my beautiful
Hippolyta. We’ll be getting married in four days, on the day of the new moon. But it seems to me that the days are passing too slowly—the old moon is taking too long to fade away! That old, slow moon is keeping me from getting what I want, just like an old widow makes her stepson wait to get his inheritance.
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night.
Four nights will quickly dream away the time.
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
10 New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.
No, you’ll see, four days will quickly turn into four nights. And since we dream at night, time passes quickly then. Finally the new moon, curved like a silver bow in the sky, will look down on our wedding celebration.
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments.
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth.
Turn melancholy forth to funerals.
15 The pale companion is not for our pomp.
Go, Philostrate, get the young people of Athens ready to celebrate and have a good time.
Sadness is only appropriate for funerals. We don’t want it at our festivities.
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword
And won thy love doing thee injuries.
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.
Enter EGEUS and his daughter HERMIA, andLYSANDER and DEMETRIUS
20 Happy be Theseus, our renownèd duke.
Hippolyta, I wooed you with violence, using my