Act 5 - Scene 1
Athens. The palace of THESEUS.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords and Attendants
'Tis strange my Theseus, that these
lovers speak of.
More strange than true: I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen
have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye,
in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed
But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.
Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and HELENA
Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love
Accompany your hearts!
More than to us
Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!
Come now; what masques, what dances shall we have,
To wear away this long age of three hours
our after-supper and bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand? Is there
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Here, mighty Theseus.
Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?
What masque? what music? How shall we beguile
lazy time, if not with some delight?
There is a brief how many sports are ripe:
Make choice of which your highness will see first.
Giving a paper
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