A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that was written by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

. It is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus
For other uses, see Theseus Theseus was the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, both of whom Aethra had slept with in one night. Theseus was a founder-hero, like Perseus, Cadmus, or Heracles, all of whom battled and overcame foes that were...

, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta
In Greek mythology, Hippolyta or Hippolyte is the Amazonian queen who possessed a magical girdle she was given by her father Ares, the god of war. The girdle was a waist belt that signified her authority as queen of the Amazons....

. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, who are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set.

Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;Four nights will quickly dream away the time;And then the moon, like to a silver bow New bent in heaven, shall behold the nightOf our solemnities.

Hippolyta, scene i

But earthly happier is the rose distill’dThan that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.

Theseus, scene i

Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,Could ever hear by tale or history,The course of true love never did run smooth.

Lysander, scene i

O, hell! to choose love by another’s eye.

Hermia, scene i

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,Brief as the lightning in the collied night,That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,And ere a man hath power to say, — Behold!The jaws of darkness do devour it up:So quick bright things come to confusion.

Lysander, scene i

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.

Helena, scene i

Masters, spread yourselves.

Bottom, scene ii

This is Ercles’ vein.

Bottom, scene ii

Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming

Flute, scene ii

I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice.

Bottom, scene ii