A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Top 10 quotes

1) “But earthlier happy is the rose distill’d,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.”

Theseus speaking to Hermia, trying to persuade her to choose marriage rather than a convent.
A ct 1 Scene 1 lines 76-78

2) “O hell! to choose love with another’s eye.”

Hermia speaking to Lysander, complaining about being expected to marry Demetrius.
Act 1 Scene 1 line 140

3) “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Lysander speaking to Hermia.
Act 1 Scene 1 line 134

4) “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.”

Helena soliloquizing about love.
Act 1 Scene 1 lines 234-35

5) “Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid’s music.”

Oberon speaking to Puck.
Act 2 Scene 1 lines 149-54

6) “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.”

Oberon speaking to Puck
Act 2 Scene 1 lines 249-56

7) “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

Puck, observing the foolishness of the lovers.
Act 3 Scene 2 line 115

8) “Bless thee Bottom, bless thee! Thou art translated.”

Peter Quince speaking to Bottom when he sees him with the ass’s head.
Act 3 Scene 1 line 114.

9) “I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.”

Bottom trying to understand his strange encounter with Titania.
Act 4, Scene 1 lines 203-05

10) “Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow’d house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.”

Puck as he enters Theseus’s palace at night.
Act 5 scene 1 lines 373-76