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Off By Heart - Shakespeare

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Titania: "Out of this wood do not desire to go"
(Act 3 Scene 1)

There are many ways that you could perform this speech; the Speech Text and Performance Notes explore some different approaches.

Speech Text and Performance Notes (232KB)

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a world of magic and confusion. Oberon, King of the Fairies, has argued with his wife Titania. To make her look foolish he casts a spell causing her to fall in love with Bottom, a human who has been turned into a donkey. Bottom is surprised by her attention and tries to get away, Titania tries to persuade him to stay.

Watch a performance of the speech and an interview with the actor below or choose another from the set speech list.

Out of this wood do not desire to go - video

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A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act 3 Scene 1
(Titania)

Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state,
And I do love thee. Therefore go with me.
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed!
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman:
Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes
To have my love to bed, and to arise;
And pluck the wings from Painted butterflies
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

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