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A Midsummer Night's Dream Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to Folger's online edition.

Quote #7

Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once.
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees. (2.1.175-178)

As Oberon explains here, when the magic love juice is sprinkled into someone's eyes, it causes the person to fall instantly in love with the first creature he or she sees. Hmm. This seems to be symbolic of "love at first sight," don't you think? Go to "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory" for more on this.

Quote #8

Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing, let loose,
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.

Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,
Sweet love?

Thy love? Out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathèd med'cine! O. hated potion, hence! (3.2.270-275)

After Lysander has been drugged by Oberon's love juice, he falls instantly in love with Helena and violently out of love with Hermia.  What's interesting is that, when characters fall out of love in this play, their love turns into hate rather than indifference. What's up with that?

Quote #9

My Oberon, what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamoured of an ass.

There lies your love.

How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now! (4.1.77-81)

When Titania awakens from the love spell, she has a classic "What was I thinking?" moment. Not only does she realize that she was literally in love with an "ass" (Shakespeare's little joke), she also admits that she can no longer stand the sight of the creature of which she was once "enamour'd." Some things never change. 

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