Puck Quotes

My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play
Intended for great Theseus’ nuptial-day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene and enter’d in a brake
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass’s nole I fixed on his head:
Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun’s report,
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;
And, at our stamp, here o’er and o’er one falls;
He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things catch.
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

– William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2. Fairy King Oberon’s faithful servant Puck reports back to his master on the outcome of Oberon placing the love potion on the sleeping Titania. Puck tells how Oberon’s plan for Titania has worked and she has fallen in love with a monster. Puck explains that he came upon a group of workmen-actors in the forest near Titania and transformed the head of the one playing Pyramus into that of an ass. He uses similes to describe how the other workmen ran when they saw him, like wild geese that spot a hunter, or a flock of jackdaws flying at the sound of a gunshot. Titania then woke up "and straightaway loved an ass," the mischievous Puck says with obvious glee.
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