A monologue from the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Character: Egeus
  • Gender: Male
  • Age Range(s): Adult (36-50), Senior (>50)
  • Type of monologue / Character is: Angry, Scolding, Descriptive, Complaining
  • Type: Dramatic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Description: Egeus complains about his daughter's choice for a husband
  • Location: ACT I, Scene 1

Summary

In the first scene of the play Egeus, a nobleman, appears at Theseus' (the Duke of Athens) court with his daughter Hermia and two men, Demetrius and Lysander. Egeus wants his daughter to marry Demetrius but she loves Lysander. In this monologue Egeus expresses his complaint to the Duke of Athens. He accuses Lysander of having "bewitch'd" Hermia, and now she won't listen to him anymore. Egeus argues that, as her father, he has the right (given to him by an old law in Athens), to choose who she will marry. If she doesn't comply to his will then he demands to put her to death.

Written by Administrator

Excerpt

EGEUS
Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke,
This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child;
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,
And interchanged love-tokens with my child:
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
With feigning voice verses of feigning love,
And stolen the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke,
Be it so she; will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman
Or to her death, according to our law
Immediately provided in that case.



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