A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (1595)

Your favourite bit, aside from knowing a bank where the wild thyme blows, Methought I was enamoured of an ass, and My cherry lips have often kissed thy stones?

Mine’s got to be, apart from Oberon’s joyfully puerile And loos’d his love shaft smartly from his bow, pissed-off and indignant papa Egeus whinging about his daughter Hermia being courted by the relentless Lysander.

Sit back and enjoy wonder boy Lysander in action. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

This man has bewitch’d the bosom of my child:

Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,

And interchang’d love-tokens with my child:

Though hast by moonlight at her window sung,

With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;

And stol’n the impression of her fantasy

With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,

Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; messengers

Of strong prevailment in unharden’d youth:

With cunning hast thou filch’d my daughter’s heart...

Get in. Ten out of ten for effort.

The bard’s best play? Perhaps so, it’s fun, funny, ardent and sexy.

And that’s not all. It has one of the most alluring lines in literature, from the gorgeous Titania:

Go with me, and I will give you fairies to attend on you.

Got to go. Tania’s in a taxi outside.

Thanks for being here.

[Illustration by Sir John Gilbert, R. A.]

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