HERMIA: Good speed, fair Helena - whither away?
Hello, Helena, where are you going? May also be a pun on 'wither away' given that Helena, as we shall shortly find out, is pining for love of Demetrius. Remember S. doesn't do stage directions, so she may well have entered Pining and Weeping.
HELENA: Call you me fair? That fair again unsay!
No, no, I'm horribly ugly.
Demetrius loves your fair - oh happy fair!
It's alright for you, you're going to MARRY the man I love.
Your eyes are lode-stars, and your tongue's sweet air
People are drawn to your eyes like magnetized iron is to the North Star, and your voice sounds nice -
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
- more nice, in fact, than larks in the season when larks normally sing at decorative shepherds. This is a standardised pastoral image which evokes ancient Greek love poetry.
Sickness is catching - O, were favour so!
Maybe if you breathe on me, I'll catch good looks?
Your words I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go,
My ear should catch your voice, my eye, your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
I'm going to try very hard to sound and look just like you in the hope I can steal your prospective husband.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
If I had everything in the whole world ever, except Demetrius, I'd want to be you instead so I could have him, even if I had to give it all up! All of it, I say!
O teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius's heart.
Help me look and behave just like you so I can steal your prospective husband.
HERMIA: I frown upon him, yet he loves me still!
I don't want him, he refuses to go away!
HELENA: O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!
I don't believe you, bitch, I want to be able to "frown" like that too.
HERMIA: I give him curses, yet he gives me love!
No, you stupid girl, I really don't want him!
HELENA: O that my prayers could such affection move!
Waaah, there's nothing I can do!
HERMIA: The more I hate, the more he follows me!
This is really starting to piss me off.
HELENA: The more I love, the more he hateth me!
I just want to whinge now, and I don't care whether you have problems or not.
HERMIA: His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
Nothing to do with me if he's stupid. Deal.
HELENA: None but your beauty! - would that fault were mine.
You don't deserve it.