Puck’s Final Speech

Puck’s Final Speech
By William Shakespeare

From A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act V, Scene 1

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

The mischievous Puck ends A Midsummer Night’s Dream with these lines. It is one of my favorite passages from Shakespeare.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Puck’s Final Speech

  • Benny S

    OMG! The ‘final speech’ above brought back so many memories for me. Why? Because I was cast as Puck when studying theater in college 30 years ago. It was quite unexpected for EVERYONE, including myself, when we all first viewed the cast sheet following auditions and saw my name listed as “Puck”. Another why? Because I’m 6′ 5″ tall! The director knew when he chose to cast me as Puck, that it would be quite a coup. For someone who was never viewed as athletic (the basketball coach at my high school hated the fact that I had no interest in sports), I worked my Puck-in’ ass off during play rehearsals to find as many creative, capable, acrobatic (and demanding) movements I could think of to prove that my Puck would be one of the most enjoyable Pucks ever (jumping off platforms 10′ above the stage, somersaults, cartwheels, lifting / carrying a 7-year-old on my shoulders, etc). I’d probably performed in 30+ plays before I gave it up 20 years ago, because I just wasn’t physically capable to endure the realm of performance anymore. But, my experience with Puck will always be one of my fondest memories. I was mostly an anal retentive, insecure “You-tell-me-what-to-do” student actor, relying on the director to guide me, because I usually didn’t have the confidence or self-encouragement to be creative on my own. I took criticism too personally. Yet, with Puck, I just forced myself to go all in, and the director approved of so many of my experimental choices. One other main memory: Honestly, I was also completely thrilled when the two grueling weeks of performances finally came to an end, because my non-athletic body just couldn’t take it all anymore. It was the best of times and the worst of times. Thank you for triggering my memory. 🙂

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