Epilogue from Midsummer Night’s Dream
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.
When I was first casting around for a blog name, my final list of candidates came down to Falstaff and Robin Goodfellow. I picked Falstaff because it was less of a mouthful and because on the whole I like Plump Jack more, but as favourite Shakespeare characters go, Puck comes in a close second. There’s something so soaring and weightless about Puck, something playful and leaping and entirely magical.
Of all the epilogues Shakespeare ever wrote, this one is probably my favourite. So it’s fitting that two weeks of Shakespeare posts should be brought to a close with Puck’s words. Other Shakespeare pieces will follow, no doubt (some have already been promised) but the exclusive focus on Shakespeare, this ‘weak and idle theme’ ends here.