“I am sick when I do look on thee.”
– A Midsummer Night’s Dream II.1
This classic jab from A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings us to the wonderful world of Shakespearean insults! (A quick Google search will take you down the most delightful rabbit-hole of them.)
This one is pretty straightforward. Helena is aggressively pursuing Demetrius, but of course he doesn’t share her love. In fact, no matter how much he tries to let her down gently, Helena will not be deterred!
Finally, Demetrius has no choice but to get mean, saying in no uncertain terms, “I am sick when I do look on thee.”
But is Helena discouraged? Oh no. Without missing a beat she responds with, “And I am sick when I look not on you.”
Ah, young love. So powerful. So deep. So irrational…
Stay tuned for your next chance to see the ShakesBEARS version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.