I don't know what made me think of this today, but apparently I had temper tantrums on the mind... Hmm...
This is a favorite monologue of mine, one I used as an audition on multiple occasions for dramatic productions at both colleges I attended. I've never been in A Midsummer Night's Dream; the only Shakespeare I have actually performed for an audience is Two Gentlemen of Verona. I was Silvia, who is supposedly a heroine but mostly an idiot. (Seriously, she's an idiot. Although most of Shakespeare's female characters are.)
For those of you who don't know this story, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy (meaning it ends with a wedding not a funeral - and yes, that's really the difference) about two men, two women, and a bunch of magic. The speaker (i.e. tantrum-haver) Helena is in love with a guy named Demetrius who's in love with a girl named Hermia. The King of the Fairies starts meddling and oopsie now Demetrius is in love with Helena but so is his friend Lysander, Hermia's boyfriend. So instead of pursuing Hermia, they're both pursuing Helena, who assumes they're messing with her just to be horrible. This is poor, confused Helena's wonderful temper tantrum:
O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment.
If you were civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia,
And now both rivals to mock Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid’s eyes
With your derision. None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul’s patience, all to make you sport.
I must confess, I have definitely considered spouting the first four lines at people. O spite! What a great exclamation...