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This question is regarding a dialogue of Hermia in Scene 1 of Act 1 of 'The Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare where she mentions, "From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight." Please explain what the playwright refers to by "lovers' food."

I'd guess that this refers to some sort of poison that lovers choose to have when they are forced to break their relation or to some meal that lovers have with a great night ahead of them. I wish to have a confirmation on this.

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Given the context, I propose an alternative meaning:

LYSANDER:
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
Her silver visage in the watery glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
(A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,)
Through Athens' gates have we devised to steal.
HERMIA:
And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet playfellow; pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
Keep word, Lysander. We must starve our sight
From lovers' food, till morrow deep midnight.

-- source

(Summarising in modern English: the lovers Hermia and Lysander plan to elope from Athens tomorrow night, letting the morning dew on the grass conceal their tracks, and travel to pastures new.)

Punctuation in Shakespeare plays is inconsistent and not to be relied upon, but I noticed the lack of comma at the end of the penultimate line: "We must starve our sight / From lovers' food, till morrow deep midnight." It's not themselves they're starving, but their sight. Perhaps "lovers' food" doesn't refer to a time of day, but instead it's a poetical way of referring to the way lovers' eyes may feast upon each other. The "food" of lovers' sight is to see each other, and they're starving them of this until tomorrow night.

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The meaning of "lovers' food" is definitely not poison.

Stanley Wells' edition of the play (New Penguin Shakespeare) glosses the phrase as "the sight of each other". This makes sense in the context of this speech, since Hermia says,

Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.

The gloss also makes sense when looking at As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 4, where Rosalind says,

The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.

However, the food metaphor is also present indirectly in an earlier line in Hermia's speech:

And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet

In Shakespeare's works, "sweet" can be interpreted as "tasting sweet" or as "sounding sweet". See for example the following lines in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 1, Scene 1, where these two meaning appear to meld due to use of the word "tongue" (both the organ and "speech"):

My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.

The idea that "lovers' food" can be something auditory is also present in one of the best-known opening lines from Shakespeare's plays, namely from Twelfth Night (emphasis mine):

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Of course, when lovers are in each other's presence, they can enjoy both the visual and the auditory "food", i.e. the visual and/or auditory enjoyment of each other's presence.

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