A Midsummer Night 's Dream Essay examples

843 Words Nov 11th, 2016 4 Pages
In Act III Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare has Peter Quince, Nick Bottom, Francis Flute, Tom Snout, Robin Starveling, and Snug act out of the famous tale of Pyramus and Thisbe. However, he decides to portray the story as a tragic comedy rather than a tragedy. When the actors assign the roles, the story is introduced as a piece of comedy rather than the sad tale of two ill-fated lovers. Then, when the playlet is performed, the audience’s comments mock it. Finally, Bottom’s portrayal of Pyramus’ death ridicules the supposedly tragic moment, and the first comment after the end of the play and the tragic death of Thisbe is devoid of care for the main characters. Shakespeare does all of this for the sake of Bottom, to make it seem as though he is not a terrible actor and distract the attention away from his performance. The play is first toned down in order to prepare for Bottom’s performance when Quince introduces it. When asked what they would perform, he said it would be “’The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe’.” (Act I, scene 2, l.9-10). He immediately downplays the story, calling it a tragic comedy when it is in essence a tragedy, as both of the protagonists die. This will make it easier later on for Bottom, as his performance will appear to suit the ‘comedic twist’ on the tale. Bottom’s interpretation of Pyramus foreshadows his representation of him later on; after giving a long spiel about strength, he states that it is…

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