A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act 4, Scene 2 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary: Quince, Flute, Snout, and Starveling, the group of actors preparing the play on Pyramus and Thisbe meet at Quince's house. They are tensed over the disappearance of Bottom, their prize leading man who has "simply the best wit of any handicraft man in Athens". They feel that Bottom would have played his part so well that they would all have received monetary compensation for their performance, especially Bottom himself. Snug arrives with news that the duke is coming and he brings with him two other couples who are to be married the same day. Snug believes that if they could only perform the play for all three couples they would become wealthy men. Just when the men are about to give up all hope of giving a good performance, Bottom enters, ready to take center stage and give a magnificent performance.

      Critical Analysis: The nature of doubling also emerges once again in this scene, but for the last time. Hermia emphatically remarks that, "Methinks I see these things with parted eye, / When everything seems double". This comment comes exactly after Theseus disregards Egeus demands and Hermia is correct about the fact that this is a doubling of marriages. In spite of escaping from the confusion of the forest, there is still an overarching uncertainty about whether Lysander and Demetrius have been able to distinguish between Helena and Hermia. The effect of having a double wedding merely makes the newfound differences more abstract and cloud-like, making Hermia wonder if things still are truly double.

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