A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act 1, Scene 2 - Summary & Analysis

Also Read

      Summary: A group of rustic Athenians or "mechanicals" are introduced to the reader or the spectator. A carpenter named Quince and his fellow workmen, Snug the joiner, Bottom the weaver, Flute the bellows-mender, Snout the tinker, and Starveling the tailor gather in Quince's house. This group of workers has received the news from Philostrate that Theseus is to be wed and they want to present a play in the honor of his wedding. Quince, the director, announces that the play will be called "The most lamentable comedy; and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe", and he allows each worker with a particular role to play in the production. Bottom, who has appointed himself as an "assistant director" is determined to produce the play his way. Although he already is to play the role of Pyramus, Bottom thinks he should play the role of lion and Thisbe as well. It is decided, however, that Flute should play Thisbe, Snug should play the lion, Starveling should be Thisbe's mother, and Snout Thisbe's father. Quince tells the men they must all know their lines by the next night when they will rehearse in secrecy in the woods near Athens.

      Critical Analysis: This scene introduces us to an important sub plot of this play. The rustic Athenians have gathered to prepare a play which is based on the legendary love story of Pyramus and Thisbe. Through this sub plot, we will also be introduced to a significant theme of the play, which is love and its inevitable negative consequences. These so-called "actors", who have gathered to rehearse for the play, are not actually actors. They are a group of rustics or people who engage in manual labor. At once, we are struck by the fact that they will find it very difficult to rehearse for this play. This also gives us a premonition of what is to follow. Their performance will certainly lead to confusion, chaos and laughter since they are not professional actors.

Previous Post Next Post