Hold, or cut bowstrings! (MND#2)

As you read Act I, scene ii (or afterwards), consider the following question:  what’s funny about this scene?

The nature of comedy is very difficult to analyze and usually ends up making everything much less funny. A concept to keep in mind, though, is that  comedy is usually based on character, language and situation.    Which elements do you see in this short scene?

Please write a comment here where you describe how Shakespeare uses any of the three elements for comedic effect.  As you do so, please use specific evidence from the text (actually quote it!) to support your claim and explain what effect this has on the reader or the audience.

As always please follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

MND blog #2

35 thoughts on “Hold, or cut bowstrings! (MND#2)

  1. Act 1 scene 2 of A Midsummer’s Nights Dream is pretty funny. In this scene we see Quince giving out roles for the play that will be performed in the wedding. When Bottom gets his part he says “That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.—To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.
     The raging rocks
     And shivering shocks
     Shall break the locks
     Of prison gates.
     And Phoebus’ car
     Shall shine from far
     And make and mar
     The foolish Fates.
    This was lofty!—Now name the rest of the players.—This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein. A lover is more condoling.” (I.II.23-49)
    Bottom says how he will play the part so good he will cry to add effect. Then he goes in a little rhyme to show his skills. Then when Quince goes to give Flute his part of Thisbe, Bottom says “An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too! I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice: “Thisne, Thisne!”—“Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear, thy Thisbe dear and lady dear!” (I.II.49-52)
    Bottom says that he can play Thisbe too. Bottom goes on to say he will play the role after everytime a new one is assigned. Another comical aspect is how Bottom doesn’t make sense when he says “We will meet, and there we may rehearse most obscenely and courageously. Take pains. Be perfect. Adieu.”(I.II.103-105) This doesn’t make sense at all. He says they meet “obscenely and courageously”. He is saying they will meet in an offensive or inappropriate way and then he says in a courageous way. I guess no one really thought twice about what he was saying and went along with it. This tells us that people are mesmerized or confused by him so they go along with what he says. He is also confident because he wants to do the entire play by himself.

    • You really hit the funniest parts of this scene, Abby. I had forgotten that Bottom used the incorrect words in his last few lines. I like how you brought u that the joke had gone over our heads because we are always trying to figure out what these characters are saying in general. I certainly forgot about it! The way we read the lines, rather than the way we simply read them silently in our heads affect the comedic tone of the scenes. Great work!

  2. Although scene ii in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was quick, my whole group was laughing as Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and Starveling prepared their roles for their play that they’d like to perform at the Duke and Duchess’ wedding. As we read this scene aloud, we could hear our character’s personalities come to life off the page through our own interpretations, or performance. I played Bottom in our reading, and his lines were the ones that made us giggle the most. We are presented with Quince who is in control and very mature, and his personality is countered with Bottom, a ridiculous and silly weaver who continuously interrupts Quince to talk about himself as a performer. Bottom is a prime example of somebody who always puts themselves first, and is manic. After he is assigned the role of the lover Pyramus, he rants about how he shall execute his role and how he prefers to play Tyrants.

    “That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms; I will condole in some measure. To the rest. – Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play percales rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split,” (1, ii, 23-28)

    As Quince continues down the list and gives Flute Thisbe, Flute says that he can’t play a woman because he is growing a beard! Then Bottom of course interjects, and says that he should play Thisbe and he describes how he could manipulate his voice to perform as her. Quince restores order by clearly stating that Bottom is Pyramus, and Flute is Thisbe. Next, Snug is assigned the lion’s part, and Flute is wondering how complicated the role is because he is “slow of study.” I assume that means he is uneducated. Quince reassures him that the role only requires roaring. Of course, Bottom steps in, and exclaims that he would make such a great lion, and that his roar is sure to impress the Duke. Quince puts Bottom in his place by telling him that his roars would terrify the Duchess.

    “An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the Duchess and the ladies that they would shriek, and that were enough to hang us all,” (1, ii, 72-74).

    Quince tells Bottom what a wonderful Pyramus he would be, and Bottom agrees. Before the men set their rehearsal date, Bottom asks what kind of beard he should wear for his role! It was hilarious how Bottom made every part in the scene about himself.
    Shakespeare made it clear which character would deliver the comedic likes in this group. Personally, I didn’t see any types of irony in this scene. But I’m thinking it was dramatic irony? It seemed to me that Bottom didn’t realize how upstanding he’s behaving, but the audience can see his silliness very clearly.

    • I think that the contrast between Quince’s personality and Bottom’s is what makes the scene very funny! I wrote about this a little in my blog, but yours is very well-written and you provided amazing text-based details. Great work!

    • Great Job, Ashley! Your response was terrific and very well-done. Your analysis was fantastic, as well as your text0based evidence. Keep up the great work!

  3. We are introduced to the Mechanicals in Act 1 scene 2, and the actual characters of this scene is what really makes it funny. First of all, Bottom thinks that the play they will perform, “The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe” is a happy, and great one to perform at the wedding. However, this is totally opposite to what the play seems to be like. The play seems like Romeo and Juliet, as Quince explaining that, “A lover that kills himself most gallant for love.” (I, ii, 22). It is hilarious to think that this will be a marvelous play to put on for a wedding. Most weddings are about life and happiness, and certainly not death. However, Shakespeare just leaves it like that, and keeps on going. Bottom says that this play is a great and funny show to perform very casually, and the scene moves on. Shakespeare not addressing the funny bits, is what makes it funny. Bottom is a very funny character throughout the whole scene, desperately wanting every part in the play. Quince is likewise hilarious because he does not really seem to care about Bottom. Quince just tells him that he must play the part that was given to him and is the opposite of Bottom as he is very composed. Quince ignores him, which really feeds into the comical character of Bottom. “QUINCE: No, no you must play Pyramus – and, Flute, you Thisbe.” (I, ii, 53-54). The relationship between Quince and Bottom, Bottom constantly proving his acting skills, and Quince just ignoring him makes this scene fun and comical. This scenario is also very relatable, which is why it is funny. Everyone can think of a very annoying person like Bottom, who you are sick of and just ignore. Shakespeare really explains this scene in a causal way, like it is normal for the Mechanicals to be acting this way. Not writing this scene in poetry makes it more casual and less formal, which makes the readers more settled in. This makes the scene more funny and more relatable. The scene is not something we see everyday, and addressing it very casually, makes it more comical.

    • Great blog! I never noticed that the Mechanicals picked a tragic play similar to Romeo and Juliet to play at the wedding. I love how you said that making the play more informal and casual also made it more funny. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  4. Act 1 scene ii of A Midsummer’s Night Dream is very funny. In this scene we see the Mechanicals, a low class people, preparing for their play that they will put on during the Duke and Duchess’ wedding. Quince, the carpenter, and what looks like the leader of the group, is handing out parts. Bottom is to be Pyramus, Flute is to be Thisbe, Starveling is to be Thisbe’s mother, Snug the lion, Snout Pyramus’ father, and Quince himself is to be Thisbe’s father. None of the people want their parts, and they constantly want to switch, Bottom the most so. When Flute got the part of Thisbe, Flute made the excuse that he was growing a beard. “Nay, faith, let not me play a woman. I have a / beard coming.”(I,ii,45-46) When Flute got the part, Bottom wanted it, and said, “An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too. / I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice: “Thisne, / Thisne!” – “Ah Pyramus, my lover dear! Thy Thisbe / dear and lady dear!””(I,ii,49-52) And when Snug got the lion’s part, Bottom wanted that part, too. “Let me play the lion too. I will roar that I will / do any man’s heart good to hear me. I will roar that / I will make the Duke say ‘Let him roar again. Let / him roar again!’”(I,ii,68-71) Bottom wants all the attention onto himself. Also, the men make insults at each constantly. Quince tells Bottom that his roar will be so terrible that it will scare all of the ladies, and later on, tells Bottom that his beard have no hair at all, so her shouldn’t bother trying to grow a special one. Although they are a little competitive and rude to each other, the Mechanicals seem like friends. It is very contrasting to Romeo and Juliet, which was very sad and tragic and had little jokes in it. In A Midsummer’s Night Dream, there have been many jokes and it had only been the end of act 1. I am really excited to keep reading this play.

  5. In Act 1, scene ii of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the setting transitions to the cottage of Peter Quince, the director of a band of amateur actors who are planning a play to perform for Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding. The play enacts the tragic story of Pyramus and Thisbe, two young lovers who die. Quince is in the process of assigning roles to the various players but meets with many objections to his casting efforts. Nick Bottom, disregards Quince’s authority as director and proclaims he would like to play all of the roles in the drama. Eventually, he is cast as a lover and large role of Pyramus. Flute is assigned the role of Thisbe but isn’t too happy about it. He doesn’t want to play a female role because he wants to let his beard grow, “Nay, faith, let not me play a woman. I have a / beard coming.”(I,ii,45-46). He is pleased to learn that he can wear a mask for the performance so he won’t need to shave. When Flute got his part, Bottom wanted it like he wanted every line, “An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too. / I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice: “Thisne, / Thisne!” – “Ah Pyramus, my lover dear! Thy Thisbe / dear and lady dear!””(I,ii,49-52) Snug is cast in the role of the lion, yet Bottom wants that role too, “Let me play the lion too. I will roar that I will / do any man’s heart good to hear me. I will roar that / I will make the Duke say ‘Let him roar again. Let / him roar again!’”(I,ii,68-71). Bottom wants to appropriate this role, just like all the others, claiming his roar could make the ladies shriek. His statement makes the players nervous, and they worry that if the lion is too realistic, the women in the audience will be frightened. In this scene, there are many humorous aspects used when introducing these new characters. I hope to read more and learn about this story, while also becoming better at interpreting Shakespeare.

    • Great blog Ajay! I love his you touched upon the fact that Bottom wanted to play all the parts in the play, which is very funny to imagine.

  6. There are many examples of comedic effects thrown in by Shakespeare in this act of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most of these examples are provided by Bottom, who would like to play every single part of the play that their group would like to perform for the Duke and the Duchesses’ wedding.
    “That will ask some tears in the true performing of
    it. If
    I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I wil
    l move
    storms. I will condole in some measure.—To the
    rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could p
    lay
    Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make a
    ll
    split.
    The raging rocks
    And shivering shocks
    Shall break the locks
    Of prison gates.
    And Phoebus’ car
    Shall shine from far
    And make and mar
    The foolish Fates.”
    Bottom is assigned to a part that he thinks is not suited to him as well as another part would be. He thinks that he would be a better tyrant than a lover, but he decides that is perfectly fine. He tells Quince, who seems to be the leader, that he will show all of this emotion and tears, and then he goes on to say a small rhyme to show that he has skills to be a good Pyramus.
    “We will meet, and there we may rehearse most
    obscenely and courageously. Take pains. Be perfect.
    Adieu.”
    Here, Bottom is trying to motivate his fellow members and tell them that they will have a good rehearsal before their performance. But, he uses a poor choice of words, and says obscenely. Bottom did not mean to use this word in this context, but he does not know the true meaning of the word and states that they will rehearse in a sexually offensive way.

  7. In tonight’s reading in Act I scene ii of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare, we encounter humor. When describing this humor, it tends to become less funny but it’s still beautifully written. The comedy that we read tonight revolves around Nick Bottom. The name NIck Bottom is a peculiar name and surprisingly, it fits the character’s personality. Nick usually describes something that’s cutting into another thing, and bottom is the lowest. When you think about this, the character is exactly like that. He is like that little but painful thing that annoys you that can’t get any more annoying. The reason why we find Nick so annoying yet funny is because he always wants to be the best. When he mentions, “That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.” He says how he is going to be the best person to play the part. Right after that he mentions, “I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.” Here he mentions that he would play a great Ercles. He is so indecisive and says no one can play it better then him but he still wants a bigger part. As Quince proceeds to award the other parts, Nick tells him that he would be the best in that part. Not only is he taking someone else’s glory, but at this point it’s a one man show! The reader’s just can’t take him seriously because he is like a little kid in a store saying that he wants one thing, than another. We don’t only laugh at him because he is driving everyone crazy, but the concept of him thinking he is the best, is comedic because it’s the sad reality that we see in everyday life. These are my thoughts as to what I found so funny and I’m very interested in seeing what others thought were funny so I can know for next time.

  8. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, scene ii, the workers who agree to set up the play for the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta put on a pretty comedic scene. One of the funniest parts of the scene, in my opinion, is the general atmosphere. In Act I, scene i, we witness Helena willing to betray her friend in order to win the heart of Demetrius. The scene is very serious and melodramatic, and then Shakespeare immediately changes to this scene, which is the complete opposite. It almost makes a mockery of the first scene because the upper class people such as Demetrius and Helena are seen as over dramatic, and the lower class workers don’t care about that and set to work. The characters, as well, are just generally goofy. They move about and act, almost as if they know they’re in front of and performing for a crowd. For instance, Bottom, one of the workers and a weaver who is cast to play Pyramus, says:

    “To the rest: yet my chief humour is for a
    tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to
    tear a cat in, to make all split.
    The raging rocks
    And shivering shocks
    Shall break the locks
    Of prison gates;
    And Phibbus’ car
    Shall shine from far
    And make and mar
    The foolish Fates.
    This was lofty! Now name the rest of the players.
    This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein; a lover is
    more condoling.” (I, ii, 26-36).

    Clearly, Bottom is making fun of is part in a pretty hilarious way. He first says that he is really ready to play his tyrant role, and then proceeds to show his might in speaking. Afterwards, he says he can play any character. I find this funny because a.though we just met this character, he is already likeable and joking, setting the mood for this storyline as a whole. They group also talks about their rehearsals, which will take place in the forest. Coincidentally, this is at the same time at which the four lovers, Lysander, Demetrius, Helena and Hermia will be there. It’s important because it adds another two characters to the forest on that night and leaves only Hippolyta and Theseus left. Overall, I found this scene to be the most comical and most interesting one so far.

  9. Although it’s a bit difficult for us to laugh, Shakespeare’s comedy in scene ii of Act I would probably be pretty hilarious at the time. He uses many various elements in creating a funny scene, such as the characters. One aspect of the character Nick Bottom’s personality that adds to the hilarity of the scene is his enthusiasm. As Peter Quince calls all the actors for their play, he acts overly eager and excited. For instance, as Bottom is cast for Pyramus, he enters a long speech about what he’ll do. He says that if he has to cry, then the audience would start to cry as well. When Quince says that Pyramus is a lover, Bottom declares that he would be better suited as a tyrant. He then shouts out a bit of dialogue, as a tyrant would do. “That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.—To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.
     The raging rocks
     And shivering shocks
     Shall break the locks
     Of prison gates.
     And Phoebus’ car
     Shall shine from far
     And make and mar
     The foolish Fates.
    This was lofty!—Now name the rest of the players.—This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein. A lover is more condoling.” Certainly there’d be a comedic aspect in this to someone in Shakespeare’s time, if not us. Another example of Bottom being overly enthusiastic is when Quince assigns Snug the lion part. He immediately asks to have to lion part as well, and then says, “Let me play the lion too. I will roar, that I will do any man’s heart good to hear me. I will roar, that I will make the duke say, “Let him roar again. Let him roar again.” To which Quince replies that if he did it too loudly and terribly, he would frighten the duchess and ladies. Then, they would all be hanged. Bottom eagerly asking for roles and then demonstrating how he’d play it is funny enough alone, without Quince reprimanding him.

  10. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, scene ii, the reader meets the Mechanicals, the workers that are set out to perform a play for Theseus and Hippolyta. The Mechanicals were consisted of, Peter Quince the carpenter, Snug the joiner, Bottom the weaver, Flute the bellows-mender, Snout the tinker, and Starveling the tailor. Peter is the leader of the group and assigns everyone their roles. Bottom thinks he is the best actor ever and pretends to be a tyrant. Then he says “He then shouts out a bit of dialogue, as a tyrant would do. “That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.—To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.
     The raging rocks
     And shivering shocks
     Shall break the locks
     Of prison gates.
     And Phoebus’ car
     Shall shine from far
     And make and mar
     The foolish Fates.
    This was lofty!—Now name the rest of the players.—This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein. A lover is more condoling.” After wanting to be a tyrant he wants to play almost every part that Quince announces. Bottom is like one of those obnoxious people who want to do everything and get extra credit. This is kind of funny because he wants to do everything yet cannot and complains.

    • I enjoyed reading your blog. I became slightly confused at the sentence, “Then he says “He then…” because of your minor misuse of quotation marks, Overall, your blog was nice but I wish you included more about the comedic aspect of the scene.

  11. n Act I scene ii of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we meet the Mechanicals. The Mechanicals are a group of goofy men who will be trying to perform at Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding. When they meet to assign parts, we see their goofiness come out. Bottom is assigned Pyramus, but he thinks he would be a better tyrant, and goes on to say, “That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.—To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.
     The raging rocks
     And shivering shocks
     Shall break the locks
     Of prison gates.
     And Phoebus’ car
     Shall shine from far
     And make and mar
     The foolish Fates.
    This was lofty!—Now name the rest of the players.—This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein. A lover is more condoling.” He was clearly trying to be funny and silly, by being so over exaggerated. In Shakespeare’s time this must have been hilarious, but it isn’t very funny now. Continuing with his little act, Bottom keeps saying that he will have all the parts in the play. “Let me play the lion too..”, “…let me play Thisbe too..”. He also says how he will bring his best to each part. Bottom is bringing fun to the whole situation. This is an example of verbal irony, where a character says something they don’t really mean. I personally found myself laughing at Bottom, so I already like him.

  12. After reading many depressing books in school, it is nice we can finally read a comedy. What makes comedies funny is a combination of character, language, and situation. In Act 1 Scene 2, Shakespeare uses a combination of those elements to add an interesting comedic effect. In this scene, Quince is trying to assign parts of a play and Bottom is constantly interrupting with absurd or badly worded requested. After being assigned the part of Pyramus, Bottom says, “let me play Thisbe too”. After that, Bottom demand, “let me play the lion too.” Bottom’s overconfident and attention-seeking persona adds a comedic aspect. Furthermore, Bottom confuses words in his conversation that changes the sentences in an amusing way. Some examples are when he says “aggravate” (Line 78) instead of lower and “obscenely” (Line 104) instead of professionally. Quince also adds some comedy to the scene. He names the play, “The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Thisbe and Pyramus”. The name of this play is so lame that it is almost funny. Furthermore, the actors in the play suggest that, when performed, the play will be a failure and hilarious to watch. Instead of receiving a nice and pleasant wedding-appropriate play, Theseus (and all of Athens who are invited to his wedding) will be surprised by a horrible rendition of two lovers dying.

  13. Today in class for our discussion, we talked about how irony can be used as a base for comedy in writing or plays and how the author or poet uses irony to make a joke. The three forms of comedy based on irony are, dramatic irony, situational irony and verbal irony. Some of these are used in Shakespeare’s writing at different points in his plays. In Act I scene ii, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare, there is a lot of comedy used in the conversation between the mechanicals. In this scene, Quince is giving out play parts to Bottom, Snug, Stout, Starveling and Flute. They are all arguing over what part that they get and what part they don’t get. Bottom is asking to receive all the parts in the play and Quince has to work really hard to convince him that he should only play the one part he was assigned.
    You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
    sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a
    summer’s day; a most lovely gentleman-like man:
    therefore you must needs play Pyramus. (I,ii,81-84)
    Their immature actions make them very funny and light hearted. In contrast to Romeo and Juliet, this play is a comedy and not a tragedy so Shakespeare had to create characters who even if the subject gets rough or hard to deal with he has the light hearted characters to turn to for a joke or a smile. In the scene before this one, Helena was talking about her plan to betray Hermia and that isn’t something that could ever really be seen as laugh out loud funny. Shakespeare needed the mechanicals to turn to in the next scene to make sure that the audience is still happy and laughing. They were all able to tease with each other and joke around and that gave a sense of happiness and laughter to the play.

  14. In my opinion, I think the funny part of the scene with the mechanics is their pure commonness and lack of knowledge. My group and I were all laughing about how they are like children playing a little game. Although Quince is taking this play very seriously, the other men have honestly never acted before and are just playing a long. Bottom obviously wants to be every role and Quince keeps yelling at him and telling him that he can’t be Pyramus and Thisbe at the same time! We all thought this was funny and the way the men communicate is hilarious. Snug even tells Quince, “Have you the lion’s part written? Pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.” Snug is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and is saying that he can’t really memorize lines, so the best thing he can do is just rawr the whole time. From the colorful beards to the seriousness of Quince, this scene would be hilarious to see on stage. Shakespeare is obviously mocking the production of plays, which is interesting because that is the business he is in. The comedy in this scene is based off of the fact these men are very common, and often act foolish because they aren’t very well educated. They are trying putting on this huge serious tragedy, yet they don’t know anything about the elements of exactly how to do that. For example, when Bottom tries to play the parts of both Pyramus and Thisbe, it makes a joke on his lack of intelligence, “Thisne, Thisne!”—“Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear, thy Thisbe dear and lady dear!” The audience likes the feeling of knowing more than the characters, and this is why the mechanics are liked so much, it is fun for the audience to watch the craziness. I am excited to learn more about all of these characters in future scenes.

  15. In Act 1, scene ii of Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare describe the mechanics as child like and humorous. It shows a funny scene, which is in contrast to the dark scene right before. Quince, the leader of the group is assigning roles to each mechanic and Bottom, gets Pyramus, a lover. As Quince, hands out a part to each individual, Bottom continually says that he could do better in other parts. Or even better, he could hold a one man show. Quince is trying to persuade him and convince him that the right role for Bottom is Pyramus. Another humorous part in this scene is when Bottom encourages his playmates and his friends and says,
    “We will meet, and there we may rehearse most
    obscenely and courageously. Take pains. Be perfect.
    Adieu.”
    He says obscenely meaning, taking part in sexual activity which is really funny because they’re all meeting to do a play. This play in general has a lot more meat to it than Romeo and Juliet. Also, I appreciate the fact that this play is a comedy and not a tragedy because , in this play, you can laugh when you’re supposed to. Whereas in Romeo and Juliet, you would laugh or sigh in disappointment when the two lovers were being overly dramatic.

  16. Act I Scene ii of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is confusing in a comical way. The scene is of Quince giving out parts for the play that will be performed for the Duke and Duchess at their wedding celebration. All who receive a part quickly begin boasting of their acting skills. Bottom begins with “I will move storms; I will console in some measure. To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.”(Lines 25-28). These lines are comical because one can only imagine the exaggeration of emotion on Bottom’s expression while making these claims. In a similar way, he makes verbal mistakes while speaking. “But I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove,”(Lines 77-79). The simple action of mistaking one word for another is comical just because of the complete difference in the two phrases. He says he will project his voice more, but really means he will soften his voice. This ties along with when he states that people don’t really understand what he is often saying, so they just go along with whatever he says. In all honesty, it’s almost like Bottom is a child. He is misspoken, people don’t understand him, and he believes he is the best. I think Shakespeare wanted to implement him as the Mercutio of this play, always acting childish and lowering tension. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up stabbed.

  17. During Act II, Scene ii, we were introduced to the Mechanicals as lower level classmen who do work such as carpentry, tailoring and weaving. The scene opens on our merry group gathered to discuss the play they will be putting on the play “Pyramus and Thisbe” The first evidence of comedy I noticed in this scene was that Bottom is constantly interrupting, talking about himself and how he may play all of the parts in the play, as each person’s part is brought to discussion. He is especially comical when he states:

    “An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too.
    I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice: “Thisne,
    Thisne!”—“Ah Pyramus, my lover dear! Thy Thisbe
    dear and lady dear!” (Act I, Scene ii, Lines 49 – 52)

    This is especially funny as, he blurts into the conversation in this case, and asks if he could play the part as well and that he would speak in an extremely small and high pitched voice, and therein lies the comedy. As well as this, we see an extremely funny part of the scene in which Bottom has stated that they will meet “Obscenely” and has made up his own proverb.

    BOTTOM We will meet, and there we may rehearse
    most obscenely and courageously. Take pains. Be
    perfit. Adieu.
    QUINCE At the Duke’s Oak we meet.
    BOTTOM Enough. Hold or cut bowstrings.(Act I, Scene ii, Lines 103 – 107)

    In this extremely comical part of the conversation, Bottom has mistaken the word “Seemly” and instead stated that they will meet “Obscenely”, and these two words are very different; Seemly means to be in good taste, while obscenely means to be in indecent or disgusting manner. This is an example of Dramatic Irony As well as this, we know that Bottom has created and used his own proverb meaning the same as “Stay or Go”: Hold or cut bowstrings. Finally, in an excellent example of Dramatic Irony, Quince informs the group that they will be rehearsing in the woods outside of Athens. We know that Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius will all be present in the woods that night, but the Mechanicals do not.

  18. In the scene that we have read. it tells about some low-tier carpenters getting prepared to perform the play of Pyramus and Thisbe. Quince told everyone who they were going to play, and they decided to meet in the woods so they can keep their performance a secret. There are several funny aspects to the story too. One example is the way they are speaking. They talk like people today speak, unlike Helena and Hermia who seem to be speaking in rhymes most of the time. The only parts where a carpenter recites it in that way is when Bottom was reciting the poem:

    “The raging rocks/And shivering shocks
    Shall break the locks/Of prison gates.
    And Phibbus’ car /Shall shine from far
    And make and mar/The foolish Fates.”(I,i,29-36)

    It is kind of ironic since they are performing a play in a play. The poem they recited is the same kind of speech that the other characters in the play speak like. Another aspect is Bottom. Even though Quince seems to be the director if the play, Bottom kept telling what Quince needs to do at the beginning of the scene. Then, even after he was assigned a role first, he kept saying that he could do the other roles too, even though he seemed more than content with his role, even a bit cocky. It was as if he wanted to do the whole play by himself. My best guess is that he feels that he has much more experience in acting than anyone else in the play.

  19. A lot of elements of this scene are quite funny. First off, the characters. The contrast between the two major roles in the scene- Bottom and Quince- add to its comedic effect. It’s funny within itself having Quince taking this play 100 percent seriously and Bottom continuously making a lighthearted joke of the whole thing. Not only that but it’s also quite funny when Quince reveals the title of the play because of how serious he is about it-“Marry, our play is “The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.” This line is quite funny because Quince is telling the audience that his play is a tragic comedy about cruel death. It’s supposed to be funny but it’s also tragedy, and it’s supposed to be funny but it’s also about cruel death. So it makes the audience laugh because these men have completed missed the point of comedy, so much so that it makes you wonder if they even know what a comedy is. Another quite funny but of the scene is how after every role Bottom offers himself up for the part and gives a very overzealous audition for each role. Bottoms character is very hilarious like how he says they’ll rehearse “obscenely and courageously”, which makes no sense because obscene is used completely wrong. In context it’s quite funny because you know what he was attempting to say but what he actually said totally goes against his point. This scene was very funny and Shakespeare used many elements to give it a strong comedic effect.

  20. In Act I scene 2 we are introduced to the mechanicals who are a low class people. These men are trying to direct and rehearse a play for the Duchess and Dukes wedding. Quince is shown to be the leader of the pact since he is the one assigning everyone roles and picking out the play. This play being about lovers that kill themselves, much like Romeo and Juliet. Here we can see Shakespeare put in some irony considering that they are doing this play for a wedding. Furthermore the comedic aspect of this scene is shown when everyone shows their dislike for their own parts. It starts of with another Mechanical named Bottom joking about how he is going to play his part.“That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.—To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.
     The raging rocks
     And shivering shocks
     Shall break the locks
     Of prison gates.
     And Phoebus’ car
     Shall shine from far
     And make and mar
     The foolish Fates.
    This was lofty!—Now name the rest of the players.—This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein. A lover is more condoling.”
    Clearly this is meant for the sole reason of making the audience laugh. Also we see a comedic side with Flute when he states he can’t play his part due to his growing a beard.All in all the comedic aspect of this play is clearly not left out by Shakespeare.

  21. As we read Act I, Scene II of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we see a switch from the dramatic scene before and move on to something more comical. The Mechanicals are a group of untrained men who want to put on a play for the Duke and Duchess’ wedding. There is one Mechanical in particular, Bottom, who makes this scene especially funny. The “actors” are having their parts assigned to them and every time someone gets their part, Bottom jumps in and says something like, “Let me play the lion too,” or, “An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too.” (lines 88 & 49) To contrast Bottom’s annoying behaviors, the director, Peter Quince, slowly becomes more and more irritated while still taking control of the actors. He repeatedly tells Bottom, “No, no, you must play Pyramus.” (line 53) This dynamic between the two characters creates comedy, as they just go back and forth throughout the scene. Another element of the comedic tendencies in the scene, is the usage of writing. We discussed in class how the Mechanicals talk in Prose, opposed to in Verse. This makes it seem more conversation-like, rather than like a poem, and therefore more relatable and easier to understand. Bottom’s character also tends to use something called a malapropism, which is where he mistakenly uses one word that often sounds similar to the one he means, while unintentionally giving a comedic aspect. This shows in this scene, as he says, “We will meet, and there we may rehearse most obscenely and courageously.” (lines 103-104) The word obscenely doesn’t make sense in this sentence, giving the reader the sense that Bottom isn’t really that smart, though it is humorous.

  22. Act 1, scene ii, is a pretty funny scene. Itso not quite as funny to us now, but it was probably hilarious at the time it was written. The most laughs come from a sign let character in the scene, Bottom. In the scene some of the mechanicals are trying to make a play, and they are assigning parts, and Bottom is a bit over excited,
    That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.—To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.
     The raging rocks
     And shivering shocks
     Shall break the locks
     Of prison gates.
     And Phoebus’ car
     Shall shine from far
     And make and mar
     The foolish Fates.
    This was lofty!—Now name the rest of the players.—This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein. A lover is more condoling. (I.II.23-49).

    Bottom is pretty interesting. I felt like the right way to act this out was for Bottom to speak very fast, ano not let anyone else completely finish their thoughts. And here is a perfect example. Bottom is just so happy to be included in the show, and so excited and is saying how great he’ll be at playing his part, even though he thinks that he should play a different part. If I know anything about show-business, it’s that you never question the director, producer, writer, or whoever is in charge (unless it’s yor job to do that). But he does it kind of funnily. In this quote he says that he’ll play the part so well that he will cry, and that the audience will also cry. And then he says that he would be better at playing a tyrant. He then goes on to volunteer himself for every part in the play. Even today I thought that it was pretty funny. I fell like so far the whole play could be a play put on in our era, of course with a change in the language. But especially this scene, I feel like this would fit in perfectly with modern times.

  23. Throughout this scene there were many instances of comedy. There was verbal irony
    , when Bottom said, ” obscenely and courageously” where he messed up the words seemly with obscenely. This scene definitely had comedy in it, and I believe that with the language barrier, it is a little hard to understand the comedy, but once you finally get it, it becomes a very funny joke, which can relate to modern times. This scene and the play itself really gives us a glimpse at what it was like before in Shaekspeare’s time, and that with a little bit of reading, you can unravel a whole new world that was made.

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