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Explore the Ways In Which Shakespeare Presents the Rude Mechanicals.

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Introduction

EXPLORE THE WAYS IN WHICH SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS THE RUDE MECHANICALS In his play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Shakespeare presents the Rude Mechanicals primarily as humorous characters: they provide the comic relief. They intend to put on their own play, 'The lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe,' as part of the marriage ceremony of Theseus and Hippolyta: a rather tragic choice! Although these men are called the "Rude Mechanicals" we cannot assume that they are not educated. Quince for example seems to be intelligent enough as he can correct mispronunciation "Odorous, odorous." Snug does seem to prove the point that he is unintelligent and he seems quite uneducated, "I am slow of study." The Rude Mechanicals who dominate the group and have most to say are Bottom and Quince. Bottom in particular is a very dominant character, convinced of his own ability, and he keen to show off, even to Titania's fairies and this is made evident when he addresses them as "Mounsieur." Similarly another example of him prove himself to be unintelligent is at the end of Act one when all the play parts are decided it is Bottom rather than Quince, who says to the other rude mechanicals, "we will meet; and there we may rehearse most obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfect..." obviously Bottom does not mean to say "obscenely" so Shakespeare is creating humour at the character Bottom's expense. The word sounds impressive but is in fact incorrect. ...read more.

Middle

arms:" this shows us her adoring feelings for him, but we have to bear in mind her perceptions aren't accurate but are induced by supernatural intervention. We also learn through the other rude mechanicals speech for example we learn that Bottom is awe inspiring by Quince and Flutes speeches about him when he is missing. We learn the Bottom is not as intelligent as he thinks, by his mispronunciation and miss use of vocabulary. For example "mounsier and odious." Bottom tends to talk mostly about himself and this shows that he loves the sound of his own voice and is full of himself also he tends to talk at some length, "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..." We learn about Bottom through his actions as well for example his over acting when he is rehearsing and his melodramatic gestures. We also learn from his name BOTTOM is not the kind of name you give to a handsome prince. When you see it you immediately think of this character as a heavy, sluggish not so clever man who is rather ugly. He is suggested as rather vulgar through his name and the name suggests a certain kind of character perhaps a comical man. Bottom the weaver, so called because in weaving the thread is wound on a reel or "Bottom." ...read more.

Conclusion

However, he does appear quite practical for example when he says, "Doth the moon shine the night we play our play." Snug plays the lion and appears slow and stupid because he says, "have you the lion's part written?" Although he seems to know he is not clever and says, "For I am slow of study." This is also an example of his low self-confidence, by this I mean he puts himself down and therefore we feel biased towards him. He also seems a bit timid when he roars and instead of roaring loudly to scare the women he roars quietly (Roaring) "Oh-." This creates more sympathy towards him and the lovers seem to show compassion towards him. One of Starveling's first speeches in the play is, "I believe we must leave the killing out," this shows he has little or no common sense as surely this would defeat the main object of the play. He plays the small part of moonshine in the play and this reflex's his personality, which is shy and timid. In conclusion Shakespeare presents the Rude Mechanicals as inadvertently comical characters who provide the light relief during the play. Shakespeare does this through the way they behave, their speech and how others behave towards them. All in all they are presented as realistic characters although Bottom does not really fit this generalisation. Shakespeare allows the audience to see something of themselves in the Rude Mechanicals and this creates sympathy towards their problems. They play they put on "Pyramus and Thisbe" supports the idea that they are a little foolish and this adds to the humour created. Liberty Kathro 10N 1 ...read more.

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