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How does Shakespeare entertain the audience in Act 1 scene 2 and Act 3 scene 1?

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Introduction

Emily Marsden 10Hl Midsummer Night's Dream How does Shakespeare entertain the audience in Act 1 scene 2 and Act 3 scene 1? In the beginning of the play Theseus and Hippolyta plan to get married. Hermia, the daughter of Egues is told by her father that she is to marry Demetrius. Hermia is not pleased with this news, as she wants to marry Lysander. Theseus is told about Hermia refusing to marry Demetrius and decides that if she doesn't obey her father she must be either sentenced to death or become a nun. Lysander and Hermia then plan to flee the country to get away from it all and to be together. Nobody knows about this except Helena, Hermia's best friend. Shakespeare entertains the audience in a variety of ways in Act 1 scene 2. The mechanicals, a group of amateur actors, meet in Athens. They try to put together a play, which will be performed at the wedding. ...read more.

Middle

No body is really listening carefully to what he is saying and many of the characters disagree with what he is saying. You can see this when Bottom tries to tell Quince how he should be dealing with the situation. Bottom says 'First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on, then read the names of the actors, and so grow to a point.' Quince often tries to ignore these comments by carrying on with what he is doing. This is shown when Bottom is showing off with his fancy language and instead of saying anything Quince sensibly carries on by saying, 'Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.' Shakespeare is quite obviously mocking bad acting and play writing at the time. Using this sort of parody is to create amusement for the audience. The way he makes the characters exaggerate their acting and make mistakes would make the audience laugh. Later on in the play we meet Puck who has a mischievous spirit, Titania who is the queen of fairies and Oberon, the king of fairies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Puck then changes Bottoms head into an ass. This sort of comical costume would have really amused the audience because they are not used to seeing that sort of thing and it's just not appropriate. The way that the other characters are so horrified and run off exaggerates the fact that Bottoms head is now an ass. The audience would also find it amusing the way Bottom just continues with the play, 'If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.' He is oblivious to what is going on. The main devices used to entertain and amuse the audience in Act one scene two and in Act three scene one are parody, verbal humour and the comical costumes that are worn. Parody is the way Shakespeare mocks the bad acting and play writing. This is used an awful lot in these scenes. Verbal humour is used to amuse the audience when the characters do not pronounce their word correctly. Comical costumes are used to make the audience laugh at the play and stay interested. These devices used together, successfully entertain and amuse audiences in Shakespeare's time and even today. ...read more.

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