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This extract is taken from Shakespeares, A Midsummer Nights Dream,


The Mechanics are putting on a production of Pyramus and Thisby. The extract is the prologue of their play.


It begins with an amusing start. Quince, the man incharge, reads out from a scroll the introduction of the play they are putting on. He is a rather pompous character, who felt important and clever though he is not. As he reads the words out he pauses in all the wrong places, and in doing this, instead of welcoming the audience, he tells them that they are going to be made unhappy! Shakespeare had written this in a way that if the punctuation was incorrect, then the reader could give completely the wrong impression that they wanted to.


As it continues it becomes even more farcical, in the prologue it says, this beauteous lady is certain. I found this amusing, because Thisby is played by a man, and Quince is telling us that he is a beautiful woman!


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It was also comical because the play seemed to give so much significance to just a vile old wall that two lovers find special, and because its revolting and made from old horse manure it brings even more humour into it!


The play that they were acting out was thought by themselves to be a tragedy, although it turned out to be more of a comedy for those watching, because of the way that the old workmen were trying to act there parts.


The other part of this extract that I enjoyed was the fact that I could picture the play taking place, and as the prologue is read out at a fast speed, the actors are having to act at the speed Quince was reading it. Therefore when Quince reads, And as she fled, her mantle she did fall, I visualised Thisby pulling his/her mantle off, instead of taking it at a slower pace, and letting it fall to the ground whilst running.


Again I enjoyed the fact that Bottom was pretending to be a great warrior, and a handsome man, when he obviously wasnt. Quince said, Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall, theres a huge discrepancy between his self image and the role that he was playing, as he was not tall, or young, but an ugly old workman!


As Pyramus is supposed to be a warrior, I think that Quince wrote the prologue in such a way he thought would sound as though Pyramus was a gallant and courageous man. The amusing thing is that his way of interpreting this is to repeat the word, bloody! I think that he also does this because he thinks that it is a rather intelligent way of using a swear word. Again they haveto act this part out at the speed of his reading. Quince reads, He bravely broached his boiling bloody breast, Pyramus repeatedly stabs at his armour, and still remains completely serious as the audience begins to laugh, of course Pyramus did not want his part to end and continues pretending to die!


Thisby stabs herself as well, and they both fall dead on the ground, I enjoyed this part because of the way that they hadto act it all out so rapidly.


This section of the play is so comical because all of the actors concerned remain serious, but the King who had hired them for his wedding knew that it was not going to the same for the audience, because the mechanics were infermous for their terrible acting!


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