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A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

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A Midsummer Night's Dream Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

BOTTOM An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too, I'llspeak in a monstrous little voice. 'Thisne,Thisne;' 'Ah, Pyramus, lover dear! thy Thisbe dear,and lady dear!' (1.2.2)

When Bottom volunteers to play the role of Thisbe and make his voice high-pitched, Shakespeare alludes to the fact that all female roles were played by male actors on Shakespeare's stage.  Usually, these parts were given to boys with high-pitched or, "monstrous little" voices.

Quote #2

SNUG Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, andthere is two or three lords and ladies more married:if our sport had gone forward, we had all been mademen.FLUTE O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence aday during his life; he could not have 'scapedsixpence a day: an the duke had not given himsixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged;he would have deserved it: sixpence a day inPyramus, or nothing. (4.2.1)

Snug is excited at the prospect of getting to perform before the Duke because he thinks it's an opportunity for social advancement. He imagines his crew becoming "made men" and earning "sixpence" for their efforts. 

Brain Snack:  Technically, Shakespeare the actor/playwright was a commoner, but he was so successful that he was able to buy property and even applied for a coat of arms.  However, it doesn't seem like the Mechanicals are headed in the same direction, does it?

Quote #3

THESEUSLovers and madmen have such seething brains[...]The lunatic, the lover and the poetAre of imagination all compact: (5.1.1)

After hearing the young Athenians' stories, Theseus says that madmen, lovers, and poets have a lot in common – they're all highly imaginative and also a little nuts. 

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