| Quote #7
A lot of literary critics have pointed out that, in terms of plot, the craftsmen's actual performance of Pyramus and Thisbe (Act 5, Scene 1) isn't even necessary because, by the time the Mechanicals perform their play, Shakespeare has already wrapped things up by marrying off all of his couples and assuring us of a happy ending. So, why does Shakespeare bother with the Mechanicals' performance? Is it just to torture his newly married couples by delaying their wedding night? Something else?
| Quote #8
When Philostrate refers to the Mechanicals as men who have "never labour'd in their minds till now," he suggests the craftsmen are incompetent actors because they're uneducated. Is this the play's overall attitude toward acting and the theater? It certainly seems that way, because the Mechanicals are clueless about common theatrical conventions (basic staging, use of props, and so on) and butcher the names of classical places and figures during the performance. Is Shakespeare being a snob or, is he depicting his profession as a craft that requires skill and intelligence?
| Quote #9
Here, we're reminded that, even though the amateur actors are pretty lousy, they certainly mean well. We can also see that, if you want to be an actor (like Bottom and Peter Quince do), then you've got to put yourself out there and be willing to humiliate yourself in the process.