Study Guide

Pyramus and Thisbe Characters

  • Pyramus

    Let's see, what do we know about Pyramus?

    • He's young. 
    • He's in love.

    What else? Oh! Here we go:

    • He's young.
    • He's in love.

    Wait, we said that already, didn't we? Sorry, but that's about all the myth gives us about this guy's personality. See, a lot of these ancient myths weren't particularly concerned with presenting complex characters. Instead, they're full of broad archetypes meant to be more representative than realistic.

    One of the earliest examples of the young lover archetypes, Pyramus is a model for the all the passionate young lovers to follow. There's no doubt that he's an extreme example of this particular type of character. He's so passionately in love that he rashly falls on his sword when he mistakenly thinks that his love, Thisbe, has been eaten by a lioness. Maybe if he weren't so young and naïve and/or not quite so blinded by love, he might've taken a second to investigate the matter in a little bit more detail before he made so rash a decision.

    But you know what they say: hindsight is 20/20.

  • Thisbe

    If you saw Pyramus's "Character Analysis," you won't be surprised to hear that we don't know much about Thisbe, either. Just like her beau, all that we know about her is that she's young and in love. She's also an archetype, around to represent a type of person, not a fully fleshed-out character.

    Don't get us wrong, though. We're not saying Thisbe is cliché. Instead, we look at her as the inspiration for so many other characters to come. You've heard of a girl named Juliet, right? Yeah, this is where Billy Shakes got the idea from. Just like Shakespeare's Juliet, Thisbe is so overcome with grief at her lover's mistaken suicide that she kills herself as well.

    In the end, she's destroyed by her overpowering love and the hatred that kept her and Pyramus's families apart. Double whammy.