Comic Techniques in Act 5 Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Comic Techniques in Act 5 Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

This scene is the last of the play but by this time the actual plot is

finished. This scene is an extra part added on to make the play more

humorous. It is also the only scene with all the characters in it.

They are all drawn together in one place. Shakespeare did this to make

sure the ending is happy and humorous. It also shows the audience that

everything turns out alright in the end.

It would look strange on stage as Shakespeare is mimicking his own

audience. It is a play within a play.

This is how the theatre may have look:


The people in purple would have been the actors on the stage and the

people in red would have been the audience. The ‘rich People’ would

have been the people who paid extra to sit actually on the stage with

the actors. In the play, this is The Lovers; Theseus and Hippolyta,

Demetrius and Helena, and Lysander and Hermia.

They would have been close to the actors (The Mechanicals), and they

would have jeered, shouted and made witty comments to interrupt the

play. In Shakespeare’s time, this would have been normal as the

audiences where allowed to shout things out to the actors. It would

have been like out modern day pantomimes. This behaviour is imitated

in the play.

Shakespeare seems to be laughing and taking the micky out of plays

that he has written. The play, Pyramus and Thisbe, is from a Greek

myth, but it is also a mixed up, slapstick version of Romeo and

Juliet. The storylines are similar and so is the prologue.

The story of Pyramus and Thisbe is also like Hermia and Lysander. They

are a…

… middle of paper …

…e dresses a man as a woman, again

confusing reality and fantasy, but also making it humorous, like a

pantomime dame.

A modern director would have more opportunities than a director in

Shakespeare’s time. Shakespeare’s theatre only had one entrance to the

stage, limited props and scenery and the audience would have been

right in the actor’s faces, making it impossible to cover up mistakes.

The director would have to make sure that the play went perfectly as

the audience were not afraid to shout out if they didn’t like


A modern director also has the choice about what time period to set it

in, whereas a Shakespearean director would not have this option.

Shakespeare was deliberately mimicking his own audience but the modern

audiences are not set out in the same way so it may not have the same


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