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
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…e dresses a man as a woman, again
confusing reality and fantasy, but also making it humorous, like a
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