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cheryl_shell
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Act V: The Court Redux

In Act V, the Athenians are now all back at court, the seat of government, where law and tradition can once again prevail. So like all Shakespearean comedies, having begun in strife, the play ends in harmony with the marriage of the couples.

Once the nuptials are done, the principals gather to watch a play, a bit of entertainment to "wear away this long age of three hours / Between after supper and bedtime" (5.1.36-7).

Bottom and company present their version of "Pyramus and Thisbe" to the noble company. With it they do a clever job of turning a lovers' tragedy into "tragical mirth" (5.1.61)--just the thing for a wedding party. The "tedious brief scene" (60) could also be seen as a recapitulation of the larger play--what started out to be a tragedy ends up, by way of some ludicrous mistakes, a comedy.

What do you think of this play? The players? The audience?

And Puck's final speech?
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mildone
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

In introducing my self I made the comment that I had not read A Midsummer Night's Dream for over fifty years. I remedied that situation by going to B&N, purchasing the paper back edition, sitting in their comfortable cushion chair and reading it in one session. I quote your comment,Cheyyl-Shell-"Botom and company present their version of "Pyramus and Thisbe" for the noble company.With it they do a clever job of turning a lovers tragedy into a typical mirth. What started out to be a tragedy ends up, by way of some ludicrous mistakes, a comedy."
While reading 5.1.61 I was laughing so hard that I attracted the attention of those sitting near me and of course they were interested in what I was reading. I received an online course on Shakespeare"s sense of humor. The participants were quite knowledgeable and most entertaining.
I like to refer to B&N as my senior citizens residentail home for when my wife goes shopping I like to be left off at their store, get a cup of coffee and purchase books. My grandchildren when they ask me what I want for Christmas, birthdays, and general gift giving days I ask for gift cards at B&N. The staff know me and since I do purchase numerous books they welcome me.
My disappointment is that it took me all those years to enjoy a truly remarkable story but in old age sometimes wisdom comes.
mildone
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Laurel
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

Great anecdote, Mildone! Thanks for sharing it with us. Let's hope that this will happen again and again with each of the plays.



mildone wrote:
In introducing my self I made the comment that I had not read A Midsummer Night's Dream for over fifty years. I remedied that situation by going to B&N, purchasing the paper back edition, sitting in their comfortable cushion chair and reading it in one session. I quote your comment,Cheyyl-Shell-"Botom and company present their version of "Pyramus and Thisbe" for the noble company.With it they do a clever job of turning a lovers tragedy into a typical mirth. What started out to be a tragedy ends up, by way of some ludicrous mistakes, a comedy."
While reading 5.1.61 I was laughing so hard that I attracted the attention of those sitting near me and of course they were interested in what I was reading. I received an online course on Shakespeare"s sense of humor. The participants were quite knowledgeable and most entertaining.
I like to refer to B&N as my senior citizens residentail home for when my wife goes shopping I like to be left off at their store, get a cup of coffee and purchase books. My grandchildren when they ask me what I want for Christmas, birthdays, and general gift giving days I ask for gift cards at B&N. The staff know me and since I do purchase numerous books they welcome me.
My disappointment is that it took me all those years to enjoy a truly remarkable story but in old age sometimes wisdom comes.
mildone


"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

Gret story Mildone - thanks:smileyhappy:




mildone wrote:
In introducing my self I made the comment that I had not read A Midsummer Night's Dream for over fifty years. I remedied that situation by going to B&N, purchasing the paper back edition, sitting in their comfortable cushion chair and reading it in one session. I quote your comment,Cheyyl-Shell-"Botom and company present their version of "Pyramus and Thisbe" for the noble company.With it they do a clever job of turning a lovers tragedy into a typical mirth. What started out to be a tragedy ends up, by way of some ludicrous mistakes, a comedy."
While reading 5.1.61 I was laughing so hard that I attracted the attention of those sitting near me and of course they were interested in what I was reading. I received an online course on Shakespeare"s sense of humor. The participants were quite knowledgeable and most entertaining.
I like to refer to B&N as my senior citizens residentail home for when my wife goes shopping I like to be left off at their store, get a cup of coffee and purchase books. My grandchildren when they ask me what I want for Christmas, birthdays, and general gift giving days I ask for gift cards at B&N. The staff know me and since I do purchase numerous books they welcome me.
My disappointment is that it took me all those years to enjoy a truly remarkable story but in old age sometimes wisdom comes.
mildone


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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux



cheryl_shell wrote:
comedy.

What do you think of this play? The players? The audience?

And Puck's final speech?





I am intrigued by how much mirroring goes on in MND. I find it again in Act V Scene I. The prologue to Thisbe and Pyramus goes like this: " If we offend, it is with our good will." V i 109 And of course at the end we here Puck tell is audience: "If we shadows have offended" V i 416 .


Sorry I can't elaborate on my ideas , it's just that I'm always in such a hurry!
Mildone, loved your story. I hope and pray I make it to that point in my life where I can lullaway the hours in a bookstore!
Lynda

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"Um, maybe."
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LizzieAnn
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Act V: The Court Redux

[ Edited ]
I laughed at the play within in play. Especially with the comments made by Theseus, Lysander, Demetrius, and, to a lesser degree, Hippolyta. Especially the comments the tree men make about the lion, and how they anticipate the ending of the play when Thisby finds Pyramus.

Pyramus says (5.1.280-4)

Eyes, do you see
How can it be?
O dainty duck! O dear!
They mantle good,
What, stained with blood!

I don't understand how the mantle is stained with blood. Thisby runs off when she sees the lion, who then bites & shakes her fallen mantle. Are we to assume that the "lion" had a bloody mouth before scaring of Thisby and that's how the mantle becomes bloody?

Also, I found the craftsmen's play reminiscent of Romeo & Juliet. They love each other but are kept apart; he believes she's dead and kills himself; she founds him dead and kills herself.

I also found it odd that neither Hermia nor Helena have any dialogue in this Act.

I love Puck's famous speech at the end (5.1.425-440) - it's not only lyrical when it's read, but it's also lyrical in content. It's my favorite piece of dialogue in the entire play.

Message Edited by LizzieAnn on 02-26-200707:43 PM

Liz ♥ ♥


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Choisya
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

Yes, it really is funny:smileyhappy: Do the craftsmen stain the mantle with blood so as to make the lion more dramatic - they couldn't do it on stage as we do now with bursting tomato ketchup capsules etc. so perhaps it is done beforehand for effect?

Feminist interpretation of the lack of dialogue between Hermia & Helena is put down to them now being married and having a more subservient status that when they were single women. It contrasts with Hermia answering back her father in Act I and Helena running after Demetrius in such an unmaidenly way.



LizzieAnn wrote:
I laughed at the play within in play. Especially with the comments made by Theseus, Lysander, Demetrius, and, to a lesser degree, Hippolyta. Especially the comments the tree men make about the lion, and how they anticipate the ending of the play when Thisby finds Pyramus.

Pyramus says (5.1.280-4)

Eyes, do you see
How can it be?
O dainty duck! O dear!
They mantle good,
What, stained with blood!

I don't understand how the mantle is stained with blood. Thisby runs off when she sees the lion, who then bites & shakes her fallen mantle. Are we to assume that the "lion" had a bloody mouth before scaring of Thisby and that's how the mantle becomes bloody?

Also, I found the craftsmen's play reminiscent of Romeo & Juliet. They love each other but are kept apart; he believes she's dead and kills himself; she founds him dead and kills herself.

I also found it odd that neither Hermia nor Helena have any dialogue in this Act.

I love Puck's famous speech at the end (5.1.425-440) - it's not only lyrical when it's read, but it's also lyrical in content. It's my favorite piece of dialogue in the entire play.

Message Edited by LizzieAnn on 02-26-200707:43 PM




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cheryl_shell
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux


LizzieAnn wrote:
I laughed at the play within in play. Especially with the comments made by Theseus, Lysander, Demetrius, and, to a lesser degree, Hippolyta. Especially the comments the tree men make about the lion, and how they anticipate the ending of the play when Thisby finds Pyramus.

Pyramus says (5.1.280-4)

Eyes, do you see
How can it be?
O dainty duck! O dear!
They mantle good,
What, stained with blood!

I don't understand how the mantle is stained with blood. Thisby runs off when she sees the lion, who then bites & shakes her fallen mantle. Are we to assume that the "lion" had a bloody mouth before scaring of Thisby and that's how the mantle becomes bloody?



Yes, Lizzie, I think we are to assume that the lion has gotten his mouth bloody from eating some other unfortunate creature.
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Everyman
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

LizzieAnn wrote:
I laughed at the play within in play. Especially with the comments made by Theseus, Lysander, Demetrius, and, to a lesser degree, Hippolyta.


It's tempting to wonder to what extent audience commentary was a regular part of S's plays.
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friery
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux


cheryl_shell wrote:
In Act V, the Athenians are now all back at court, the seat of government, where law and tradition can once again prevail. So like all Shakespearean comedies, having begun in strife, the play ends in harmony with the marriage of the couples.

Once the nuptials are done, the principals gather to watch a play, a bit of entertainment to "wear away this long age of three hours / Between after supper and bedtime" (5.1.36-7).

Bottom and company present their version of "Pyramus and Thisbe" to the noble company. With it they do a clever job of turning a lovers' tragedy into "tragical mirth" (5.1.61)--just the thing for a wedding party. The "tedious brief scene" (60) could also be seen as a recapitulation of the larger play--what started out to be a tragedy ends up, by way of some ludicrous mistakes, a comedy.

What do you think of this play? The players? The audience?

And Puck's final speech?




The audience commentary during the Mechanicals' play is terrific. (I really love Shakespeare's plays-within-plays. It gives him a chance to remark with real irony upon actors, directors, playwrights, and audiences. For example, in Hamlet, Shakespeare has Hamlet acting as director to the players before they present their play to "test the conscience of a king.")

One very clever section in Act 5, scene 1 (5.1.372-379) has Theseus saying:

No epilogue, I pray you; for your play
needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the
players are all dead, there need none to be
blamed. Marry, if he that writ it had played
Pyramus, and hanged himself in Thisbe's gar-
ter, it would have been a fine tragedy: and
so it is, truly, and very notably discharged.
But come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue
alone.

Of course, what happens next? Shakespeare has Robin Goodfellow present an Epilogue.
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Laurel
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

But come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue
alone.

Of course, what happens next? Shakespeare has Robin Goodfellow present an Epilogue.

Good catch, Friery!
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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friery
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux


Laurel wrote:
But come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue
alone.

Of course, what happens next? Shakespeare has Robin Goodfellow present an Epilogue.

Good catch, Friery!




Is the entire last scene meant to be sung? I've just reread it, and I'm beginning to think so.
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friery
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

Isn't there an anachronism in this act? In 5.1.46-7, Philostrate gives Theseus a list of candidates for the evening's entertainment. Theseus then discusses them and dismisses all but the Mechanicals' play.

However, in 4.2.37-9, Bottom says to his fellow players,

.................................../Get your ap-
parel together, good strings to your beards, new
ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the
palace; every man look o'er his part; for the
short and the long is, our play is preferred.

Doesn't this indicate that Theseus has made his choice? (And Philostrate certainly hadn't chosen them--he argues against the play.)
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Laurel
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

I've always wondered about this, too. How did Bottom know what was going on? Perhaps he was just being Bottom and stating what he wished to be true.



friery wrote:
Isn't there an anachronism in this act? In 5.1.46-7, Philostrate gives Theseus a list of candidates for the evening's entertainment. Theseus then discusses them and dismisses all but the Mechanicals' play.

However, in 4.2.37-9, Bottom says to his fellow players,

.................................../Get your ap-
parel together, good strings to your beards, new
ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the
palace; every man look o'er his part; for the
short and the long is, our play is preferred.

Doesn't this indicate that Theseus has made his choice? (And Philostrate certainly hadn't chosen them--he argues against the play.)


"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux



friery wrote:
Isn't there an anachronism in this act?

If you go looking for inconsistencies in Shakespeare, you will have a thick volume before you're through. He wrote fairly quickly, sometimes apparently working on a play up to the opening night, so it's not surprising that things will have slipped through that careful eyes catch. And sometimes he just changed things around to fit the dramatic needs of the play (like putting harry and Hotspur in the same generation).
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Choisya
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

I see them as candidates going for a job interview at the Palace, waiting to be chosen alongside other hopefuls, all probably getting a meal at the palace. Philostrate, Theseus' 'Entertainments manager' does the initial interviewing of all candidates and when he is called, hands a paper to Theseus with his preferences saying 'Here is a brief how many sports are ripe'. Theseus then reads aloud the summaries of the various plays ending with Pyramus & Thisbe. Philostrate summarises the play and tells him about the mechanicals. Theseus finally says 'I will hear that play/For never any thing can be amiss/When simpleness and duty tender it/Go bring them in: and take your places ladies.' It seems as if the description of the Mechanicals decided him.




friery wrote:
Isn't there an anachronism in this act? In 5.1.46-7, Philostrate gives Theseus a list of candidates for the evening's entertainment. Theseus then discusses them and dismisses all but the Mechanicals' play.

However, in 4.2.37-9, Bottom says to his fellow players,

.................................../Get your ap-
parel together, good strings to your beards, new
ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the
palace; every man look o'er his part; for the
short and the long is, our play is preferred.

Doesn't this indicate that Theseus has made his choice? (And Philostrate certainly hadn't chosen them--he argues against the play.)


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stratford
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

As usual, Choisya is correct. But possiby I could elaborate a little bit more. The use of "preferred" as noted below is not an anachronism or an inconsistency or an error or a mistake on Shakespeare's part. "Preferred" as used in the quote below means "put forward, recommended." The final decision had not been made when Bottom utters the famous words quoted below. Their entertainment offering is just one of a number of offerings but their offering has been "put forward" or "recommended." It is not until Theseus is given the paper (in a stage direction) and reads through some of the choices, and Theseus and Philostrate discuss the Mechanicals' offering, that Theseus says "And we will hear it," and several lines later says again, "I will hear that play."



friery wrote:
Isn't there an anachronism in this act? In 5.1.46-7, Philostrate gives Theseus a list of candidates for the evening's entertainment. Theseus then discusses them and dismisses all but the Mechanicals' play.

However, in 4.2.37-9, Bottom says to his fellow players,

.................................../Get your ap-
parel together, good strings to your beards, new
ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the
palace; every man look o'er his part; for the
short and the long is, our play is preferred.

Doesn't this indicate that Theseus has made his choice? (And Philostrate certainly hadn't chosen them--he argues against the play.)


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Laurel
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Re: Act V: The Court Redux

Stratford, your preferred explanation makes perfect sense. Thank you!



stratford wrote:
As usual, Choisya is correct. But possiby I could elaborate a little bit more. The use of "preferred" as noted below is not an anachronism or an inconsistency or an error or a mistake on Shakespeare's part. "Preferred" as used in the quote below means "put forward, recommended." The final decision had not been made when Bottom utters the famous words quoted below. Their entertainment offering is just one of a number of offerings but their offering has been "put forward" or "recommended." It is not until Theseus is given the paper (in a stage direction) and reads through some of the choices, and Theseus and Philostrate discuss the Mechanicals' offering, that Theseus says "And we will hear it," and several lines later says again, "I will hear that play."



friery wrote:
Isn't there an anachronism in this act? In 5.1.46-7, Philostrate gives Theseus a list of candidates for the evening's entertainment. Theseus then discusses them and dismisses all but the Mechanicals' play.

However, in 4.2.37-9, Bottom says to his fellow players,

.................................../Get your ap-
parel together, good strings to your beards, new
ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the
palace; every man look o'er his part; for the
short and the long is, our play is preferred.

Doesn't this indicate that Theseus has made his choice? (And Philostrate certainly hadn't chosen them--he argues against the play.)





"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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cheryl_shell
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The preferred


Laurel wrote:
Stratford, your preferred explanation makes perfect sense. Thank you!







I would agree! That's how I see it, too.
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Choisya
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Re: The preferred

How strange - I thought my explanation said the same thing and made sense too! It must be my English.:smileyvery-happy:




cheryl_shell wrote:

Laurel wrote:
Stratford, your preferred explanation makes perfect sense. Thank you!







I would agree! That's how I see it, too.



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