A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 5

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 5

What are Theseus and Hippolyta discussing at the beginning of the act (before the lovers enter)?
the stories of the lovers.
What is Theseus’s opinion?
that all the confusion is just their imagination
What is Hippolyta’s opinion?
she believes the lovers since their stories are consistent
What are the two oxymora (an oxymoron is a phrase in which two words contradict each other) present in the description of the play involving Pyramus and Thisby?
(merry and tragic) and (tedious and brief)
How does Philostrate account for these contradictions?
tragic because the lover kill themselves, but merry because the way it is played out causes the audience to laugh

brief in actual length but tedious because even its short length is too long

Quince’s speech – Theseus says that “This fellow does not stand upon points” and Lysander says “He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; / He knows not the stop” What two comments are being said about the speech?
he doesn’t know when to stop and he doesn’t understand the use of periods (stop or points = periods)
What does Demetrius mean when he says, ” No wonder, my lord, one lion may, when / many asses do”?
they should not be surprised when a lion speaks because asses (the men) are speaking
What is humorous about Theseus’s comment: “The wall methinks, being sensible, should/ curse again”?
since the wall can speak, he should be a part of the action and defend himself for having to play a wall
Explain the confusion in Pyramus’s lines, ” I see a voice… I can hear my Thisby’s face”?
the audience has already commented on the simple nature of the men and their lack of professionalism, this reinforces it. Either Bottom has blundered his lines or they were written incorrectly and he memorized them without noticing. This is for comic relief.
What does Theseus mean when he says, “If we imagine no worse of them than they/ of themselves, they may pass for excellent men”?
that the men seem to think they are quite good at presenting a play, which we know isn’t true
According to Thisby’s description, describe Pyramus.
with lily lips, a cherry nose and with yellow cheeks which makes him seem either sickly or clownish. this ruins the tragedy of the moment as one is more amused than sympathetic
How long will the wedding festivities continue?
a fortnight which is two weeks
What do the fairies enter the palace to do?
they come to bless the couples and fill the palace with joy
What do you think of Puck’s description of himself?
he describes himself as honest which has not been completely true. this makes the audience question the validity of his speech
What does Puck tell the audience in his speech?
that if their performance has offended us, they meant well and will soon amend it. he also says to look on the experience as a dream
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