Mechanical (character)

From Academic Kids

A Mechanical is any one of six characters in A Midsummer Night's Dream who perform the play within the play, Pyramus and Thisbe. Essentially, they are a group of amateur (mostly incompetant) actors from around Athens, looking to make names for themselves by being chosen out of several other plays to entertain the royal wedding party of Theseus and Hippolyta. Of these characters, Bottom is by far the most famous and a favourite for actors; he falls into a bizarre love interest with the Queen of the Fairies, Titania (who is under the influence of an aphrodisiac), after being transformed into a half-man, half-donkey by the spirit Puck. They are called "mechanicals" because their day jobs all involve mending or fixing.

The characters known as "mechanicals" are as follows:

  • Peter Quince, the Carpenter
  • Snug (no first name is given), the Joiner
  • Nick Bottom, the Weaver
  • Francis Flute, the Bellows-mender
  • Tom Snout, the Tinker
  • Robin Starveling, the Tailor

Their parts in Pyramus and Thisbe are (respectively):

These kinds of characters (see the grave diggers from Hamlet) were traditionally portrayed by clowns, which most Elizabethan theatres had in their employ.

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