BCIS
A_Midsummer_Nights_Dream_Text_book.pdf

Q uince well we will have such a prologue and it

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Q UINCE . Well; we will have such a prologue, and it shall be written in eight and six. 6 B OTTOM . No; make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight. 25 S NOUT . Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion? S TARVELING . I fear it, I promise you. B OTTOM . Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves, ACT III , SCENE i 33 What is the first potential problem Bottom finds with the intended performance? What is Bottom’s solution to this problem? What other prob- lem do the players identify?
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34 A MIDSUMMER NIGHT S DREAM to bring in (God shield us!) a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wild- 30 fowl than your lion living; and we ought to look to’t. S NOUT . Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion. B OTTOM . Nay; you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion’s neck, and he himself 35 must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect: 7 “Ladies,” or “Fair ladies, I would wish you,” or “I would request you,” or “I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble: my life for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life. No! I am no such thing; I am 40 a man as other men are”; and there indeed let him name his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner. Q UINCE . Well; it shall be so. But there is two hard things: that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight. 45 S NOUT . Doth the moon shine that night we play our play? B OTTOM . A calendar, a calendar! Look in the almanac. Find out moonshine, find out moonshine. Q UINCE . Yes; it doth shine that night. B OTTOM . Why then may you leave a casement of the 50 great chamber window (where we play) open; and the moon may shine in at the casement. Q UINCE . Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lantern, 8 and say he comes to disfigure, 9 or to present, the person of Moonshine. Then, there is 55 another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby (says the story) did talk through the chink 10 of a wall. S NOUT . You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom? 60 B OTTOM . Some man or other must present Wall; and let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough- cast 11 about him, to signify wall; or let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper. 7. defect. Bottom means “effect.” 8. bush of thorns and a lantern. People of rural England said the man in the moon was placed in the sky for collecting wood on the Sabbath; they saw him as carrying a bundle of sticks, hence the bush of thorns. The lantern represents moonlight. 9. disfigure. Bottom means “figure” or “portray.” 10. chink. Narrow opening 11. rough-cast. Lime mixed with small stones and used as plaster on outside walls ® How does Bottom think that this prob- lem should be solved? What does this solution reveal about Bottom’s con- ception of the role of illusion in the theater?
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