A midsummer Nights Dream

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william shakespeare-a midsummer nights dream
vijita fernando-missiya the wild one


Pyramus and Thisbe

The whole of Athens came to see the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta.

Everybody  was  surprised  that  there  was  not  just  one  wedding,  hut  three.  There

was  great  happiness  when  people  heard  the  lovers'  stories.  The  triple  wedding

was a great success, and afterwards there was a great feast.

'Now, Philostrate,' said Theseus to his master of revels, 'what entertainment

have you organised for us this evening? I hope it's something special.'

'Lots  of  people  have  made  suggestions,  sir,'  Philostrate  replied,  'and  the

choice is yours. There is a play called Pyramus and Thisbe, for example. To tell

the truth, it's not a good play, and the performers are not really actors at all. But

you may want to see it.'

'The performers are not real actors? Who are they, then?' asked Theseus.

'Bottom  and  his  friends  are  simple  men,  sir,"  Philostrate  explained.  'They

wanted  to  do  something  to  celebrate  your  wedding,  and  they  have  chosen  this

play. But I don't advise you to see it, sir - their play is terrible.'

'I want to see it,' Theseus decided. 'I don't care if they aren't real actors. It's

enough  for  me  that  they  are  simple  men  who  wanted  to  honour  me  and

Hippolyta.  They  should  he  treated  with  respect.  That's  the  entertainment  we'll

have, Philostrate.'

Phi  lost  rate  went  off  to  tell  Bottom  and  his  friends  to  prepare  their


Soon  Theseus  and  Hippolyta  led  their  guests  into  the  hall  where  the  play

was  to  be  performed.  His  special  guests  were  Lysander  and  Hermia  and

Demetrius and Helena.  Everybody sat down  and waited for  the performance to

begin.  There  was  silence  for  some  minutes,  and  then  Bottom  and  his  friends

appeared on stage.

Bottom was dressed as Pyramus, Flute as Thisbe, Snout as Wall. Starveling

as Moonshine, and Snug as Lion.

They all bowed politely to the audience, and then Bottom began to speak

the  prologue  that  he  and  his  friends  had  rehearsed  in  the  wood.  He  faced  the

audience solemnly, and said:

'This is our play. I am Pyramus. I am the hero of the play.' He paused, and

then pointed at Flute. 'This beautiful girl is Thisbe'

Some  people  in  the  audience  began  to  laugh  at  this,  because  they  could

clearly  see  Flute's  beard  through  the  mask  he  was  wearing.  Theseus  looked

sternly  at  the  people  who  were  laughing,  however,  and  the  audience  was  quiet

once more.

'This man is the wall.' Bottom went on, pointing at Snout.

'I am.' said Snout proudly. 'You can see I'm the wall, because of this brick

I'm carrying.' He held a large brick in one hand, and showed it to the audience.

'A talking wall!' Theseus commented to Demetrius. 'What next, I wonder?

Bottom continued his introduction of the performers.

'This  man  represents  Moonshine.  Pyramus  and  Thisbe  used  to  meet  on

opposite sides of the wall,' Bottom explained. 'They would talk through a small

hole  in  the  wall,'  he  explained.  'One  night  Thisbe  arrived  before  Pyramus,  and

she saw a dreadful lion.'

Here Bottom paused to point significantly at Snug. Snug was dressed as a

lion, but his face was showing through the lion's costume. He waved cheerfully

at  the  audience.  Again,  some  of  the  audience  began  to  laugh.  This  time  even

Theseus joined in the laughter.

'This is the silliest play I've ever seen,' Hippolyta said to Theseus.

Bottom now went back to the other actors, and they began acting the play.

Their acting was terrible.

Thisbe  came  onto  the  stage,  and  was  horrified  to  see  a  lion.  The  lion

roared. Thisbe screamed and ran away, but as she ran she dropped her cloak, and

the lion tore it to pieces. When Pyramus arrived, he saw the cloak on the ground

and  the  lion  standing  next  to  it.  Pyramus  imagined  that  the  lion  had  eaten  his

lover.  He  drew  his  sword,  and  killed  himself  in  despair.  Then  Thisbe  returned,

and when she saw the body of Pyramus on the ground, she took out a knife and

killed herself.

'They're  terrible,'  Hippolyta  said  again  to  Theseus.  'They  don't  know

anything about acting or the theatre.'

Some of the audience were angry with Bottom and his friends, and others

thought the play was the funniest performance they had ever seen. Theseus was

amused, however, and applauded the performance with enthusiasm.

When their play was finished. Bottom and his friends left the stage. They

were happy that they had honoured Theseus and his wife with their performance,

and they were sure that the play had been a great success.

Soon  the  great  hall  where  Theseus  had  entertained  his  guests  was  silent

and dark. Everyone had gone to bed. A small figure emerged from the darkness

and began to speak. It was Puck. He was singing quietly:

'Now it is the time of night

When fairies come to bring sweet joys

To married girls and married boys.'

As Puck sang his song, other figures emerged from the darkness. Oberon

and Titania appeared, with all their servants. The King and Queen began to sing.

'We wish the couples married here

Happiness for many a year.

Fairies, make a magic sign.

So all their children will be fine.'


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