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A Midsummer Night's Dream - Q&A - Act1

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Joanne Fan

on 24 May 2013

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Transcript of A Midsummer Night's Dream - Q&A - Act1


Questions & answers
ACT 1 A foil is a character that emphasizes, through strong contrast, the distinctive characteristics of another. In Act 1, Scene 1, how does Helena serve as a foil for Hermia? How are the characters Pyramus and Thisbe like Hermia and Lysander?
(Act 1, Scene 2) In Act 1 Scene 1, Theseus, Egeus, Hermia, Demetrius, and Lysander are in a room talking about how Hermia is to marry Demetrius against her will. She is presented three choices, marry Demetrius, become a nun, or be put to death. Theseus warns Hermia to be careful of the choice she will make and if she is willing to follow through with it.

Soon, she decides to become a nun because she would rather die a virgin than give her virginity to someone she does not love. Later that night, Lysander and Hermia decide to sneak out of the palace against her father's orders. The characters Pyramus and Thisbe are similar to the characters Hermia and Lysander because they have forbidden love for each other, just like Hermia and Lysander. Their parents are both very disapproving of their relationships. Both of them also had plans for the woman to escape, alone into the woods and eventually meet up with their lovers. What is funny about Snug asking whether his lines will be written out?
(Act 1, Scene 2) Helena serves as a foil for Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 1, because Helena heavily emphasizes Hermia's special qualities that she, herself, doesnt have. In addition, Hermia is constantly the girl all the boys are after and is very confident with her appearance. As for Helena, she is more of the jealous type and is always desperate for love. In act 1 Helena constantly whines about how Hermia is perfect while she isn't. For example, in the book Helena complains that in Demetrius' eyes Hermia is the beautiful one, that her eyes are like stars and that her voice is melodious, therefor proving that Helena serves as a foil for Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. What exactly are the choices presented by Theseus to Hermia? How does Theseus present them?
(Act 1, Scene 1) What do the others think of Bottom? How does he seem to feel about himself?
(Act 1, Scene 2) A malapropism is the misuse of a word, usually because it sounds similar. Bottom is prone to using malapropisms. Find 3 malapropisms among Bottom's lines on pages 26-27.
(Act 1, Scene 2) There were 3 times in Act 1, Scene 2 when Bottom misused a word.
In the line “You were best to call then generally, man by man, according to the scrip”, the word generally was used instead of individually. The definition for generally is commonly or usually and the definition for individually is personally or one at a time.

A misuse of the word aggravate was found in this line “ I grant you, friends if you should fight the ladies out of their wits, they would have us more discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you an ‘twere any nightingale.” The word moderate, which means to remain within a fair limit, should be used instead. Aggravate means to intensify or irritate.

Lastly, we can find the word obscenely being misused in this line “We will meet; and there we may rehearse most obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfit: adieu.
The definition of obscenely is offensive or repulsive, therefore it should be replaced by seemly, which means decent or fitting. The funny thing about Snug asking whether his lines will be written out was because he was playing a lion. Since a lion only roars, a script for the role would be unnecessary and could be easily memorized. Others think of Nick Bottom as an enthusiastic and overconfident person but he often make a lot mistakes and misuses language. He is also very arrogant about his acting ability. Bottom believes that he has most extraordinary acting skills out of the group and thinks he is the perfect actor for every part in the play.
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