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Names of the Mechanicals

Their allusions to aspects of their respective occupations
by

Daniel Chen

on 30 November 2012

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Transcript of Names of the Mechanicals

Peter Quince, the Carpenter -Out of the Mechanicals, he is specialized in carpentry
-Director/Author of the play "Pyramus and Thisbe"
-Carpenter and the nominal leader of the trademen's attempt to put on a play for Theseus’s wedding festivities
-Is often shoved aside by the abundantly confident Bottom
-During "Pyramus and Thisbe", Quince plays the Prologue. Quince's Role in A Midsummer Night's Dream Bottom's Role in A Midsummer Night's Dream -His job is a bellows-mender
-Flute plays the role of Thisbe
-He is displeased to be given a woman's role because he wants to let his beard grow,
Quince assures him that he can play the part in a mask. Flute's Role -His job is a tinker
-Originally chosen to play Pyramus' father
-Ends up playing the role of Wall in "Pyramus and Thisbe" Snout's Role in A Midsummer Night's Dream -Snug is a joiner
-Plays the lion in "Pyramus and Thisbe." Snug's Role in A Midsummer Night's Dream Nick Bottom, the Weaver Francis Flute, the Bellows-Mender Tom Snout, the Tinker Snug, the Joiner Robin Starveling, the Tailor -Starveling was a tailor
-Chosen to play the role of Thisbe's mother in "Pyramus and Thisbe"
-Ends up representing moonshine with a lantern in "Pyramus and Thisbe" Starveling's Role in A Midsummer Night's Dream -Quince is a Carpenter
His name is derived from “quines” or “quoins”
Wooden wedges used to hold glued objects together while the glue sets Quince's Name -Bottom is a weaver
Name comes from the weaving term, "bottom"
Type of spindle for holding yarn to be woven (reel on which the thread is wound) Bottom's Name -Out of the Mechanicals, his specialized trade is weaving
-Plays Pyramus
-Most outgoing of the group of actors, wishing to play all of the characters in "Pyramus and Thisbe"
-Very boastful and confident in his own abilities
-Contrast to Quince's personality -Flute's job is a bellows-mender
-Bellows-mender repaired bellows (device to deliver pressurized air)
-Flute is the nozzle through which a bellow expels air
Flute implies a high pitched piping voice, which pipe organs could make (pipe organs used bellows) Flute's Name in A Midsummer Night's Dream -He is a tinker
-A tinker is someone who fixes pots and pans
-"Snout" could be referring to the "spout of a kettle
-The spout or nozzle of a kettle is occasionally referred to as a "snout" Snout's Name -Snug is a joiner
-Joiners fit together wood that are hopefully "snug" and secure Snug's Name -Starveling's job was a tailor
-Tailors were proverbially thin, hence the name "Starveling" Starveling's Name -Are any of six characters in A Midsummer Night's Dream who perform in Pyramus and Thisbe: Quince, Bottom, Flute, Snout, Snug, and Starveling
-Group of incompetent and amateur Athenian actors who are looking to make a name for themselves
-Each is a skilled manual laborer of a particular job
-Every one of their names is an allusion to an aspect of their occupation
-Their names have been a subject of great debate, even university theses Mechanicals -I think that Shakespeare would purposely put in these references to help the audience visualize and understand each Mechanical more
-Unlike modern times, many viewers of Shakespeare's plays back in the 1500s would actually understand and be familiar with these terms, and it would help them connect the characters to their everyday lives Purpose of the Allusions A Midsummer Night's Dream Allusion Project Names of the Mechanicals and their Allusions By: Daniel Chen Thanks for watching!
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