Who Are The Mechanicals in a Midsummer Nights Dream?

Updated: February 04, 2023
The mechanicals are a group of workers in a midsummer nights dream. They are often portrayed as being uneducated and unintelligent.
Detailed answer:

The Mechanicals are a group of workers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, who perform Pyramus and Thisbe, a play written by their leader Nick Bottom. The play is performed for Theseus, Hippolyta, and their wedding party.

The term “mechanical” has two meanings. The first refers to an occupation: those who work with their hands, as opposed to those who work with their brain (these occupations were often called “mechanical arts”). The second meaning refers to any person who is not considered intelligent or educated; this sense of the term was first recorded in 1642. The word comes from Latin mechanicus (“a worker”), from Greek mekhanikos (“an engineer”), from mekhane (“engine” or “machine”).

In Shakespeare’s day, plays were usually performed by professionals such as actors and musicians. However, if you wanted to perform a play yourself — perhaps at your home — then you would need actors who were willing to perform for free or very little money. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Mechanicals are just such an amateur acting troupe.

However, they are also shown to be kind-hearted and fun loving people who enjoy themselves with little concern for the future.

In fact, The Mechanicals include Snug the Joiner (carpenter), Bottom the Weaver, Flute the bellows mender, Snout the tinker, Starveling the tailor and Quince the carpenter. The group is led by Peter Quince and they are all united under his leadership.

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