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A Midsummer Night's Dream eNotes Curriculum Plan
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Shakespeare’s play reflects the stratified society in which he lived. The royals versus the tradesmen were only one part of the battles; theater companies were another front in the culture wars. Professional acting troupes such as Shakespeare’s company (operating under the patronage of Lord Chamberlain) resented amateur companies such as Bottom’s ragtag group of players in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Here are a few points to consider, ways in which the “amateurs” are presented as unprofessional: (1.) The “mechanicals” are represented as very foolish and in a child-like position to their superiors. (2.) Bottom’s name puts him literally at the “bottom” of the social pecking order.
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