In A Midsummer Night's Dream, is the meter purposefully distorted in the rude mechanicals' play?
YES! Shakespeare does this often in his plays to show social status. By having his workmen speak in broken prose instead of the flowing iambic pentament of the other characters, he has created a gap between upper and lower class. Another example example of Shakespeare using this technique is in Julius Caesar, particularily when Brutus is speaking to the commoners.