A Midsummer Night's Dream Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are some literary devices used in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream from Act 1, Scene 2?

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Quince, the play's director, says that they are going to act "The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe," but how can a comedy be lamentable, and, moreover, how could a tale of two horrible deaths be funny? At the very least, "lamentable comedy" is an oxymoron, a combination of two words that are either incongruous or opposite. It sounds totally ridiculous here, and Quince is completely unaware of the fact.

To further confuse matters, Bottom then says that it is a "merry" work. Next, he tells the actors to "spread [them]selves" around Quince to hear the parts, but what he really means is that they should gather around, coming closer, not spreading out or getting farther away: this is a malapropism.

Bottom employs hyperbole, or an exaggeration of the truth to draw attention to some truth, when he says that his emotional performance "will move storms." He means that he will make the audience cry a great deal.

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Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 600 words.)

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