Why do the craftsmen meet in Act I Scene II of A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The craftsmen are meeting to put on a play for the Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding 4 days away.

The craftsmen are meeting under Peter Quince’s guidance to put on a play as part of a contest for wedding entertainment.  Peter Quince has written a play based on the legend of Pyramus and Thisbe, two lovers who met a tragic end.

Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and the duchess on his wedding-day at night. (Act 1, Scene 2)

The group he has assembled have little acting ability, but a lot of heart—especially Nick Bottom.  They are just craftsmen who have an interest in honoring and entertaining Theseus and Hippolyta.  They may argue about the assigned parts and have trouble remembering lines and cues, but they are sincere and really want to do well.

The craftsmen supply a great deal of comic relief throughout the play, as they wallow through rehearsal and the performance.  They end the play on a high note, as we enjoy the version.


Wiggin42 | Student

The craftsmen meet to put on a play for Theseus's wedding. The craftsmen, also called the rude mechanicals, are a bit of comic relief for the play. From Bottom wanting to play all the characters, to his head getting charmed to be the head of an ass, to the various word play and puns in their dialogue, the mechanicals are comedy gold. 

Read the study guide:
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question