A Bitter Comedy of a Midsummer Night
“The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe”, the play the workers are going to perform to celebrate the nuptials of Theseus and Hippolyta, has many significant functions in the dramatic architecture of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most of all it raises questions on the relation of comic and tragic modes, being the ‘comedy’ a tragic story interpreted by a clumsy group of would-be actors on a festive occasion. The clowns strangely honour the triple wedding of the Athenian characters and the happy conclusion of the Dream with a performance ending on the double suicide of the lovers – as it were comically revisiting the tragic end of Romeo and Juliet.
Keywords: Ovid, Metatheatre, Tragicomedy, Contradiction, Change, Silence