Francis Flute

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Francis Flute (right) playing Thisbe in a 1978 Riverside Shakespeare Company production

Francis Flute is a character in the play A Midsummer Night's Dream. His occupation is a bellows-mender. He is forced to play the female role of Thisbe in "Pyramus and Thisbe", a play within the play which is performed for Theseus' marriage celebration.

In the play Flute (Thisbe) speaks through the wall (Tom Snout) to Nick Bottom (Pyramus).

Flute is an excited actor who is disappointed when he finds he is meant to play a woman (Thisbe) in their interlude before the duke and the duchess. He generally is portrayed using a falsetto voice. He is an unsure actor.

Character definition[edit]

His unwilling attitude to playing a woman is exemplified by the line 'Nay faith, let me not play a woman, I have a beard coming.' Flute is often portrayed as the lowest in status of the Mechanicals, but his performance at the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta arguably wins them favour at the court of the duke and duchess.