Mechanical (character)

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The rude mechanicals as portrayed in a 1978 Riverside Shakespeare Company production

A mechanical is any of the six characters in A Midsummer Night's Dream[1] who perform the play-within-a-play Pyramus and Thisbe. Named for their occupations as skilled manual laborers, they are a group of amateur (mostly incompetent) actors from around Athens, looking to make names for themselves by having their production chosen among several acts as the courtly entertainment for the royal wedding party of Theseus and Hippolyta. The biggest ham among them, Bottom, becomes the unlikely object of interest for love-potion-charmed fairy queen Titania after he is turned into a monster with the head, eyes and ears of an ass by the servant-spirit Puck.

These kinds of characters (see also the grave diggers from Hamlet) were traditionally portrayed by clowns, which most Elizabethan theatres had in their employ.[citation needed]

Mechanicals and their roles[edit]

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