Moving on. Hippie tells Theseus that the lovers' story is fishy. I'm starting to think she's the smartest of them all. Theseus launches into a monologue, and the essence is that lovers, like madmen and poets, are crazy. Hippie then muses that everything fits and the story is marvelous. I rescind my earlier statement, she's a hopeless romantic.
Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and Helena hop in. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they were married ... offscreen. Yep, we just spend 4 acts culminating into this glorious pairing up that we're not going to see realized. Hmph. However, Lysander does seem rather psyched that his wedding night is only three hours away.
Sweet Jesus, don't I wish a Frey or two were around.
In any case, Philostrate, or Theseus' party-planner who had one line in Act 1, gives Theseus a list of entertainment he's lined up. Theseus, inevitably, picks the mechanicals' play despite Philostrate saying that it sucks.
Waaaaait. When did he watch it? If the practicing in Act 2 was anything to go by, the mechanicals were woefully underprepped then. I doubt they'd let the royal party-planner watch it before that. After that, Bottom was in a certain crazy fairy's hands *coughcough* and showed up just in time for the mechanicals to perform. So how does Philostrate know this?
I suppose miserable audience members complained loudly enough for him to hear from backstage.
Theseus doesn't really mind that it sucks and Quince, as the Prologue, comes in. I'm not even going to bother to recap this huge, boring, nonsensical paragraph, but it boils down to that they don't mean to annoy the audience.
The courtiers make snarky jabs at how Quince butchered his lines and made no sense. Quince goes on, spoiling the entire story and introducing Pyramus, Thisbe, Moonshine, Lion, and Wall. And the wall talks. Great. Bottom, as Pyramid, approaches the Wall, belting out some really horrible lines that repeats words unnecessarily to fit the meter. He looks through the wall, doesn't see Thisbe and curses the wall.
Demetrius, who is feeling particularly snarky, says the wall should curse back. Bottom, feeling particularly dumb, explains that his line was Thisbe's cue and that she'll show up, which she does. They exchange horrible love lines and leave, followed by ...
WALL Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so; /And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.
Interesting wall. The courtiers make more snarky jabs. Then the lion comes in and delivers a monologue on how he's not a lion. Cue more snark. The moon comes in. More snark. Thisbe comes in and the lion attacks her and she leaves. More snark.
Pyramid comes in, commits suicide and delivers a monologue. Interestingly enough, I don't think this is the ballad Bottom mentioned he'd make Quince write ... hang on a sec.
Last scene, Bottom said he'd sing the ballad at Thisbe's death, implying that his character would live longer than Thisbe. Except ... Thisbe is still alive and Bottom is dying? Huh?
Anyways, Bottom dies and Demetrius snarks. I can see why Hermia didn't want to marry him. Then Bottom jumps back up to ask whether they want the epilogue or the Bermodask dance. Ooh, maybe that's the ballad? In any case, Theseus says he'd prefer the dance. Then they head off to bed.
Thankfully, we pan over to Titania and Oberon plus their fairies, and they're all happy and dancing! Isn't that just lovely? The couples will have lots of children and they shall all be pretty!
(Judging from our four lovers, I'd say common sense is more needed, but whatever.)
Then, Puck comes out and delivers an honestly nice monologue which I will replicate in its full glory:This is why I like Shakespeare, no matter how many tests they give me.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.