The final act of the play, completely unnecessary in relation to the rest of the plot, brings to light a traditional fear of the Elizabethan theater, namely that of censorship. Throughout the play the lower artisans, who wish to perform Pyramus and Thisbe, try to corrupt the plot and assure the audience that the play is not real and that they need not fear the actions taking place. This culminates in the actual ending, in which Puck suggests that if we do not like the play, then we should merely consider it to have been a dream. One of the most remarkable features of A Midsummer Night's Dream is that at the end members of the audience are unsure whether what they have seen is real, or whether they have woken up after having shared the same dream. This is of course precisely what Shakespeare wants to make clear, namely that the theater is nothing more than a shared dream. Hence the constant interruption of that dream in the Pyramus and Thisbe production, which serves to highlight the artificial aspect of the theater. Bottom and his company offer us not only Pyramus and Thisbe as a product of our imagination, but the entire play as well.
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