The Info List - Francis Flute

Francis Flute
Francis Flute
is a character in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.[1] 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.[1] In the play Flute (Thisbe) speaks through the wall (played by Tom Snout) to Pyramus (Nick Bottom).[1] Flute is a young, 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.[2] He generally is portrayed using a falsetto voice.[citation needed] He is an unsure actor who asks a lot of questions.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Flute's name, like that of the other mechanicals, is metonymical and derives from his craft: "Flute" references a church organ, an instrument prominently featuring the bellows a bellows-mender might be called upon to repair.[3] In Jean-Louis and Jules Supervielle's french adaptation, Le Songe d'une nuit d'été (1959), Flute is renamed to Tubulure, where Georges Neveux's 1945 adaptation used the English names.[4] On the Elizabethan stage, the role of Flute and the other Mechanicals was intended to be doubled with Titania's four fairy escorts: Moth, Mustardseed, Cobweb, and Peaseblossom.[5] References[edit]

^ a b c Brooks 1979. ^ Blits 2003, p. 46. ^ Blits 2003, p. 43. ^ White 1960, p. 344. ^ Weiner 1971, p. 339.


Blits, Jan H. (2003). The Soul of Athens: Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739106532.  Brooks, Harold, ed. (1979). A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Arden Shakespeare, second series. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. doi:10.5040/9781408188095.00000022. ISBN 9781408188095 – via Drama Online Library. (Subscription required (help)).  Weiner, Andrew D. (1971). ""Multiformitie Uniforme": A Midsummer Night's Dream". ELH. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 38 (3): 329–349. doi:10.2307/2872222. eISSN 1080-6547. ISSN 0013-8304. JSTOR 2872222 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (help)).  White, Kenneth S. (1960). "Two French Versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream". The French Review. American Association of Teachers of French. 33 (4): 341–350. ISSN 0016-111X. JSTOR 383649 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (help)). 

See also[edit]

Mechanical (character)

v t e

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream



and Hippolyta Oberon
and Titania Hermia
and Lysander Helena and Demetrius


Nick Bottom Peter Quince Francis Flute Robin Starveling Tom Snout Snug

Other characters

Puck Egeus Philostrate


1909 1935 1959 1968 1999


1969 1980 1992 1994 2016


A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1970, play) The Park (1983, play) The Donkey Show (1999, musical) The Dreaming (2001, musical)


A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1962) The Dream (1964)


The Fairy-Queen
The Fairy-Queen
(1692) Pyramus and Thisbe
Pyramus and Thisbe
(1745) Puck (1949) A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1960, opera) The Enchanted Island (2011)

Film adaptations

Wood Love (1925) Dream of a Summer Night
Dream of a Summer Night
(1983) Get Over It (2001) A Midsummer Night's Rave (2002) Midsummer Dream (2005) Were the World Mine
Were the World Mine
(2008) Strange Magic (2015)

Other adaptations

The Triumph of Beauty (1646) St. John's Eve (1852) "Fascination" (1994)


A Midsummer Tempest
A Midsummer Tempest
(1974) A Midsummer Night's Gene (1997) A Midsummer's Nightmare (1997) Lords and Ladies (1992) The Great Night
The Great Night


Auberon Faerie Titania


A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1842, Mendelssohn) Wedding March (1842, Mendelssohn) Three Shakespeare
Songs (1951) Symphony No. 8 (1992, Henze) Il Sogno
Il Sogno


and Lysander The Quarrel of Oberon
and Titania Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream


The Sandman: Dream Country (1991) Pyramus and Thisbe Mechanical Love-in-idleness The Apartment (1996) Wicker Park (2004)

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