A Midsummer Night's Dream: Performers' vocal interpretation of character (accent, volume, pitch, timing, pace, intonation, phrasing, emotional range, delivery of lines)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Performers’ vocal interpretation of character (accent, volume, pitch, timing, pace, intonation, phrasing, emotional range, delivery of lines)

Vocal Interpretation of Characters in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Defining Personalities and Relationships

  • The vocal interpretation of characters in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ plays a huge role in defining their personalities and relationships.


  • Different characters can have different accents to portray their social status or where they’re from. For instance, the artisans could be depicted with a working-class accent to differentiate them from the nobles.


  • The volume or loudness of a character’s speech can suggest their emotions, intentions, or status. Helena’s volume might increase during her emotional pleas to Demetrius, exhibiting her desperation.


  • The pitch, or highness or lowness of a character’s voice, can convey their mood or personality. Puck, a mischievous sprite, might use a high and lively pitch to reflect his playful nature.


  • Punctuating the dialogue with meaningful pauses can add tension or comedy. For example, comedic timing can be used in the dialogue between the rude mechanicals.


  • The speed at which a character speaks can demonstrate their state of mind. Hermia might speak quickly in the scenes where she’s panicking or being defensive.


  • The rise and fall of the voice often conveys the emotional states. Oberon’s speech could be delivered with varying intonations displaying his cunning schemes and passionate anger.


  • The way lines are broken up can alter their meaning. An example could be Helena’s famous speech in Act 1, Scene 1. Different phrasings can emphasize her love or her desperation.

Emotional Range

  • The ability to convey a range of emotions vocally is critical for this play’s dramatic scenes. Titania, the queen of the fairies, needs to show various emotions from anger to infatuation.

Delivery of Lines

  • The way a line is delivered could change its meaning completely. Bottom’s lines, when transformed into an ass, could be delivered in a bemusing manner bringing out comic relief to show his unawareness of his physical transformation.

Perfecting Performance

  • These points of speech should be practiced and perfected to ensure the performers convey the story, their character and their emotions effectively to their audience.