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Tom Snout (background) playing Wall in a Riverside Shakespeare Company production

Tom Snout is a character in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.[1] He is a tinker, and one of the "mechanicals" of Athens, amateur players in Pyramus and Thisbe, a play within the play.[2]

In the play-within-a-play, Tom Snout plays the wall which separates Pyramus' and Thisbe's gardens. In Pyramus and Thisbe, the two lovers whisper to each other through Snout's fingers (representing a gap in the wall). Snout has eight lines under the name of Tom Snout, and two lines as The Wall. He is the Wall for Act V-Scene 1.

Tom Snout was originally set to play Pyramus's father, but the need for a wall was greater, so he discharged The Wall. Snout is often portrayed as a reluctant actor and very frightened, but the other mechanicals (except [Nick Bottom] and [Peter Quince]) are usually much more frightened than Tom Snout).

Snout's name, like that of the other mechanicals, is [metonym] and derives from his craft: "Snout" means a nozzle or a spout, a feature of the kettles a tinker often mends.[2]


  1. ^ Brooks 1979.
  2. ^ a b Blits 2003, p. 43.


  • 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.