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A Midsummer Night's Dream - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
William Shakespeare wrote the comedy, Midsummer Night's Dream. This essay analyzes the comical character, Nick Bottom. The thesis states that Bottom is an allegorical character that parallels the human characters like Hermia's father, Egeus. People like Egeus are paternalistic, unrealistic and appear like fools who are unaware of their stupidities…
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A Midsummer Nights Dream Book Report/Review
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Download file to see previous pages (Shakespeare 147). This comical character has adopted the profession of the weaver, as if in obedience to some divine providence that has accorded a profession to his name. Quince introduces Bottom as; 'Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.' (Act 1, Scene 2).
A part of Shakespeare's methodology while writing on comical characters is to make them as serious as possible. This will accentuate the humor from the comical figure. After assigning the comical name of Bottom to this character, Shakespeare than adds credibility to him by having Quince describe Bottom as a weaver. The immediate image of the alternate definition of a 'bottom' as being a person's posterior is deftly swept aside. Furthermore, Bottom is presented as an intelligent man who gives suggestions to Peter Quince on the procedure to announce the assignment of the actors to their acting roles. (Act 1, Scene 2).
Another aspect of the paradox of comedy is the casting of the play. Bottom is cast as the lover, Pyramus. Bottom professes that he prefers to play a tyrant better than a lover. It is ironic comedy that Bottom does not like the lover's role. Shakespeare intended Bottom to encompass humor when he makes Bottom confess to liking the tyrant's role. The tyrant is usually at the bottom of the heap in society and this is a pun on the name.
Comedy is also provided when Bottom / Pyramus has to court Flute / Thisby as his love interest. During Shakespeare's era, female parts were played by male actors because women were forbidden on stage. (Act 1, Scene 2). In Act 5, Scene 1, the appearance of two men playing at being lovers is comical. Shakespeare has taken advantage of the local conventions of male actors playing women's roles to create comedy.
The impact of this play being enacted for the noble audience of Theseus, Hippolyta and Philostrate is to illustrate the comedy of two ill fated lovers who are separated by circumstances. It is a social commentary of the prevalent current events and the prologue asks for forgiveness should anything be misconstrued as offensive in the wrong way. This play is staged in goodwill. (Act 5, Scene 1). This convention of a play with a play is called a masque. Its allegory to real characters in society is the only means of critique available. The message in the masque is to call heed to the affairs of the heart. The play's character, Pyramus, commits suicide when he thinks that his beloved Thistle is dead. The masque's latent message is that love is a serious issue and couples should not be torn asunder. Men and women should not be matched against their individual wills. In Shakespeare's main play, Hermia loves Lysander but is formally matched to Demetrius. Meanwhile, Helena loves Demetrius. There might be dire consequences if Hermia was forcibly married to Demetrius. The fairies are wiser than their human counterparts and have acted to right the wrongs in the romantic mismatches. Bottom has played his character well. Theseus affirms the effectiveness of the play when he says;
'No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no
excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all
dead, there needs none to be blamed.'
(Act 5, Scene 1).
In Act 3, Scene 1, Bottom is made into a comical figure. Puck has transformed Bottom's head into an ass' head but Bottom is unaware of this that has caused all his friends to run away in fright. Puck's ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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