9 May 2013
Ass: A Simple Word with a Huge Message
Some of the most important messages a story of any kind can deliver go unnoticed amongst the readers. Sometimes they can be as small as a single line in an entire play. Sometimes the biggest message can be compiled into a single word. In Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the word ass is used as symbolism and demonstrates to the reader how a change in someone’s personality can be liked by one person equally as much as it can be hated by another person.
At the beginning of the play, Bottom is introduced as a good looking character but with a very ugly personality. “You can play no part but Pyramus. For Pyramus is a sweet faced man, a proper man as one shall see in a summer’s day, a most lovely, gentlemanlike man. Therefore you must needs play Pyramus.” (I.ii.70-75) The speaker of this line is Quince addressing a request from Bottom to play another part in the play that they are putting on for the Duke and Duchess. This line proves to the reader that Bottom is a good looking, proper man because Quince says that he fills the requirements. Even though his appearance might be good looking, his egoistic personality is the exact opposite. “That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms. I will condole in some measure.---To the rest---Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in to make all split.” (I.ii.19-23)These lines are all Bottom describing to his fellow actors how great he is at being dramatic while he is acting. Bottom proves that this is just hot air during the actual performance at the end of the book but this quote obviously demonstrates that Bottom has no sense of humility. Since the next line Quince simply says, “Francis Flute, the bellows-mender?” (I.ii.34) tells the reader that none of the other actors take him seriously when he tells them about how...