A Midsummer Night's Dream: Bottom

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A Midsummer Night's Dream: Nick Bottom

In a Mid Summer Night's Dream, the character Nick Bottom is given a rather prominent role in the several scenes he appears in, although he is not a lead character in the play. Bottom is unique from all the other characters of the play not only because of the considerable contribution his character brings to the comedic value of the play, but because he is the only character able to enter fully in to both the human world and the world of the fairies. In this paper I will examine the character of Nick Bottom, and provide some analysis into the motives behind this humorous character's strange ways.

The initial aspect one notices about Nick Bottom's personality is his enthusiasm for acting. From the introduction of the Mechanicals (1.2) when Peter Quince is assigning the roles of the play (The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe) to each of the characters, Bottom enthusiastically volunteers to play every role as they are being assigned to the other characters. This eagerness is clearly demonstrated when the second and third characters of their play (Thisbe and the Lion) are assigned. Bottom jumps in to each conversation, saying, "An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too." (1.2. 45), and "Let me play the Lion too." (1.2. 63) Bottom's eagerness to play each of the roles sets him up as the central figure of the mechanical's play. Because he has already been cast as Pyramus, the lead role in their play, the self-centered aspect of his personality becomes more apparent. Bottom exhibits true passion for theatre, and truly believes that whichever role he plays will be performed without flaw. The problem with Bottoms imagination is that it is almost too big. The characters he describes are so exaggerated that if he were to attempt to perform these characters as he describes them, the play would end in disaster. Bottom describes how he would play the Lion, " I will roar that I will do any man's...
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