Uploaded by Nur Izyani Rasdi

Bottom the Actor (revision)

Bottom the Actor
Night’s Dream
Plot summary
Bottom the Actor opens with Theseus (Duke of Athens) and
Hippolyta (Queen of the Amazons) planning their wedding,
which takes place in four days.
Meanwhile, a group of Athenian craftsmen (called "the
Mechanicals") are preparing to perform a play for Theseus's
upcoming wedding. The play will be the tragic tale of two young
lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe (think Romeo and Juliet storyline).
However, it's clear the Mechanicals are horrible actors and are
clueless about how to stage a play. The group decides to
practice the play in the wood.
1. What is the setting (place & time) of the story?
Athens, Greece | Midsummer
2. Why are the Athenian workingmen practicing a
play and what is the name of the play?
The Athenian working-men are practicing
for a play for the Duke and Queen’s
wedding and the play’s name is The Cruel
Death of Pyramus and Thisbe?
Plot summary - cont
In these same woods is a band of fairies. Fairy Queen Titania and
Fairy King Oberon are arguing because Titania refuses to give
Oberon custody of the Indian boy she is raising.
Oberon sends Puck (Robin Goodfellow), his trouble-making jester,
out to find a flower (love juice) which makes any person dote
(love/obsess) on the next creature he or she sees.
Puck obtains the flower, and Oberon tells him of his plan to
spread its juice on the sleeping Titania’s eyelids. Hopefully, Titania
will be so crazy in love that she'll lose interest in the little boy and
hand him over to Oberon. Also, Titania will be totally humiliated.
3. Who are these characters?
Plot summary - cont
Puck, appalled by the awful acting of
Bottom, gives him a donkey-head. The
Athenians are terrified of Bottom's donkey
head and run away in horror.
Bottom is unaware of the transformation
and walks through the woods, waking
Titania who immediately falls in love with
him. Titania willingly releases the Indian
boy to Oberon because she only has eyes
for Bottom.
4. What was Oberon’s plan to punish Titania for
refusing to give him the Indian boy?
Plot summary - cont
Titania is having fits of love over Bottom, who is happily being tended to by
fairies and the Fairy Queen. Now Oberon sees Titania as pitiful, and reasons
that it's time to bring her back to her senses. Oberon has Puck remove the
donkey-head from Bottom.
After the wedding, the audience
watch Bottom and his fellow
craftsmen perform their play, a
fumbling, hilarious version of the
story of Pyramus and Thisbe
5. How did the audience find the Pyramus & Thisbe
performance by the workingmen?
(Place & TIme)
The story takes place partly in the city
of Athens, and partly in the forest that
lies beyond the city’s walls. The forest
is depicted as a place of wildness,
anarchy, and chaos.
The play's title also suggests that
things go down some time around
Midsummer's Eve (June 23), or the
summer solstice. Midsummer's Eve
was also supposed to be a time of
mystery and magic, when spirits ran
around causing mischief.
6. Give two characteristics for Nick Bottom. For each
characteristic give one example from the story
Selfish - When Peter Quince was giving out
the roles to everyone, Bottom was selfish to
tell Quince that he can take all the roles.
Arrogant - He thinks that he is very good
in acting and tried to be in every role
6. Give two characteristics for Nick Bottom. For each
characteristic give one example from the story
Overconfident: ‘He resolved to play so
movingly that every eye in the audience
would be dim with tears.’
Character - NICK BOTTOM
He has an extraordinary belief in his own
abilities (he thinks he is perfect for every part in
the play)
Comically incompetence/fool (he is a terrible
actor and frequently makes rhetorical and
grammatical mistakes in his speech).
Totally unaware of his own ridiculousness; his
speeches are overdramatic and
self-aggrandizing, and he seems to believe that
everyone takes him as seriously as he does
Character - NICK BOTTOM
When Titania, falls in love with the now donkey-headed Bottom,
he believes that the devotion of the beautiful, magical fairy
queen is nothing out of the ordinary and that all of her affection,
including having servants attend him, are his proper due.
His unawareness of the fact that his head has been transformed
into that of a donkey parallels his inability to perceive the
absurdity of the idea that Titania could fall in love with him.
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