Shakespeare Blog Entry #4

For this blog entry, I’ve chosen question three.

“3/ Write a brief synopsis of what you think Bottom is trying to express in the prose passage where he describes his dream at the end of Act 4 scene 1.”

Below is Bottom’s monologue at the end of Act 4 scene 1.

“(waking) When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer. My next is “Most fair Pyramus.” Heigh-ho! Peter Quince? Flute the bellows-mender? Snout the tinker? Starveling? God’s my life, stol’n hence, and left me asleep? I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream—past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had—but man is but a patched fool if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream. It shall be called “Bottom’s Dream” because it hath no bottom. And I will sing it in the latter end of a play before the duke. Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death.”

Within this scene, I think Bottom is trying to tell the audience about a profound dream that he has had. Within this dream, Bottom has clearly experienced something that even he cannot comprehend yet he still feels that he needs to get his thoughts out to the public. It’s only halfway through the monologue we see Bottoms ego kick back in.

” I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream. It shall be called “Bottom’s Dream” because it hath no bottom. And I will sing it in the latter end of a play before the duke. Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death.”

It’s also at this point that the humour within Bottoms lines can be seen as he has just claimed “I have had a dream—past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he goes about to expound this dream.” yet he immediately want’s to get Peter Quince to “write a ballad of his dream”.

I think within this scene Shakespeare wanted to portray Bottom as a kind of Jester/fool. Not in the sense that he is dumb or a laughing stock but similar to what a Kings Jester would be, being a wise yet comical individual that contains some profound wisdom.

2 thoughts on “Shakespeare Blog Entry #4

  1. Hi Adam,
    This blog post of yours was very insightful as I too looked into this blog topic, yet had a different take on Bottom’s dream. I like your idea of how Shakespeare tries to portray Bottom as a King’s Jester. It makes sense to me, as although Bottom is a bit unsure of what he had dreamt about and cannot find the right words to express this, he finds the need to share this with everyone. Bottom portrays this very profound vision, as you have mentioned, yet cannot explain what it is. Your references to the play also made it easier to draw these connections and express your ideas. Well done on your blog post, Adam!

    Like

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