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Are we meant only to laugh at Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, or does he express some more serious wisdom?

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Terence Landman Drama Exercise Student Number: A Midsummer Night's Dream 605L2621 Friday 12 August Are we meant only to laugh at Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, or does he express some more serious wisdom? In this exercise there will be an in depth analysis of Bottom the weaver and to what extent his folly may morph into wisdom of various sorts. This exercise will attempt to describe how Bottom is both foolish and wise (wise in his foolishness and foolish in his wisdom). The exercise will also analyse the parody found within the texts spoken by Bottom and that of Corinthians and the possible implications it might have on the level of wisdom to which Bottom can be judged. ...read more.


however renders the last verse in the following ways: " The Spirite searcheth all thinges, ye the botome of Goddes secrettes." It is thus highly likely that Bottom received his name from Paul's letter in old versions of Scripture that were used during Shakespeare's time. And Bottom himself, so to speak, would be from 'top to bottom', the 'Bottom translation' of God's secrets. (Brook p58) Furthermore the weaver both 'overwrites' and 'underwrites' the text of Corinthians and in doing so, he weaves a new garment from the old text, incarnating the Scripture and the word of God. It is then almost inconceivable to assume that Bottom does not serve a far deeper and more meaningful context within the play. ...read more.


Smell, however is a constant theme within the play: "odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds" (II 1; 110) and "Sweet musk roses". It is then unsettling so consider as to why Bottom did not speak of smell and it is discovered that 'fault smelling', or to discover one's own faults, as we cannot, so to speak smell a fault, is something exclusively reserved for God. (Kallay p7) In concluding it is clear that Bottom stresses the inadequacy of human sensation concerning certain "most rare visions" (IV 1; 200) and that he is wise in his own foolishness and foolish in his wisdom. It is thus that through his foolishness he has the capability to mutter: "It shall be called 'Bottom's Dream', because it hath no bottom." (IV 4; 208) Alluding to the fact that it has no foundation and is unfathomably profound. ...read more.

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