How would you perform the role of BottomIn Act 1 scene 2? Explain how you would wish your audience to respond to the character

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How would you perform the role of Bottom

In Act 1 scene 2? Explain how you would wish your

audience to respond to the character

Bottom is one of the group called the mechanics and he is an important comic character and is the only mortal to enter the world of fairies.  In this scene we are introduced to him for the first time and he is one of a band of workmen who offer a complete contrast to the world of fairies that we saw previously. In the scene a group of artisans discuss the play they are going to perform as part of Theseus’s wedding celebration. The play is entitled, “The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.”  Peter Quince takes a roll call of the actors and hands out their parts. Bottom the weaver gets the leading role of Pyramus, which pleases him because he is super-confident of his acting abilities.

  Bottom’s costume will reflect his status as a weaver, so therefore his costume might be torn or dusty.   His dramatic status is important because he is a dominant, full of self-importance and eager to dominate the meeting of this band of amateur actors.  I would also make his costume quite colourful, to reflect his happy, enthusiastic and quite over bearing character.  My performance would be influenced by my physical appearance and vocal characteristics.  I see Bottom as a tradesman in his forties, taller than the others and of portly build, in fact I would want him to be physically larger than life and his accent Devonshire in cadence and with a raucous singing voice. In this scene, my performance would have to reflect the rivalry between Bottom and Quince.  

    In the beginning of the scene, Quince who is in charge, would walk in rather proud, with an upright posture, and with head held high, maybe greeting the workmen by shaking their hands and smiling, as he doesn’t want to make enemies and wants them to do what he requires and to ignore Bottom. He would probably forget to acknowledge Bottom and walk straight past him to put him in his place.  Bottom’s first line…’ You were best to call them generally, man by man according to the scrip,’ shows that despite Quinces dislike for him, and the attempt to lower his confidence, he is still extrovert and larger than life.  It was directed to Quince and in playing this part I would make my voice domineering loud and move in close to Quince trying to intimidate him, as he is smaller than me.  Quince would also be centre stage, as he is almost the focal point and is meant to be in charge of the other actors, who would be sitting down, looking up to him.  Bottom would stand up in order to compete with Quince and try to push him out of the way or maybe stand in front of him to block him completely. My intention would also to get people to like me and to establish a friendship with them by shaking their hands.  I would then break off from doing this to say ‘First good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on..’ in a forceful manner and then get closer to Quince, snatching the scroll out of his hand, as if to take over the rehearsal myself.  There would be complete scuffle between them as they fight for passion of the script, and this could be created very comically using large exaggerated gestures and their voice could turn into a crescendo, getting louder to get their point across without the other interfering.  As bottom I would sound very confident and sometimes almost quite patronising, as if I am talking to people far more inferior to me for example when I say ‘A very good piece of work I assure you, and a merry’ almost as if my opinion is important and worth hearing.  Also when I say ‘Now good Peter Quince, call forth your actors..’ it would be in a very instructive but condescending tone, emphasising the word ‘good’ as it would provoke an annoyed reaction from Quince.  Even when Quince calls out my name, emphasising that I am just a weaver, I would respond enthusiastically, instructing him to tell me my part and to carry on with authority.  Quince appears very powerful and ignores Bottom, so Bottom has to re-establish his importance by ordering “masters spread yourselves’ at this point I would reveal some dissatisfaction and pull up a chair and reluctantly sit down.  At this stage I would want my audience to respond, by thinking Bottom a rather loud mouthed bossy individual and have them feel sorry for Quince having to put up with such a disruptive member of the group.

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 When finding out that I am ‘a lover that kills myself most gallant for love’ I will respond very dramatically, telling the actors how the audience will cry, as my acting will be so natural and emotional.  I would hold my hands up to my heart to portray this and maybe pretend to hold out a sword to show how brave I am, even though I am just a lover and not a tyrant.  I would also suggest other parts such as Ercles or a part to tear a cat in, to show my capabilities, and in doing this I ...

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