The Character of Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
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.
Bottom’s monologue in act 4.1.211 line 205- 207 states the following:
“ The eye of man hath not heard, the ...view middle of the document...
It is then almost inconceivable to assume that Bottom does not serve a
far deeper and more meaningful context within the play. A further
point to consider is Bottom’s deviation from the Scripture. Bottom
states in his monologue referred to above: [That] man’s hand is not
able to taste, his tongue to conceive…” The Scripture on the other
hand states: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard…” There is a subtle
difference between the two; Bottom’s use of “not able” seems to spell
out the inability of the human being’s more emphatically exploiting
heart. It is the driving seat of some sort of secret or even mystical
knowledge. (Diana Akers Rhoads, Shakespeare’s defence of poetry)
The idea that Bottom is trying to portray is that the human being
consists of more than just a head with a mind and a pair of eyes. He
explicitly emphasises the heart as an organ of knowing. In his
monologue discussed above, Bottom only mentions for out of the five
senses, the fifth being the heart. 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...