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Nick Bottom

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Nick Bottom, or Bottom the Weaver, as he is referred to in the dramatis personae, is one of the two leaders of the Rude Mechanicals in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He considers himself a highly skilled actor and briefly falls in with Titania after Puck gives him a donkey's head.

PersonalityEdit

Bottom is a very pasionate and wordy performer, but is also rather ignorant and arrogant, which makes him very silly. He is involved in a constant power struggle with Peter Quince over who should ultimately lead the mechanicals. Flute and Starveling both look up to him, though Starveling honors Quince just as much.

StoryEdit

We first meet Bottom in Act 1, Scene 2, when Quince assigns the mechanicals their roles. He annoys Quince by insisting that he play Pyramus, Thisby (whom he pronounces "Thisne"), and the lion all at once, as well as claiming to be in more of a mood to play a tyrant than a lover. Quince and Snout eventually convince him to be content with Pyramus alone.

At the rehearsal some time later, Puck witnesses Bottom's portrayal of Pyramus and decides to punish him for doing it so awkwardly by giving him a donkey's head. Along with the change in appearance, Bottom begins to crave donkey feed and brays when he talks. Seeing the transformation, the other mechanicals are terrified and flee the forest. Bottom suspects them of playing tricks on him, and also begins making ironic statements about asses and assheads.

Puck then douses Titania's eyelids with the juice of a love-in-idleness flower, causing her to love Bottom when he unintentionally wakes her by singing. She puts several fairies into his service, which he rather enjoys. Later that night, when they fall asleep again, Oberon reverses both of their curses and leaves Bottom on the forest floor. When he wakes up, he thinks it was a dream (adding a mental note to have Quince write a ballad of it) and dashes off to find his playfellows.

The mechanicals rejoice when Bottom appears to them after they have searched for him for a day. When they perform the play, Bottom does as poorly as his fellows, breaking the fourth wall multiple times and uses the most dramatic words in his monologues far to many times (after stabbing himself, his last line is "now, die, die, die, die, die!"). It is unclear if this is mostly due to Quince's poor writing or the mechanicals' poor acting, though both play a heavy role.

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