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Besides Quince's control over Bottom in Scene 2 Act 1, what other aspects of control...

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nmuulak | Student, Grade 11 | Honors

Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:50 PM via web

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Besides Quince's control over Bottom in Scene 2 Act 1, what other aspects of control are shown in Scene 2 Act 1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 31, 2012 at 7:48 AM (Answer #1)

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It is interesting that you have selected Quince's control over Bottom in this scene. Actually, depending on how you view the script, you could equally argue that Bottom exerts control over Quince throughout the speech and that Quince barely actually manages to restrain him. Note how this is done from the very beginning of the scene:

First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats
on, then read the names of the actors, and so grow
to a point.

Bottom insists on offering his "advice" to Quince whether he likes it or not, and clearly feels that he is superior in terms of knowledge of acting and drama. Even when Bottom insists he can play every single part of the play, Quince only manages to persuade him that playing Pyramus will be sufficient by flattering him and telling him what a special character Pyramus is:

You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a
summer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man:
therefore you must needs play Pyramus.

Note the way that Quince presents the character of Pyramus and how positive adjectives are applied to his character. So, whilst I agree that it is fascinating to discuss how Quince tries to control Bottom, equally you could turn this on its head and look at the way in which Bottom exerts control over Quince and the rest of the Mechanicals.

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