How has Bottom's absence affected his friends in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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merricat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act IV scene ii of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bottom’s friends gather at Peter Quince’s house. They are worried about Bottom. They are afraid the mysterious donkey monster has harmed him. Starveling says, “He cannot be heard of. Out a doubt he is transported.” Flute wants to know if they will still enact the play if Bottom doesn’t return from the woods. Quince says it would be impossible because Bottom was the only man in all of Athens who could play Pyramus. The small band of sad actors declares that Bottom was the smartest and funniest man in the city.

Snug bursts in and announces that Theseus has gotten married. Flute gets even sadder about Bottom’s disappearance, since Bottom would have earned a great deal of money from the Duke for his excellent portrayal of Pyramus: “an the duke had not given him sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged.”

But all the sadness turns to joy when Bottom arrives a moment later, and the troupe gets ready to perform for the Duke and his guests.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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