In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, how has Bottom's absence affected his friends?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck changes Bottom's head into that of a donkey's in Act 3, scene 1. When Bottom approaches his friends in the forest, they think that the monster has either murdered their friend or he has been "changed" for some haunted reason (III.i.102). Having been through a traumatizing event, Bottom's friends are wondering where he is the next morning after losing him to the mysterious monster or enchantment. The actors are found in Act 4, scene 2 deliberating about the previous night's experience. They check Bottom's house, but Starveling says that "He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is transported" (IV.ii.3-4). This means that Starveling thinks that Bottom has been transformed for good and that they will never see him again. Flute worries that Bottom has lost his chance to earn some money by performing for the Duke. All of Bottom's friends are bewildered and sad that they have lost him. When he finally arrives on scene, though, his friends are overjoyed and relieved to discover that he is found well and not in any weird form as seen the night before. 

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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