What is Bottom's reaction to his assigned role in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

Expert Answers
stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bottom is willing to play the part of Pyramus, the star-crossed lover. He recognizes the need for a dramatic performance in the role and eagerly proclaims that he will be able to bring out all the emotions of the audience as they behold his acting.

That will ask some tears in the true performing of
it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will
move storms; I will condole in some measure.

But what Bottom really wants is to be "a tyrant" who can bring out all the strength and ferociousness of such a role. Lacking a tyrant in the script, Bottom attempts to volunteer to play Thisbee and demonstrates the "monstrous little voice" he could use in the part.

Denied that role, Bottom suggests that he should play the lion since he could roar ferociously. When Quince points out that this would frighten all the ladies in the audience, Bottom agrees he would have to modify his roar.

In the end, Quince puts a stop to all of Bottom's endeavors to take over all the parts and explains the special needs of the role of Pyramus. Bottom must play that role, and that role only,

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.

Bottom finally accepts his assigned role as Pyramus.

Read the study guide:
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question