A Midsummer Night's Dream Act IV, Scene 2: Summary and Analysis

William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scene 2: Summary and Analysis

The craftsmen regret the loss of Bottom, for only he could play the role of Pyramus. Without him, they cannot perform the play. Snug arrives to tell them that two other couples are also being married that night and, were they performing, they would have made their fortunes. Bottom arrives, refusing to tell them what has happened until later, but offering them advice on their roles for their play which has been chosen for the night’s revel.

It appears that while Bottom is clownish and egotistical, his friends truly like him and rue his disappearance—not only for his acting, but for who he is. Bottom is in all probability a lover, too, since Quince—an intelligent man and Bottom’s friend—inadvertently uses “paramour” or lover in his accolades to Bottom instead of the correct word, paragon, and is unaware of his error until corrected by Flute. Bottom, in turn, appears to truly care for his friends as is demonstrated by his deferring his own tale until after the play so that they may spend the rest of the day preparing (following his advice to the actors, of course, even though Quince is the director) and his obvious happiness that it is their play is chosen for the revel.