A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

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Act IV, Scene 2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How do the actors know Bottom has not yet returned?

2. Why can’t they perform the play?

3. What do his friends say are Bottom’s best qualities?

4. What mistake does Quince make in referring to Bottom’s voice?

5. What is Snug’s news?

6. What is especially disappointing about not being able to present the play?

7. What would Flute have demanded for Bottom?

8. What is Bottom’s reaction upon finding his friends?

9. Why won’t he tell them what has happened to him?

10. What is his advice to his fellow actors?

Answers
1. The actors know Bottom has not yet returned because Robin Starveling went to his house, only to find, “He [Bottom] cannot be heard of.”

2. They can’t perform the play because there is not, “…a man in all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he [Bottom].”

3. His friends say Bottom’s best qualities are his wit (sense of humor), which is “the best wit of any handicraftsman in Athens,” and his sweet voice.

4. The mistake Quince makes is in referring to Bottom’s voice as that of a “paramour” rather than “paragon.” The humor in this is that a paramour is a lover, while a paragon is a model of excellence. The bawdy joke is that Quince is calling his friend a lover, rather than...

(The entire section is 430 words.)