|Teacher: Mr. Masselli|
Topic: 2011 notes-AMSND
In class we have made observations about the differences between comedy and tragedy, symbolic use of setting, and characterization. With respect to characterization, it is important to note that Bottom is as different from his friends as he is from the noble Athenians. He is the only human to enter the fairy kingdom, see it, feel it, hear it, and participate in it. On a symbolic level, he submits to imaginative fancy, accepting the power of the mind to inform us about love and life. Neither Bottom’s friends nor the 4 lovers come to terms with the events that take place in the wood. Theseus will dismiss the report of the lovers because he thinks that imagination is removed from reality. Of the humans, only Hippolyta entertains the notion that imagination is connected to how we live our lives.
Through Bottom, Shakespeare dramatizes the creative power of the poet’s imagination and its ability to help us understand what we feel. Bottom willingly experiences the world of Obereon, Puck, and Titania, and recognizes the connection between what Shakespeare does with him and what he will do with Pyramus and Thisby. Bottom is childhood wonder. He believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and his evaluation of what happened to him in the wood strengthens his confidence in the ability of Pyramus and Thisby show an audience the nature of true love, in conjunction with the "outer" world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Confused? Don’t worry. I’ll explore these ideas after we have finished discussing the play.
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