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The paper points out the complexity and layers of meaning in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and focuses on the character of Bottom in this play. The paper examines Michael Hoffman's 1999 film adaptation of the play and points out how it effectively accentuates the degree to which Bottom represents the other characters. The paper notes that while it is impossible to determine precisely what Shakespeare meant to be the primary message or conclusions of his play, we clearly see the willingness of human beings to be blinded by love and/or lust, and the fools that this willingness makes of mortals.
From the Paper:"This aspect of both the character and the pay is captured brilliantly in Michael Hoffman's 1999 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Kevin Kline playing the role of Bottom. Bottom becomes a much more central role in the film than he is in the script, which accentuates the degree to which he represents the other characters. Kline's natural charisma as an actor makes even the character's most embarrassing moments some of his most endearing, and his momentary fears and insecurities become almost palpable.
"The degree of shape shifting achieved in the film is also far more effective than anything that could have been accomplished in Shakespeare's day or indeed in a modern theatrical production. The amount of time it would take to apply and remove each piece that made up Bottom's transformation into a true ass in the film would simply take too much time in the theatre. The effect, however, has the effect of exaggerating both the animalistic and the human qualities of the character, and thus emphasizes the essential animal qualities of all humans. The lovers are truly no less base than Bottom; they are looking for love, ostensibly, but the play suggests that this endearment is really just so much artifice invented by culture and society to restrain the abandon of lust observed in the animal kingdom."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Evans, G. Blakemore and M. Tobin, eds. The Riverside Shakespeare. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
- Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night's Dream. in The Riverside Shakespeare.
- Traub, Valerie. "Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare." The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. New York: Cambridge University Press 2001
Cite this Analytical Essay:
The Character of Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (2012, March 20) Retrieved November 15, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-character-of-bottom-in-a-midsummer-night-dream-150600/
"The Character of Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"" 20 March 2012. Web. 15 November. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-character-of-bottom-in-a-midsummer-night-dream-150600/>