Shakespeare – Module 3: Comedy – Titania Falls in Love with an Ass! – 3 of 4

WHAT: Examine why Titania falling in love with Bottom is funny (Act 3, Scene 1)

By the end of this session you will be able to:

✔ Identify some key words or lines that are funny
✔ Say which comedy conventions make this scene work well

Today you will need:
✎ A pen
☰ Some paper to write on
♫ Some headphones or a space where you can play videos out loud

YOU DO: 1) Read this summary from the BBC website:

In this scene, Bottom gets the ears of an ass (a donkey) and Titania falls in love with him!

Puck finally manages to get the potion in the right place. Titania is asleep in her bower with Oberon’s potion in her eyes.

Meanwhile, Bottom and his friends are in the woods trying to rehearse a really bad play. Puck watches them unseen and thinks they are hilarious. Mischievously, he transforms Bottom’s head into an ass’ head. Terrified, Bottom’s friends run away. Bottom sings to stop himself from being scared. He wakes up Titania, who instantly falls in love with him. She takes him to her fairy bower where she pampers him and attends to his every need. Titania is breathlessly besotted with Bottom.

YOU DO: 2) Watch this video of Act 3, scene 1 (11 minutes). Click on the subtitles which show you what the characters are saying in modern English.

YOU DO:

3) Titania calls Bottom an “angel”. Why is this funny? Think about what he actually looks like!

YOU DO:

4) She also says he is “wise”. Why is this funny? Think about what it means to be wise. Is he c
lever? Does he actually know what is going on and is he aware of the fact he has a donkey’s head?

YOU DO:
5) Titania calls Bottom “beautiful”. Why is this funny? Think about what we would normally think about donkeys!

YOU DO:
6) Titania keeps referring to Bottom as a “mortal” (a human). Why is this funny? Is he fully human in this scene?

YOU DO:
7) What have you noticed about the way comedy is created in this scene? Read about the different types of IRONY in this play here: https://study.com/academy/lesson/irony-in-a-midsummer-nights-dream-verbal-dramatic-situational.html#lesson

8) Write a paragraph explaining which type of irony is used to create humour when Titania falls in love with Bottom.

And that’s it for today! Well done.