April 30

I have had a most rare vision.

I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was–there is no man can tell what. Methought I was,–and methought I had,–but man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.

Paraphrase and analyze the above from Bottom’s speech at the end of Act IV, scene i.

Are we meant to agree or to disagree with his statements?  Why or why not?  Explain what you think Shakespeare is really trying to teach the audience member or reader in this speech.

As always, be careful to follow the rules of standard written English, and don’t forget to respond to at least one other classmate’s response in this thread.

MND blog #5


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Posted April 30, 2019 by equinson in category A Midsummer Night's Dream

26 thoughts on “I have had a most rare vision.

  1. jane

    I had a very rare vision. I had an unexplainable dream: a man is dumb if he tried to explain this dream. I though I was – no one can tell. I thought I was and had- I’m a fool if I try to explain it. An eye hasn’t heard, an ear hasn’t seen, a hand hasn’t tasted, a tongue hasn’t thought, a heart can’t say what my dream was.

    In the above passage, Bottom believes the night was a dream, and wisely explains to the audience that since dreams are so random and not logical that it’s pointless to try and explain them. He thought he was in love with the queen of the fairies and that he was a donkey, which is such a crazy thing to think about, and is hard to conceive. I agree with Bottom’s speech, because I believe that some things can’t and shouldn’t be explained, and that people instead should just relax and just go with things, rather than trying to search for reasoning.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree that this is an insane topic to believe and that it would be almost impossible to come up with a reasonable explanation for why Bottom thinks he was a donkey and why Titania (queen of the fairies) would ever fall in love with him, especially as an ass.

      Reply
    2. trinityt

      Yes, I agree. Sometimes in life, things just happens without explanations. So, sometimes, instead of trying to find reasons, people should just go on with things.

      Reply
  2. angelicac1

    BOTTOM
    I have had the strangest vision. I have had a dream that is too strange for someone to explain: a man would be stupid for trying to explain my dream. I thought-no one would know what. I thought I was,-and I thought I had,-but people are fools, to try to say what they thought I had. Eyes haven’t heard, ears haven’t seen, hands haven’t tasted, tongues haven’t touched, and hearts haven’t been able to describe, what my dream was.

    This is Bottom’s speech after he awakes from having his head turned into a donkey’s head. He is confused as to what has happened to him and he believes he was in a dream. Bottom keeps trying to say what he thought he was in his dream, but later he says that it is too strange to say aloud and explain. I believe that Bottom is saying that people can’t assume certain things that they don’t know for sure because it might not be true although you think these things are. He also says that people would be considered fools for saying what they assumed to be true. I also believe that Bottom is more intelligent than he comes off to be. His speech makes sense and is true even if he could have meant it as a joke. Shakespeare is trying to teach his readers and his audience not to assume things that might not be true through this speech.

    Reply
  3. Emma Garbowitz

    I had a very unusual vision. I had a dream, but it was hard to describe what the dream actually was: you would be an ass to try to explain it. I thought I was-nobody can describe what I was. I thought I had-but he would be known as a fool trying to explain what I was. The eye of man has not heard, the ear of man has not seen, man’s hand is incapable to taste, his tongue to devise, or his heart to report, that is what my dream was.

    In the passage above, Bottom believes that the past events of the night were all a dream and non-existent. He believes that some dreams (or things on their own) are unexplainable and would be impossible for people to comprehend so it is not worth explaining. Bottom would be called a fool if he thought any of this was real and told people about what he dreamed about. Obviously, what happened in the play is absolutely unreal and Bottom himself is trying to believe that it is all nonsense. If someone in today’s day and age tried to explain something like this to another person, they would think they are absolutely insane for coming up with this crazy idea. In a way, I agree with Bottom’s speech but at the same time I also disagree with it. What happened to Bottom was absolutely ludicrous and is very hard to believe so it obviously would be insane to tell anyone about it or ever bring it up. However, I disagree because everything has to have a reasonable explanation, even if it doesn’t seem possible. Everything happens for a reason so this had to have happened in some way, shape or form.

    Reply
  4. Kate m

    I had a very odd and uncommon dream. I have just had a dream, too strange to say
    What the dream was: a man would be an ass, if he went around telling this dream.
    I thought I was- not a soul can explain this one. I thought I was, – and
    I thought I had-but a man is a fool, if he offered to say what
    I thought I had. An eye cannot hear, an ear cannot
    See, a hand cannot taste, a tongue cannot feel, nor can a heart,
    Tell of my dream.

    In these lines, Bottom is just awakening from his sleep. As Bottom wakes up, he thinks everything that has happened to him from his head being turned into the head of an ass to Titania falling in love with him was a dream. Bottom is frankly a bit creped out by this “dream” and tells that he cannot even begin to explain it. Evidently, Shakespeare is trying to convey the message of don’t assume things unknown to you. Bottom says this when he says, “but man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had.” As readers, I believe that we are meant to agree with Bottom. Although Bottom is not always the sharpest tool in the shed, at this point in the text, he appears to be quite intelligent and full of knowledge. In our lives, we should not automatically assume things, as they can be false.

    Reply
  5. Hannah P.

    I had a crazy dream last night. I have had a crazy dream, one that I don’t even think you will believe: If the dream was real, then I was a donkey. I thought I was and everyone believed me. I thought I was,–and I thought I had,– but everyone thought I was crazy, if I had what I had in the dream. You have never heard, seen, taste, or feel or show what my dream was.

    Bottom believed that last night in the forest was only a very realistic dream and not reality. After he turns back into a human from Puck’s spell that turned him into a donkey for the night. Bottom believed that the events of the night were too crazy and unrealistic to be events that actually happened. He was not just trying to make the others around him believe his nonsense, but he was also trying to make himself believe in what he claimed happened the night before. Bottom is viewed to the other mechanics as a crazy person who can’tbe taken seriously, so this reputation hurt Bottom when he was trying to show others his point of view from the night.

    Reply
  6. Sunna

    I have had a very strange dream. I have had a dream, but stupid people try to explain their dreams: man is stupid, if he tries to understand the dream. I think that no one can understand a dream. I thought that the dream was real, but men and foolish. The dreams of men should not be heard, what they heard should not be seen, their hands should not know, and no one should tell anyone else what their dreams mean.

    I believe that Shakespeare is trying to tell us that reality is how we perceive it. Bottom doesn’t know what his dream meant, or whether or not it was a dream, but he doesn’t think that he should question it. Shakespeare is trying to tell us to constant question reality, and that it isn’t as simple as it seems.

    Reply
    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I really like your point about reality! It is all about how we choose to see something, and Bottom didn’t even try to understand what is dream was about.

      Reply
  7. maxwellw

    What a weird dream I had.—You can’t even describe such a weird dream. You’d be an ass if you even tried to explain it. I thought I was—no, nobody can even describe what I was. I thought I was, I thought I had—but a person would be an idiot to try to say what I thought I had. No eye has ever heard, no ear has ever seen, no hand has tasted, or tongue felt, or heart described what my dream was like.

    In this paragraph, Bottom provides some valuable points and thought-provoking ideas. He tells how his encounter with the fairies was that of an incredible an unbelievable dream. He says how, “the eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.” This adds an interesting layer to the soliloquy, as rather than descirbing the dream, he questions it’s reality as to him it felt so real. Shakespeare may have used this to make a connection to our world and how we percieve plays and performances.

    Reply
  8. stephaniec

    What a strange dream I had? I had a dream so unexplainable, you would seem like an ass trying to explain it. I thought I was- No, I can’t explain it. I thought I was,- and I thought I had,- a man would make a fool of himself if he were to elaborate on this weird dream. A man’s sense of sight, hearing, or taste could not comprehend or report what my dream was.

    In the speech above, Bottom explained the events of the night before as a wild and unexplainable dream. But, he soon realizes he would seem foolish if he attempted to elaborate on it. Bottom found the events of last night to be so incredible that he believes it was a dream. I think Shakespeare is trying to convey a message of what is real and what is not. In real life, when we read a book or watch a play, or movie we become attached to the characters and the plot of the story, but the truth is, it’s all make believe. After all, we are reading a play about a man named Bottom who turns into an ass because of a troubled fairy, who then, because of a magic potion attracts Titania, the top of the fairy world. I think Shakespeare is trying to teach his readers to understand the difference between real and fantasy.

    Reply
  9. Mikayla Friedman

    I just had an unusual and uncommon dream. This dream cannot even be deciphered by the smartest man. Man would look like an ass if he tried to explain this dream. I thought I was- no one knows what. I thought I was and I thought I had- man is a fool if he tries to say what I thought I had. A man’s eye cannot hear, a man’s ear cannot see, a man’s hand cannot taste, a man’s tongue cannot understand, and his heart cannot say what my dream was.

    By having Bottom say this speech, Shakespeare is calling attention to the theme of dreams versus reality. How do we really know what is a dream and what is real, especially in a play? Also, since this is a play, isn’t everything a fantasy? I think Shakespeare is trying to make his readers and audience members think about their own lives by having Bottom encounter this crazy dream. Speaking as if we are in the play, Bottom did in fact fall in love with Titania! His head was turned into a donkey’s ass. This is real on the same level as the very idea of fairy kings and queens. However, Bottom, being a human being, thinks he had a dream because he knows none of this could ever happen in real life. Stepping out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream world, none of this is true! Even the believable plots of the play – like the mechanicals putting on a play of their own – is fiction! Shakespeare has layered many plots, some are believable and some aren’t, and I think the purpose of this is to make readers take a step back and really look at the difference between a dream and reality.
    By having Bottom not understand his ‘dream’, Shakespeare is pointing out that in addition to not understanding our dreams, sometimes we don’t even understand our reality (because in this play, Bottom does not imagine what happens to him). Maybe Shakespeare is telling us to first differentiate between what is real and what is fake before trying to explain everything.

    Reply
  10. Maddie

    I have had a really crazy dream. My dream was more complicated than the intelligence of people that no one can say what kind of dream it was: people would be fools, if they try to explain this dream. I thought I was- I can’t tell you what. I thought I was,–and I thought I had,–but people are just fools, if they try to say what I thought I had. No one’s eye has heard, no one’s ear has seen, no one’s hand can taste, no one’s tongue can feel, no one’s heart can express, what my dream was.

    The readers of this passage are meant to disagree with this statement. First of all, Bottom is saying that it was all a dream, which everyone has to disagree with, because it was not. Also, he says that mankind would not be able to comprehend what happened to him, which is not true because we all know that he became a donkey. I think that Shakespeare is trying to show us that humans always look for a logical explanation when something crazy happens. Bottom was having a hard time understanding what had happened to him, so he just assumed it was all a dream since that was the only logical explanation.

    Reply
  11. josepha4

    I had a crazy vision. An explainable dream. A man
    would be a fool to attempt and explain it. A man is stupid if
    he thinks he can understand dreams. Eyes haven’t heard and ears
    cannot see. Hands cannot taste and my heart can’t explain my dream.

    In Bottoms sleep he has just awoke from his “dream” that Oberon put onto him. He thinks it would be laughable to attempt and explain the craziness of his dream. The point Shakespeare is trying to show is the message of of reality against fantasy. One persons reality may be somebody else’s fantasy. Bottom just awoke from his own fantasy but that was the fairy peoples reality. When we read things are we in a made up fantasy or another worlds reality. Shakespeare wants us to question these things and wants the readers to think about what is reality for some people may be fantasy for other.

    Reply
  12. Laila Sayegh

    I just had the most odd dream. A dream so odd, that it is unexplainable. A man would look like a fool if they even tried to explain this dream. I thought- no, it is impossible to even describe. I thought it had- a person would be stupid to try and say what i thought it had. No eye has heard, no ear has seen, no hand tasted, or tongue felt, or heart described what my dream was like.

    In Bottoms solilquy, he describes this bizzare “dream” that he just had. He cannot even comprehend what had happened in this dream because it was so crazy. However, this dream was real. It wasn’t a dream, it was reality. Shakespeare portrays the theme of dreams versus reality here. Sometimes when something unexplainable happens, people have a hard time believing its true. The mind will often confuse dreams with reality when this happens.

    Reply
  13. Zoe

    I have had an unusual vision! A dream, so unlike a usual man’s mind for them to explain it:
    man is very stupid if he tries to explain this dream. I thought I was- there is no one who could identify what I was. I thought I was- and I thought I had- but man is like a jester if he tries to tell me what I thought I was. The eye of a man cannot hear, the ear cannot see, a man’s hand cannot taste, his tongue to receive something, or his heart to explain what my dream was.

    After Bottom awoke from his “dream” he went back to his original life which was rehearsing for the play. However, he still recalls the events that might have occurred as though they were a dream. Shakespeare created this monologue to create confusion for the audience. The play itself seems like reality for the audience because they become engulfed in the story, however, in Bottom’s lines, it was almost like he was addressing the audience as if they too should be questioning whether or not a man could skillfully explain this play or dream with its confusing plot lines. Shakespeare demonstrates through the characters a mindless mechanical who is confused about reality, just as the audience should be as they’re leaving the theatre.

    Reply
  14. caseyz

    I had a very strange dream. I cannot even begin to explain this dream that I’ve had: any man would be stupid to even try to understand it. I thought I was – I have no clue. I thought I was – and I thought I had – It makes no sense whatsoever to say what I thought I had. A man’s eyes can’t hear, his ears can’t see, his hands can’t taste, and his tongue can’t feel, just as no one, not even me, can comprehend this dream.

    I this paragraph, Bottom is describing what happened with himself and all of the fairies last night. He suddenly was turned into an ass, the queen of fairies, Titania, fell in love with him, and all of the other fairies treated him as royalty for the rest of the night. This seems so bizarre to him that he comes to the conclusion that this had to have been a dream. The title of the play is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” so it makes me think that there is some sort of connection between Bottom’s dream and the whole meaning of the play. When Bottom first wakes up, his first reaction was to turn his dream into a play or song. Maybe this could be something similar to in some novels where the main character ends up writing a book, which also happens to be the book you’ve been reading the whole time. Maybe “Bottom’s Dream” is actually just the fairyland part of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, since Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius also wake up to believe what they had experienced was a dream. Maybe “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a just combination of the two dreams that happened on one midsummer night.

    Reply
  15. Hannah McKiverkin

    Bottom says this speach after waking from a long “slumber”. He explains how he would like to tell his friends about his dream but no one, not even man would be able to comprehend and describe his dream. He says that he was an ass and even goes onto say that people would be an ass if they had described his dream. A little hipocritcal don’t you think? Also other than him being a donkey basically an ass, he acts like an ass too. He is of low class and always wants to be in charge and treats people with not a lot of respect. Maybe that’s why his name is bottom because he’s an ass and he is in low(bottom) class.

    Reply
    1. Hannah McKiverkin

      I’ve had a very strange dream. A dream that can’t be described by man. Man is foolish if he tries to tell his dream. I thought I was –no man really knows what. I thought I was and I thought I had — man would be a fool to try to explain my dream. A man’s eye hasn’t heard, the man’s ear has not seen, man’s hand hasn’t tasted, his tongue not felt, and his heart unable to describe what my dream was.

      Reply
    2. Hannah M.

      I’ve had a very strange dream. A dream that can’t be described by a man. Man is foolish if he tries to tell his dream. I thought I was –no man really knows what. I thought I was and I thought I had — man is a fool to try to explain my dream. A man’s eye hasn’t heard, the man’s ear has not seen, man’s hand hasn’t tasted, his tongue not felt, and his heart unable to describe what my dream was.

      Reply
  16. Hannah McKiverkin

    Paraphrase:

    I’ve had a very strange dream. A dream that can’t be described by a man. Man is foolish if he tries to tell his dream. I thought I was –no man really knows what. I thought I was and I thought I had — man is a fool to try to explain my dream. A man’s eye hasn’t heard, the man’s ear has not seen, man’s hand hasn’t tasted, his tongue not felt, and his heart unable to describe what my dream was.

    Reply
  17. Emily

    I have seen a rare thing. I had a dream, a man can not say what this dream is: but if man is an ass, he will try to explain it. I thought it was- there is no man who can tell me what it was. I thought it was real, i had, but man is a fool if he will try to say what happened to me. An eye has not seen, a man has not tasted, his tongue cannot imagine, his heart can not comprehend, what my dream was.

    In this passage, Bottom describes how his dream was indescribable. he mentions how anyone who tries to describe it is an ass, and thus that makes him an ass. That is a direct reference to before during his dream where he was turned into a literal ass, with a donkey head.

    Reply
  18. trinityt

    I have had a very strange dream. A strange dream that no man can described. Man would be foolish to try to explain this dream. I thought I was -no man really knows what. I thought I was and had -man is a fool to try to explain this dream. A man’s eyes hasn’t heard, a man’s ears hasn’t seen, a man’s hands hasn’t tasted, his tongue has not felt, and his heart are not able to explain what my dream was.

    This is Bottom’s speech after he wakes up from his head turning back to normal from a donkey’s head. He believes that the events of him having his head turned into a donkey’s head and falling in love with Titania was all just a strange dream. Bottom said that he can’t quite grasp what his dream was, nor can any other men. He believes that a man would be foolish to even try to explain and describe this strange dream of his. Therefore, Bottom stated that no one, including himself, can explain his strange dream. So, he would just leave it as it is. From this, Shakespeare is trying to teach the audience that sometimes in life, some odd things can just happen and it can’t be explain. Therefore, we should just leave such things as they are instead of trying to look for reasons when it can’t or shouldn’t be done.

    Reply
  19. Brishti

    I’ve had a weird weird, uncommon vision. I have had a dream that cannot be explained: Men would be fools to try and explain this dream. I thought I was one –there is no man can tell what. Methought I was,–and methought I had,–but no one knows what I was. Eyes can’t hear, ears can’t see, hands can’t taste, tounges can’t imagine, and my heart cannot tell, what my dream was.

    After Bottom wakes up from his “dream”, he gives this speech. He doesn’t remember anything, and only thinks of it as a very strange dream. All the while, he did not know that he had a donkey’s head and he just played along with Titania when she was madly, and almost comically, in love with him. We are meant to agree with how it is impossible for Bottom to understand his night. Shakespeare is showing us how the dreams we have as people are sometimes bizzare and crazy, and that we are silly to try and explain them. Shakespeare wants us to connect it to our own selves. What is a bizzare idea to one may be an unnatainable dream to another. It can also be interpreted in terms of fate. In this and several of other examples of Shakespeare’s plays, the main plot is tempted by fate. In Romeo and Juliet, they met each other as star-crossed lovers in the wrong place at the wrong time. Here, all of the different groups of people were in the forest at the same time. Indescribable ordeals happen during this night, and what Shakespeare is trying to show is how fate makes crazy things happen, and sometimes, the best possible thing is to not question it. If you try to explain a magical thing that happens, it essentially loses the magic that it had in the first place. It is best to just let things happen as they come, and you shouldn’t think too deeply about the strange parts of life.

    Reply
  20. Madi R.

    I had a very strange vision. I have had a dream, but it would be foolish for a man to try to explain it: a man would be a fool if he went around telling his dreams. I thought I was there-no man can tell about that. I thought I was and I thought I had-But man is a fool if he offered to say what he thought he had. The eye of a man cannot hear, the ear of a man cannot see, ones hand cannot taste, a tongue cannot receive, and the heart cannot tell what the dream was.

    I think we are meant to agree with Bottoms statement that dreams are hard to tell to others. When you dream strange and crazy things can happen that you sometimes cannot explain. In Bottoms case he was not dreaming he thought after he woke up that the night was all a dream. I wonder if Shakespeare wanted to point out that that people miss the little things in life. Because all of the crazy occurrences happen at night and in the morning everything goes back to normal for the characters making them think it was all a dream.

    Reply

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