[For ABC Wednesday, Magpie 56, Writer's Island and Sunday Scribblings]
“H” is for “Head Over Heels”
Think of a beautiful woman, perhaps the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.
She falls in love with a guy who has the head, a big head, of a farm animal.
And she falls head over heels.
That’s the story of Queen Titania and Bottom the Weaver.
You remember him – he’s the chap in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” who has his head turned into that of a jassack. :-)
Nick Bottom – who knew he had a first name? – is a simple workman, with the emphasis on “simple.”
He and his fellow working stiffs are planning to put on a play for the Duke’s wedding day; if the presentation is successful each performer will be in line to receive sixpence a day for the rest of their lives. (Which would be pretty much like winning the national lottery as far as they’re concerned, so they’re all taking this production of theirs very seriously.)
But Puck, a crafty, not to mention cunning, little character with magical powers, a prankster par excellence, decides to have a little fun with them.
He does the deed with Bottom’s head and leaves him in the forest.
Along comes the spectacularly beautiful Titania, Queen of the Fairies. She is what Shakespeare would have described as a “looker,” if he had thought of it. :-) Check out those gossamer wings.
She has herself been enchanted by a love potion made from the juice of a rare flower – and you know how powerful that stuff can be – administered by her jealous husband, who has rigged things up so that she will fall for the first individual she sees after waking up.
He says: “Wake when some vile thing is near.”
The vile thing turns out to be our friend Bottom.
The Queen falls head over, to risk repeating myself, heels for this guy; they make a handsome couple. :-)
Titania orders her minions to treat him well:
"Be kind and courteous to this gentleman.
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs and mulberries;
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies."
And it's a tribute to Bottom that he can adapt to any situation; he takes all of this in stride -- he’s enjoying every minute.
Later, when he’s back to his true self, he tries to describe that adventure. He figures it must have been a dream:
“I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say! The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, what my dream was!”
But now of course he’s aware they must all rehearse the play to be ready for the Duke’s wedding day.
(I knew, with a bit of luck, I’d be able to work this week’s Magpie prompt in here somewhere. :-))
Bottom: “Most important, fellow actors, eat no garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath, and I don’t doubt everyone will say, it is a sweet comedy!”
1 year ago