Hereafter, Shakespeare decides to extend Bottom’s appearance of silliness even further by transforming his head into a donkey’s head, which, according to the story, is the result of the fairy, Puck’s exertion. After that little incident, Bottom’s mates start to flee in anxiety. Bottom is obviously confused why his buddies are running away from him, since he doesn’t know that his head has been replaced by a donkey head.
When doing this, Shakespeare uses the dramatic irony-technique again to increase the hilarity for this scene even more. – The audience is aware of the ass head, but Bottom is not – He’s striding around all over the stage, confused why his mates ran away from him, but his pompous attitude is not all gone yet, so instead of asking them, why they’re running away from him, he chooses to believe, they’re just messing about with him. So when they’re all running away in anxiety, he shouts, that he’ll not be afraid of their little joke.
Bottom just want to keep his pride, whatever it takes to do so. For that reason, he randomly starts to sing about birds. – Which after my opinion is a quite ridiculous thing to do just suddenly. To his surprise, he’s overheard by Titania, the fairy queen, who Puck has also messed around with, to make her fall in love with the first creature she set her eyes on. This creature turns out to be Bottom the weaver. She hears his song and falls madly in love with him.
– It is humorous that the high class fairy queen, perhaps a beauty beyond everything else, falls in love with a low class guy, whose head has the same figure as the head of an animal, which is most likely considered one of the most unintelligent and stubborn mammals in the world. (I bet Shakespeare took this into account when he was writing the play). This is clearly shown when they’re speaking. Titania says something like: “Be kind and courteous to this gentleman… ” and she nearly makes a whole poem out of her speech, with lots of long poetic words.
Bottom will respond with something that he think himself is a hilarious joke; ‘well-thought’ and ‘intellectual’ – Not quite, but Bottom doesn’t know, because he’s still got his pompous attitude. Shakespeare had most certainly been thinking thoroughly about the names of the fairies, that Bottom was about to meet when Titania had convinced him to go with her, because he wanted to make Bottom come up with a joke for each and everyone of them – A fairly bad joke of course.
Shakespeare knew that Bottom still had this pompous attitude going on, but he also knew that Bottom was a somewhat stupid character. It requires a certain level of intelligence to come up with good jokes, which will make listeners laugh or at least produce a bit of giggling. – But Bottom doesn’t have that intelligence. The thing that makes Bottom funny is not his jokes, but his belief that his jokes are good and the amount of time he’s spend making them up.