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A Midsummer Night's Dream (The New Penguin Shakespeare)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (The New Penguin Shakespeare)

4.3 268
by William Shakespeare, T. J. B. Spencer (Editor), Stanley Wells (Editor)

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One of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, A Midsummer Night's Dream brilliantly confronts the power of infatuation and romantic desire.


One of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, A Midsummer Night's Dream brilliantly confronts the power of infatuation and romantic desire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Coville follows up his version of The Tempest (see p. 84) with a retelling of another of Shakespeare's most popular plays. The fundamental story of magic, mischief and the trials and tribulations of love is preserved through well-chosen use of the original language and Coville's heady prose ("The queen... saw the ass-headed monstrosity through magic-drenched eyes"). Major plot lines are clearly and concisely rendered, but it is the portrayal of the various levels of humor-from Bottom's buffoonery to Puck's gleeful magic-making-that really captures the essence of the play. Nolan's (Dinosaur Dream) sumptuous, painterly watercolors highlight the theatrical setting of the spellbound wood. Gnarled, mossy trees provide the backdrop for a cast of unusually youthful lovers, gossamer-winged fairies (which nod at Rackham's famous interpretations) and a truly puckish Puck. A first-rate entre to the Bard. Ages 7-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Armin A. Brott
Well, it's about time! For hundreds of years kids have read myths and fairy tales, but they've missed some of the best stories out there-Shakespeare. Well, no longer. John Escott deftly adapts one of the Bard's more complicated plays of confusion, mistaken identity, and love. And Eric Kincaid brings it to life with sprightly, engaging drawings-especially those of Bottom, the man with the donkey's head. Hopefully, this is but the first in a long series.
Children's Literature - Sheree Van Vreede
Who says Shakespeare isn't for kids? Certainly not this author/teacher and her second and third grade students. This book is part of a series by Lois Brudett called "Shakespeare Can Be Fun." The story is told through rhyme and the students' illustrations. Shakespeare is presented in a manner that is understandable to children without lessening the quality of the work. Perhaps the best part of the book is how it displays the students' interpretations. We see it through their eyes.
Children's Literature - Eileen Hanning
Midsummer Night's Dream is Bruce Coville's second retold Shakespeare tale. He handles the complexities skillfully. Illustrations by Nolan are a wonderful mix of detailed realism, powerful human emotions, and playful magic. Pictures give a sense of Nolan romping through his illustrations, whether he's capturing the impishness of Puck, foolishness of Bottom, or conflict of the lovers. Kindly, he gives character portraits on the end papers and we definitely used them in untangling the threads of the maze-like story.
Library Journal
One in a series of new editions of Shakespeare's plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream is suitable for use in high schools and compares very favorably with other editions currently available. The text is clear, and notes on the facing page make for easy reference. The edition includes an introduction to the play and to Shakespeare and a brief but useful note on Shakespeare's language and on the Globe theater. At the back are act-by-act study questions, writing assignments, and suggestions for other creative activities.-Bryan Aubrey, Fairfield, Ia.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3An adaptation of the play retold in rhyming couplets. The greatest strength of the presentation is in the contributions of Burdett's elementary-age students. The obviously neatened-up drawings of the characters in various scenes are done in brightly colored markers on white backgrounds and retain many stylistic traits unique to young creators. So, too, do the diary entries of the characters, letters between them, and other documents supplied by the youngsters and reproduced (complete with their creative spelling) on most pages. The charm of this precocious output will appeal more to adults than to children. The verse (the actual story of the play) does manage to scan throughout without noticeable forcing, but is rather heavy-handed. The most graceful phrases are the few that are direct quotes from the play. Unfortunately, nothing in this book distinguishes Burdett's words from the Bard's. This book is one of the end results of an extensive learning project that includes a performance by the children. Unfortunately, the active experience of all this creation is only hinted at on the page.Sally Margolis, formerly at Deerfield Public Library, IL
In a series documenting the responses to Shakespeare's plays by critics, editors, and general readers in the period from the late 1700s to 1920<-->a period which saw the founding of Shakespeare societies and journals and constant reprints of the plays, this volume spotlights what has reigned as one of the bard's most popular comedies. The 85 entries span Irish playwright-actress Elizabeth Griffith's 1775 discourse on the themes of morality and human sympathy in the play, to Italian critic Croce's 1920 essay on this "comedy of love." Other notables expounding on every aspect of the play include Ruskin, Swinburne, Shaw, and Beerbohm. Indexed by references to , references to the other plays, and by general subject. Distributed in the US by Transaction Publishers. An illustration would have been welcome. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kirkus Reviews
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream ( PLB Oct. 1996; 48 pp.; 0-8037-1784-6; PLB 0-8037-1785-7): Coville (Fortune's Journey, 1995, etc.) gracefully retells this famous comedy, retaining just enough of Shakespeare's language to lend a sense of the world of the play without overwhelming picture- book readers. Nolan conjures a magical world of Mediterranean-blue skies and gloomy enchanted forests, helpfully including endpaper portraits of the cast of characters. As an introduction to the real thing, this may be useful to older readers who want to have the plot and characters in mind before they enter Shakespeare's realm.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
New Penguin Shakespeare Series
Product dimensions:
4.44(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Widely esteemed as the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an actor and theatrical producer in addition to writing plays and sonnets. Dubbed "The Bard of Avon," Shakespeare oversaw the building of the Globe Theatre in London, where a number of his plays were staged, the best-known of which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. The First Folio, a printed book of 36 of his comedies, tragedies, and history plays, was published in 1623.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 268 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I mean, if you like Shakespeare's comedies then there is no doubt you will enjoy MSND. The characters and constant malapropisms make it funny so you may have to work your way into the style of the play before the jokes are blatant ( and even then it can be hard to tell; humoor changes with generations and time). Shakespeare is a very wordy author yet there is a wa to tell that the plays were- and are- quality. In the centuries when The Globe was renouned in England the play-goers were a tough crowd; the story had to be understandable AND entertaining. The audience was not always educated so Shakespeare and to make enough stage direction, action and subtext for the story to come through. We see that much of the monolougues and conversations could be summed up into a few sentences, yet often the entertainment and humor is provided by these sylolliques.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book can be counted as a wonderfully helpful study companion to Shakespeare&rsquo;s A Midsummer Night&rsquo;s Dream, but where it really shines is in giving me access to masterful language that needs updating for our modern ears.  I love seeing Shakespeare performed, and this book gives each section a freshness in translation, a royal British historical context delivered by an author who avoids dry textbook languages like a 16th Century plague, and makes the intended humor instantly recognizable.  As a study guide, it&rsquo;s perfect.  As a way to truly delight in Shakespeare, this is what I want to read just before watching a film adaptation or heading to the theatre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definetly worth reading. It is a true masterpiece! Also, quick sidenote to all of those who are complaining that this book was written in Old English- it wasn't. It wasn't even written in Middle English. This was written in MODERN ENGLISH!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The formatting was horrible. The text looks likes one big block-- no separation even between speakers. Unreadable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best Shakespeare Play.
ErosLover More than 1 year ago
One of my faves!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's really good. And could u guys stop with the rps? Some people are acctully reviewing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading Shakespeare and understanding him are two different things for me. I&rsquo;m not sure about anyone else, but I need a translator when trying to wade through all of his Old English. This guide is a Godsend! I finally feel like I&rsquo;m able to both enjoy and understand the writing of one of the greatest poets and playwrights to ever exist. You don&rsquo;t really realize how helpful the modern day translation really is, until you pick up this guide. It&rsquo;s an &ldquo;Aha!&rdquo; moment stuffed in between a front and back cover. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Want an &ldquo;A&rdquo; on that next paper? This book will certainly help because Shakespeare is finally clear, just like the title of Garamond Press&rsquo; A Midsummer Night&rsquo;s Dream shakespeare made clear touts. This book makes it easy. Each Act begins with a summary and each Elizabethan line is followed by a word-for-word explanation. Literary devices, meter, historical references, imagery, poetic style&mdash;all of these are explained in very simple ways that make Shakespeare&rsquo;s words vivid and funny and sad and mischievous and romantic all at once. Isn&rsquo;t that what dreams are made of?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's okay, but anomonous on may 20 is kinda right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would suggest getting a book like this that was not digitalized by google. It was hard too read and somewhat unenjoyable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awrsome i love shakespeare
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Why would vyoubact like you want to be then Sunny?" She muttered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crawls in and bumbs into Deathclaw. He giggles and scents him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Headphone - By Britt Nichole <p> Skip to the chorus. Sorry forgot the other. <p> Anytime your feelin' low, put one your headphones, cuz Love- love's comin through your headphones, Lo-o-ooooovee is comin through your headphones. So keep ur head up high, and dust off ya shouldehs, its alright, NO ITS NOT OVEH! ~ Amber
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wht this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Theres something under my bed!! Im scared!! What do i do!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, entertaining book: