Midsummer Night's Dream: Texts and Contexts / Edition 1

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Overview

This edition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream reprints the Bevington edition of the play accompanied by four sets of primary documents and illustrations thematically arranged to offer a richly textured understanding of early modern culture and Shakespeare’s work within that culture. The texts, including facsimiles of period documents, conduct literature, county records, reports of court entertainments, and Queen Elizabeth’s speeches, contextualize the play’s treatment of popular and royal festivity, communities of women (including Amazons, gossips, and nuns), marriage expectations, and the supernatural. Editorial features designed to help students read the play in light of the historical documents include an intelligent and engaging general introduction, an introduction to each thematic group of documents, thorough headnotes and glosses for the primary documents (presented in modern spelling), and an extensive bibliography.

Presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, with marginal notes and explanations and full descriptions of each character.

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Editorial Reviews

Curriculum Administrator
Makes it come wonderfully alive for young students.
Sheree Van Vreede
Shakespeare is presented in a manner that is understandable to children without lessening the quality of the work. —Children's Literature
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 - 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.
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.
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
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-William Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed, and today's students and readers of them are in for an enjoyable listening experience with this unabridged and fully dramatized version of one of his most popular romantic comedies. With its diversified combination of plot materials including classical Greek mythology, fairy lore, love story and the amateur Elizabethan play within this play, A Midsummer Night's Dream can be a difficult play to follow and understand. However, many of he cast members here are accomplished Shakespearean actors, and they skillfully deliver the bard's poetic and masterful language. Locating specific scenes and dialogue from the play is simple with these CDs, as they are identified in an accompanying booklet by the numbered tracks. Listeners will be delighted to easily follow the various enchanted lovers, comic actors, ad fairy characters through the moral and mystical worlds of the play. Beginning and concluding this production and providing musical interludes between scenes is the Scholars Baroque Ensemble, performing historical music from Purcell's "The Fairy Queen." An excellent audio addition to Shakespeare collections.-Marilyn Higgins, Metuchen High School, NJ
Booknews
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312166212
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 1/15/1999
  • Series: Bedford Shakespeare Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"You've got to be kidding!" Helena cried,
"I know, it's Hermia, you want for your bride."
"Not a chance!" said Lysander, "It's you I love!
Who will not change a raven for a dove?"
"Give me a break!" Helena scoffed in dismay,
"Do you think I was born yesterday?
Your speech to me is like a thorn;
How dare you treat me with such scorn!"
Then she stomped off, in great disdain;
Lysander followed with a loving refrain.
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Table of Contents

About The Series
About This Volume
List of Illustrations

Introduction

PART I: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (EDITED BY DAVID BEVINGTON)

PART II. CONTEXTUAL READINGS

1. Popular Festivals and Court Celebrations
The Rites of May
John Stow,From A Survey of London
Henry Machyn,From Diary of a Resident in London
Philip Stubbes,From The Anatomy of Abuses

The Ballad
The Fetching Home of May
Court Entertainments
Kenilworth and Coventry
Robert Laneham, From A Letter Descibing the Entertainment of the Queen at Kenilworth
Coventry Records of the Hock Tuesday Play
The Fairy Queen
From Entertainment at Elvetham
Edmund Spencer, From The Shepheardes Calendar

2. The Making of Men
The Ranks of Men: William Harrison's Of Degrees of People
William Harrison, From The Description of England
The Formation of the Ruler: Plutarch's Life of Theseus
Plutarch, From The Lives of Nobles Grecians and Romans
The Formation of the Gentleman: Sir Thomas Elyot and Rodger Ascham
Sir Thomas Elyot, From The Book Named the Governor
Rodger Ascham, From The Schoolmaster
Working Men
The Statute of Artificers
From The Statute of Artificers
Royal Proclaimation Regulating Chester Wages
The New Man: Simon Forman's Dreams
Simon Forman, From The Autobiography of Simon Forman

3.Female Attachments and Family Ties
Amazons
Christine de Pizan, From The Book of the City of Ladies
Sir Walter Raleigh, From The History of the World
John Knox, From The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiments of Women
Queen Elizabeth I, Address to the Troops at Tilbury
Gossips
Edward Gosynhyll, From The Schoolhouse of Women
Nuns
Richard Layton, A Letter, Certifying the Incontinency of the Nuns of Syon
Desiderius Erasmus, From A Maid Hating Marriage
The Virgin Queen
Queen Elizabeth I, From Speech to Parliment on Marriage and Succession
William Camden, From The Annals of Queen Elizabeth
A Poet and Her Patron
Amelia Lanyer, From The Description of Cooke-ham
Family Ties
Thomas Becon, From A New Catechism
Henry Bullinger, From The Christian Statue of Matrimony
William Gouge, From Of Domestical Duties
Philip Stubbes, From A Crystal Glass for Christian Women

4. Natural and Supernatural
Bad Weather and Dearth
John Stow, From The Annals of England
Metamorphosis and Monstrosity
Ovid and Reginald Scot
Ovid, From Metamorphoses, Book 14
Bestiality and Monstrosity
Prosecuting Buggery
From Calendar of Assize Records
Monsters and Prodigies
Ambroise Paré, From Of Monsters and Prodigies
Fairy Belief
John Aubrey,Collecting Fairy Lore
Richard Corbett, The Fairies' Farewell
The Mad Merry Pranks of Robin Good-fellow
ICorinthians 2:1—16

Bibliography
Index

ILLUSTRATIONS

1. Title Page of the Quarto A Midsummer Night's Dream
2. Woodcuts fo City and Woods from the Roxburghe Ballasd
3. Morris Dancers from the WIndow of a Gentleman'a House
4. Maypole DAnce from Michael Drayton;s Poly-Olbion
5. Woodcut Illustrating the Ballas "The Crost Couple"
6. Queen Elizabeth I on a Hunt
7. The Entertainment at Elvetham
8. The Queen and Her Court, from Edmund Spencer's The Shepheaardes Calandar
9. Page from Plutarch's The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans
10. Title Page from A Catechism
11. Title Page from George Tuberville's The Noble Art of Venery
12. Manuscript Page from The Autobiography of SImon Forman
13. Lascivious and Threatening Amazons from Sir Walter Raleigh's The Discovery of Guiana
14. Amazons, Each with a Breast Removed, from John Bulwer's Anthropometamorphosis
15. Queen Elizabeth I as an Amazon
16. Frontispiece from Samuel Rowland's 'Tis Merry When Gossip Meet
17. Woodcut from Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies
18. Circe Transforming Ulysses' Sailor into Animals
19. Monster, Half-Man, Half-Pig, from Ambroise Pare's Of Monsters and Prodigies
20. Title Page from Robin Good-fellow, His Mad Pranks

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 683 )
Rating Distribution

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(485)

4 Star

(68)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(81)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 683 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Regal nobility, mischievous fairies, mortals in love - where else can you find a more tantalizing cast of characters? Shakespeare, of course! A Midsummer Night¿s Dream, a story written to enchant your imagination, is full of unexpected twists. At the beginning, you are introduced to six soap-opera style Athenians caught in the game of love. The reader is lead to assume that this is a historical-fiction love story. But later on, the lovers meet fairies and sprites, and a story unlike any other reveals itself. Magic potions and antidotes, transfigured human heads, and fairies and humans in love unfold in this plot of anxiety, turmoil, love, friendship, and chivalry. I really enjoyed this book. Shakspeare does a great job of weaving unimaginable twists into a seemingly predictable story of love.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Do not bother

    I downloaded this good thing it was free it was not even relatively close to the real thing do not waste your time with this crap. It is only 31 pages.

    12 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Typos everywhere

    Hard to read because of typos

    7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Okay

    I had to read this for class and I was one of a few that gog it on a e book. You shouldnt get it for a project or something important. Youd seriously need the actual book to be able to follow the story and the page numbers. It only has half of the number of pages too. I say its a good book and its by Shakespeare! What do you mean its not a good book? Shakespeare is a well known writer every where. If it wasnt a good book? People in schools wouldnt be doing projects and be learning about it. Over all: many type os, no numbers for each lines, and missing many things. Its a good book but since written in the time of Shakespeare, of course its hard to understand but you learn something new everytime. Id say a very good story line but very poor in format since it leaves out may important details from the original.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Beautiful as always

    My favorite one of his plays! Shakespeare never is a disappoitment!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Sucked!!!

    Random characters appeared all throughout. It really took the magic out of it. Do not bother.

    5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2011

    What the hey

    Wost spelling mistakes ever!!!!!! AND THE STORY LINE DOES NOT MAKE SENSE AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 12, 2011

    This+book+is+really+bad

    4 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Don't bother.

    The formatting was horrible. The text looks likes one big block-- no separation even between speakers. Unreadable.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Wow...

    I've noticed that the people who commented and didn't like it can't even spell. ...

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Im a student

    We are reading this book now and its really good the characters are wonderful the plot is astounding and above al its a very good read i reccomend it 100%.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Don't grab it for a class!

    I ordered this for a class in hopes of not having to carry around tons of books, but it didn't have any notes, or line numbers- something that is essential for a Shakespeare play! Good for just reading, but if you need the line numbers, don't go for it.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2014

    Shatter Got on mah computer to post this, read my post at 'Erin

    Shatter

    Got on mah computer to post this, read my post at 'Erin Hunter' res 1 plz! 

    She yawned

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    OutCast to Fireflame

    She tensed. "He doesn't have to!"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    Reveiw

    Mid summers nigts dream is awesome.my favorite charecter is puck. Such humor. Anx it is beautiful.makes me want to cite it and impress my friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Ok

    I mean it doesn't even make sense

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Classic

    Look just because you're not smart enough to get it doesn't mean it is a bad horrible book. You haven't even read it so you can't say you hate it. So shutup.
    This is a classic and you should read it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    gross

    tooo much romance

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Terrible

    This book is a joke i can not follow along donot get ever

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    To great

    What do u mean you're in it?

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 683 Customer Reviews

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