A Midsummer Night's Dream: Texts and Contexts

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Texts and Contexts

3.9 283
by William Shakespeare, Gail Kern Paster, Skiles Howard
     
 

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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.

Overview

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

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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312218225
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
02/01/1999
Series:
Bedford Shakespeare Series
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.57(h) x 0.77(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.

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 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 283 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Zoe Berl-Hahn More than 1 year ago
My favorite one of his plays! Shakespeare never is a disappoitment!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to read because of typos
Kristi Behme More than 1 year ago
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.
Shatter More than 1 year ago
Shatter Got on mah computer to post this, read my post at 'Erin Hunter' res 1 plz!  She yawned
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've noticed that the people who commented and didn't like it can't even spell. ...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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%.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Odd wording in this story, don't you think?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are any of you 700 interested in drama?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ROLEPLAY AT GAME ALL RESULTS CLICK SECOND RESULT AND CONTACT KAYLA GO HAVE FUN
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads around camp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lay down on a tree branch. Bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks at Outstrike then flies out back to camp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nope i have been on for 2 years
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yawns
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Haha I &#9829 being a brony. TRICKED YA!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wanna hear a joke?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Then walks away now that the cat is dead
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To all clans. YOU WILL ALL DIE TOMORROW!!!!! I AM ATTACKING ALL THE CLANS!!!!!!!!""""