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The Shakespeare Plays: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Edition 1

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Overview

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

A simplified prose retelling of Shakespeare's play about the strange events that take place in a forest inhabited by fairies who magically transform the romantic fate of two young couples.

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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
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: 9780844257419
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Series: Shakespeare Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

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Table of Contents

About the Series
About this Volume
List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream 11
Pt. 2 Contextual Readings 87
1 Popular Festivals and Court Celebrations 89
The Rites of May 91
The Ballad 110
Court Entertainments 117
2 The Making of Men 149
The Ranks of Men: William Harrison's Of Degrees of People 151
The Formation of the Ruler: Plutarch's Life of Theseus 156
The Formation of the Gentleman: Sir Thomas Elyot and Roger Ascham 166
Working Men 179
The New Man: Simon Forman's Dreams 188
3 Female Attachments and Family Ties 192
Amazons 194
Gossips 217
Nuns 221
The Virgin Queen 231
A Poet and Her Patron 238
Family Ties 245
4 Natural and Supernatural 265
Bad Weather and Dearth 267
Metamorphosis and Monstrosity 275
Bestiality and Monstrosity 295
Monsters and Prodigies 300
Fairy Belief 307
Bibliography 325
Index 338
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