A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501146213
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 07/12/2016
Series: Folger Shakespeare Library Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 514,789
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

Date of Death:

2018

Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
by .
Copyright © 2016 William Shakespeare.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction, with new section on recent stage and critical interpretations; Note on the text; List of characters; The play; Textual analysis; Appendix: A further note on sources; Reading list.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 308 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 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’s A Midsummer Night’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’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
Hard to read because of typos
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
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
Reading Shakespeare and understanding him are two different things for me. I’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’m able to both enjoy and understand the writing of one of the greatest poets and playwrights to ever exist. You don’t really realize how helpful the modern day translation really is, until you pick up this guide. It’s an “Aha!” moment stuffed in between a front and back cover. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Want an “A” on that next paper? This book will certainly help because Shakespeare is finally clear, just like the title of Garamond Press’ A Midsummer Night’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—all of these are explained in very simple ways that make Shakespeare’s words vivid and funny and sad and mischievous and romantic all at once. Isn’t that what dreams are made of?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's okay, but anomonous on may 20 is kinda right.
Dr.Cager1 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I Had to read this in my english class... It Was Amazing... The Words provide succh an awesome experience of imagery... It allows the reader to vividly imagine whats taking place. Through several events in the story strong and powerful moods are forced upon the reader to feel...
tygers_eye on LibraryThing 10 months ago
** spoiler alert ** This is a very dramatic lovestory about two men, one named Demetrius, one named Lysander, and two girls, one named Helena, and one named Hermia. Hermia loves Lysander, and wants to marry him, even though her father doesn't like him and wants her to marry Demetrius. Helena loves Demetrus, but is jealous of Hermia because he loves her and not Helena. The fairies cast chaotic love spells that cause much trouble, as well as trouble for the fairies, not just Lysander and Demetrius and Helena and Hermia.
CaraLPeacock on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I like teaching A Midsummer Night's Dream to the 8th graders because a lot of it is written in prose (plain language instead of poetry) so it's easy to read. It also keeps the students' attention because it is full of love spells and people falling in love with the wrong people. It's kind of like a soap opera... and it's FUNNY!!
RoDor on LibraryThing 10 months ago
You have to give it to the greatest playwright who ever lived to write a complicated comedy on true love. In this play, Shakespeare intertwines the lives of four sets of characters in four plots. In begins with Theseus, the Duke of Athens complaining to his bethrothed Hippolyta how four days is a long time to wait for his wedding to her, the Queen of the Amazons. He wounded and defeated her in battle, but wooed her in captivity. Then enters the second set of characters: Egeus, who asks that Theseus explains the Athenian law to Hermia, his daughter, who either follows her father's wishes and marry Demetrius or be condemned to a life of virginity in a nunnery. This consequence is considered worse than death at that time. Hermia loves Lysander instead and the couple plan to meet in the woods to elope. Helena, on the other hand, is in love with Demetrius, tells him about the plan, and goes with him to the woods. The third set of characters is a group of local laborers led by Nick Bottom, a weaver, also a "pompous ass". They come to the woods to rehearse "Pyramus and Thisbe" for Theseus' wedding celebration. The play is about a love affair that ends in a tragedy. The fourth set of characters are Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies and their attendant sprites led by Puck, a mischievous one. Oberon and Titania meet in the woods and jealously argue over their mortal loves. The main characters fall asleep in the woods and Oberon sets Puck's mischiefs rolling when he orders him to squeeze the "love-at-first-sight" juice of the pansy, "love-in-idleness" on Titania's eyes while sleeping to teach her a lesson. Puck also was to apply it on Demetrius eyes so he reciprocates Helena's affections. Titania wakes up and falls in love with Bottom, whose head Puck turns into that of an ass. He mistakes Lysander for Demetrius; squeezes juice on Lysander's eyes; gets reprimanded by Oberon; squeezes juice on Demetrius' eyes. Now both knaves are in love with Helena who thinks they are mocking her and leaves a puzzled Hermia. It is up to Puck to mend his mischiefs. The 16th century language and the script format of the play makes it a difficult reading. Reading it out loud and playing the part helps in understanding. I eventually got the subtle pun after reading it several times. I had a good glimpse of how a genius' mind works after comprehending this play.
ncgraham on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I honestly feel as though I¿ve ruined this play for myself. When I first read it during my last year of middle school, I was immediately taken with nearly everything about it¿the quarrelling lovers, the comedy, the supernatural element¿so taken that I tried to film a shortened version of it with some of my friends. Obviously, what with reading my own bowdlerized imaginings of the lines over and over again, not to mention listening to all of us trying to recite the Bard, my estimation of it was sullied somewhat.Reading it again, I find that I still enjoy it, and can respect it as a finely-crafted piece of comedy, but I don¿t think it will ever again number among my very favorites from Shakespeare. And that is my fault, not his.As for the play itself, what is there to say? The language is wonderful, of course. Every word, every phrase, every sentence is perfectly judged. No one has ever equaled Shakespeare when it comes to using literary devices to bring about specific dramatic effects. The same features that make Oberon¿s speeches so lyrically beautiful—alliteration, rhyme, assonance¿Shakespeare uses to highlight the ridiculousness of the mechanical¿s entertainment. Has there ever been alliteration as funny as this?Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade,He bravely broached his broiling blood breastThe whole of the Pyramus and Thisbe play-within-a-play is inspired; I don¿t know whether Midsummer came before or after Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare¿s oeuvre, but it¿s wonderful to see him touch on the same themes in a comic context. I had to stage that scene with zombies and werewolves for a class this past semester (you see? ¿ this play just won¿t let me alone!), and let me tell you, anything that can survive that treatment is pure gold.Some things surprised me while I was rereading this. One was the maturity of the content; Demetrius basically tells Helena that, if she does not stop following him, he will rape her! Shakespeare ain¿t for the kiddies, folks.Helena is, I think, my favorite character, after Bottom and Puck. The latter¿s closing speech is one of my favorites from Shakespeare, and probably the best of his epilogues, with the possible exception of Prospero¿s from The Tempest.In spite of my erratic history with the play, I would recommend it. You can¿t go wrong with the Bard.
susiesharp on LibraryThing 10 months ago
How do you review Shakespeare? I guess I can say this Play is my favorite of Shakespeare¿s plays. This has been reviewed by much better reviewers than me so I will just review the audio.I listened to the full cast audiobook with musical interludes and it was really good. Narration is by 20 wonderful cast members from Naxos Audiobooks. I have always said Shakespeare is meant to be read out-loud so this was a treat like listening to a play of it with songs and sound effects.If you get the chance to listen to this on audio you should do it!
vandev11 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
¿A Midsummer Night¿s Dream¿ follows two interwoven stories, one concerning the marriage of Lysander and Hermia, and the other concerning the transformation of Nick Bottom into a donkey by the queen of fairies.This is one of Shakespeare¿s more easily accessible plays for younger audiences, although the plot lines can be confusing at times. This play shows the lighter side of Shakespeare¿s works and can be very rewarding for students who are unfamiliar with or daunted by Shakespeare¿s works.
brianinbuffalo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As hard as I've tried, I could never quite get into this one. I've read it once and seen it performed twice. Both productions were classy. Still, I found the play tedious.
HvyMetalMG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having taken a Shakespeare class in college, I've read, studied and analyzed a number of the bard's plays. This was a sleeper as it turned out to be my favorite. If a book this old can make me laugh, that says something, especially when most television shows today can't make me smirk.
LibraryLou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favourite Shakespeare plays, very witty and funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are only 16 pages in this. Extremely disappointed in this. Why would there be a thing with just 16 pages. You should really tell people in the description that it doesn't include the entire play.