A Midsummer Night's Dream

Mass Market Paperback | January 1, 1988

byWilliam ShakespeareEditorDavid Bevington, David Scott Kastan

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Magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood provide the materials for one of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies. When four young lovers, fleeing the Athenian law and their own mismatched rivalries, take to the forest of Athens, their lives become entangled with a feud between the King and Queen of the Fairies. Some Athenian tradesmen, rehearsing a play for the forthcoming wedding of Duke Theseus and his bride, Hippolyta, unintentionally add to the hilarity. The result is a marvelous mix-up of desire and enchantment, merriment and farce, all touched by Shakespeare’s inimitable vision of the intriguing relationship between art and life, dreams and the waking world.

Each Edition Includes:
• Comprehensive explanatory notes
• Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship
• Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English
• Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories
• An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography

From Our Editors

Newly revised, this comic play by Shakespeare features a new Introduction by Sylvan Barnet, former Chairman of the English Department at Tufts University, an updated bibliography, suggested references, and stage and film history.

From the Publisher

Magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood provide the materials for one of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies. When four young lovers, fleeing the Athenian law and their own mismatched rivalries, take to the forest of Athens, their lives become entangled with a feud between the King and Queen of the Fairies. Some Athenian tradesmen...

From the Jacket

Magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood provide the materials for one of Shakespeare's most delightful comedies. When four young lovers, fleeing the Athenian law and their own mismatched rivalries, take to the forest of Athens, their lives become entangled with a feud between the King and Queen of the Fairies. Some Athenian tradesmen...

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King’s New Scho...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 6.89 × 4.18 × 0.59 inPublished:January 1, 1988Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553213008

ISBN - 13:9780553213003

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Customer Reviews of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love Shakespeare! Ever since I read my first Shakespeare play in grade 10, I have been a huge fan of the beloved Bard. Funnily enough, in my high school, the first Shakespeare play that people would usually read was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, however my class read Twelfth Night instead. For this reason I feel like I’ve been late to the party when it comes to reading and knowing the plot of this play! That being said, this was a wonderful Shakespearean comedy, and I can see why teachers would use this one as an introduction to his work. There are fairies, a love rectangle, a play within a play, a lot of confusion, and a guy whose head gets turned into a donkey. How can you go wrong? I think one of the reasons I loved Shakespeare right from the beginning was because I found the language easier to understand than I thought. Not that Shakespearean language is easy, but it was so hyped up for my entire educational career, that I thought it was going to be like reading gibberish. That was not the case, and it turned out that the characters were charming, the plot amusing, and the language beautiful. Like I said, I had read and loved Twelfth Night in grade 10, but the same can be said for A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well. As a high school teacher, I would definitely want to teach Shakespeare plays (my favourite being Macbeth), and I want to think of interesting ways of teaching it and making fun projects for the students to do. Contrary to popular belief, Shakespeare’s plays are excellent pieces to study because of the universal and timeless themes, and there are so many ways teachers could make these plays interesting and relevant for the modern student. I may write a separate blog post on the relevancy and importance of Shakespeare because I have so much to say about the topic. As an educator and a lover of Shakespeare I’m pretty biased when it comes to that debate! I would definitely choose this play or Twelfth Night as an introductory Shakespeare piece. Although I’m blanking on any modern adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the movie She’s The Man is an excellent teen flick for Twelfth Night. If you know of any for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, please let me know so I can use them in class! I was so happy to cross another Shakespeare play off my TBR, and I can’t wait to see which one I want to pick up next!
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favorite of S's Comedy This is my favorite of S's comedies. The plot is silly (as they all are) the language and imagination is beyond description, especially in the realm of the fairies. If you're going to read one of S's comedies, this is it.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cheerful and Exciting book to read!! I liked the ending of this story.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Light hearted #plumreview World probably have this closer to a three and a half star review. Not as big a fan of Shakespeare's comedies, far prefer the tragedies. So of the puns come of a little cheesy for the modern reader.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic I remember reading this in highschool and to date still one of my favourites!
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rom-com with Fairies A Shakespeare play that won't leave you depressed. This play is basically a rom-com with fairies. Laughs will be had and definitely the easiest Shakespeare's play I have ever read. So if you find his plays a little intimidating, I would suggest trying this one first. It also redefines falling in love with an ass...
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME BOOK!!! This book should be read by all that love fantasy and love stories! The tale in which everyone loves the wrong person is confusing to some but if you understand shakespeare, you'll love this book for sure!!!
Date published: 2008-10-05

Extra Content

From Our Editors

Newly revised, this comic play by Shakespeare features a new Introduction by Sylvan Barnet, former Chairman of the English Department at Tufts University, an updated bibliography, suggested references, and stage and film history.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for William Shakespeare: Complete Works:“A feast of literary and historical information.” -The Wall Street Journal