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A Midsummer Night's Dream (No Fear Shakespeare) Paperback – Jul 3 2003
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Traditionally seen as one of Shakespeare's more romantic and enchanting plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream has more recently been seen as a darker and more sinister play than generations of schoolchildren have ever imagined. The play has usually been seen as a comical tale with confused identities and the fickleness of youthful love, as the young lovers, Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena escape parental control and the "sharp Athenian law" of their elders by eloping into the forest outside the city. Unfortunately they stumble into civil war in fairyland, where King Oberon and Queen Titania fight over possession of a beautiful young Indian "changeling" boy. The appearance of the "rude mechanicals", a group of Athenian workers, including the weaver Nick Bottom, compounds the confusion. Chaos, confusion and "shaping fantasies" reign before the final settlement of the play, but underneath all the hilarity many critics have discerned more ambivalent attitudes towards coercive parental control, bestial sexuality and the destructive power of desire. These approaches in no way detract from the exquisite lyricism of many sections of the play, but make it a more complex and effective comedy than has often been appreciated. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Praise for William Shakespeare: Complete Works:“A feast of literary and historical information.” -The Wall Street Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As Athens prepares for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, the fusty Egeus is demanding that his daughter Hermia marry the man he's chosen for her, Demetrius. Her only other options are death or nunhood.
Since she's in love with a young man named Lysander (no, we never learn why her dad hates Lysander), Hermia refuses, and the two of them plot to escape Athens and marry elsewhere. But Helena, a girl who has been kicked to the curb by Demetrius, tips him off about their plans; he chases Hermia and Lysander into the woods, with Helena following him all the way. Are you confused yet?
But on this same night, the fairy king Oberon and his queen Titania are feuding over a little Indian boy. Oberon decides to use a magical "love juice" from a flower to cause some trouble for Titania by making her fall in love with some random weaver named Nick Bottom (whom his henchman Puck has turned into a donkey-headed man). He also decides to have Puck iron out the four lovers' romantic troubles with the same potion. But of course, hijinks ensue.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is another one of Shakespeare's plays that REALLY needs to be seen before it's read. Not only is it meant to be seen rather than read, but the tangle of romantic problems and hijinks are a little difficult to follow... okay, scratch that. They can be VERY difficult to follow, especially if you need to keep the four lovers straight.Read more ›
1. Hermia and Lysander elope to get married, Demetrius follows them because he desperately loves Hermia and Helena follows Demetrius because he's the man of her dreams. All end up in a forrest.
2. King Oberon and Queen Titania have a fight over a child, and Oberon wants revenge. Plus, he decides to help a certain couple he saw in the forrest.
3. Peter Quince and his play fellows, along with the arrogant and conceited Bottom, are going to perform a play, and they chose to practice in the same forrest.
Bottom line: Puck, Oberon's servant, messes everything up.
What happens? What is the connection made between these 3 groups? Like I said, I'll not tell. ;> All I'm going to tell is that the play is worth a read. Magic, confusion, love, hate, revenge, mischance, proudness, friendship, joy, sadness, everything are all rolled into one (typical by Shakespeare).
So, looking for a good and comic read by Shakespeare? Read this one and enjoy.
Read this play if you're in the mood for lighthearted Shakespearean fluff, but not if you want something with some real meaning to it. This was, in Shakespeare's time, the equivalent of "Three's Company" or "Dharma & Greg". Light entertainment for the masses, not serious literature.
Most recent customer reviews
I thought this included a dictionary for reference but it seems I got the wrong bookPublished 4 months ago by Samm
Great book I also have the Romeo and Juliet one. It is the only way I understand shakespeare and its great help for your assignments!!Published on Nov. 28 2013 by Noah
I bought this so that some struglling readers would be able to participate in class. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, although it will still be used in the grade nine... Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2013 by dm68
This is a fabulous edition for anyone who just wants to get to the meat of the story. It's small, very portable, cheap, and doesn't waste a whole lot of time on introductions. Read morePublished on July 20 2003
This version of this book is perfect! What more could you ask for? Its only [price] and is a wonderful play about romance and the "other" world of faeries! Read morePublished on June 24 2001
Comedy schmodedy. If Shakespeare had meant it to be funny he would have put a joke in it. Me, I'm a fan of the Farrelly brothers. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2000 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Helena loves Demetrius who loves Hermia who loves Lysander. Titania and Oberon love each other but are currently fighting over a little boy. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2000
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