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A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare Made Easy) [Paperback]

William Shakespeare
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1985 --  

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Book by Shakespeare, William

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What night-rule about this haunted grove? May 30 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
It's neither the best nor worst of Shakespeare's many comedies, but "A Midsummer Night's Dream" definitely holds one honor -- it's the most fantastical of his works. This airy little comedy is filled with fairies, spells, love potions and romantic mixups, with only the bland human lovers making things a little confusing (who's in love with whom again?).

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.
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Format:Paperback
I purchased many titles in the "Shakespeare Made Easy" series. It has a modern English translation side by side with the original text. It helped tremendously when it came to school assignments.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable romp with very little substance. Aug. 12 2003
Format:Paperback
This play is tremendously fun, one of the most enjoyable of Shakespeare's plays, (and one of the easiest to read for a modern reader) but like most of his romances, it demonstrates a roughly sixth-grade understanding of romantic love. At least in a comedy, there's some excuse for this, and it's a tradition that certainly hasn't changed in over 400 years (see: "Shallow Hal", for example) but in general, the characters in this play have about the depth and plausibility of, say, the Three Stooges.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short but sweet July 20 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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. The story itself is fairly well known. I would reccomend _Much Ado About Nothing_ for those who enjoy _Midsummer_'s light-hearted comedy and are willing to explore some of the themes a bit more deeply and seriously.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Midsummer Night's Dream April 14 2003
Format:Paperback
A Midsummer Night's Dream is certainly one of the most popular Shakespearean plays. Few other dramas display such a combination of theatrical appeal: comedy and dance, music and fairies, rustics and the moonlit woods. This unit examines the enchanting play and its theme of love and love's folly. A Midsummer Night's Dream contains some wonderfully lyrical expressions of lighter Shakespearean themes, most notably those of love, dreams, and the stuff of both, the creative imagination itself.
I believe that Shakespeare wrote A Midsummer Night's Dream as a light entertainment to accompany a marriage celebration.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Frivolous April 2 2003
Format:Paperback
On the first read, I thought this was really silly stuff, but on the second read I thought it had some of Shakespheare's best romantic poetry in it.
This story contains yet another authoritarian father of Shakespheare's creation, Egeus, telling his daughter Hermia who she will marry (Demetrius) and not marry (Lysander). There is also her sister Helena who is in love with Demetrius, but Demetrius does not love her. Enter the fairies, mainly Oberon and his servant Puck who muck things up further by enchanting Lysander and Demetrius into falling in love with Helena instead of their previous darling girl Hermia. Tension ensues as Helena thinks that she is being mocked and Hermia thinks that Helena has stolen away her men. Puck and the fairies eventually right things by enchanting Demetrius to match up with Hermia and Lysander with Helena.
There is a subplot with working class rustics who try to put on a play of Pyramus and Thisbe, two lovers that die tragically. (Imagine construction workers putting on a romantic play, for modern day comparison.) The leader Snug and his company of Bottom, Quince, Flute, Snout, and Starveling prepare a play at night in the woods and the mischievous fairy Puck attaches a donkey's posterior to Bottom's head and makes the queen fairy Titania fall in love with him and his fine feature. Eventually, Puck reverses this predicament before the night is over.
Bottom and company put on the play in the last act for the nobles of city who are Theseus, Duke of Athens, and his company of the soon to be married nobles Demetrius and Hermia and Lysander and Helena, among others. The play is so bad it's comical. The usual tragic romantic deaths in plays like Romeo and Juliet are parodied in this act.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A light and enjoyable introduction to Shakespear
As a new Shakespeare reader, I can not compare it with his other plays, but I can say that A mid Summer night's dream is a light and enjoyable play. Read more
Published on April 27 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars A light and enjoyable introduction to Shakespear
As a new Shakespeare reader, I can not compare it with his other plays, but I can say that A mid Summer night's dream is a light and enjoyable play. Read more
Published on April 27 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars A light and enjoyable introduction to Shakespear
As a new Shakespeare reader, I can not compare it with his other plays, but I can say that A mid Summer night's dream is a light and enjoyable play. Read more
Published on April 27 2002 by "jessiepotter"
3.0 out of 5 stars A light and enjoyable introduction to Shakespear
As a new Shakespeare reader, I can not compare it with his other plays, but I can say that A mid Summer night's dream is a light and enjoyable play. Read more
Published on April 27 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical and comic read!
I won't tell the whole plot of the play, for then I'll be destroying the mystery. I'll just say a tiny bit of the story so one will get the idea:
1. Read more
Published on July 24 2001 by Riku Sunshine =)
5.0 out of 5 stars LOTS OF FUN TO READ!
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 more
Published on June 24 2001 by "sasafrast"
4.0 out of 5 stars You feel like in a dream
When you are reading the play you feel like in a dream The play both contains romantic and anti-romantic attitudes. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2001
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