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A Midsummer Night's Dream : (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

William Shakespeare
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
RRP: 1.99
Price: 1.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 May 1992

Edited, Introduced and Annotated by Cedric Watts, Professor of English Literature, University of Sussex.

The Wordsworth Classics’ Shakespeare Series, with Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and The Merchant of Venice as its inaugural volumes, presents a newly-edited sequence of William Shakespeare’s works. The textual editing takes account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal.

Its lyricism, comedy (both broad and subtle) and magical transformations have long made A Midsummer Night’s Dream one of the most popular of Shakespeare’s works. The supernatural and the mundane, the illusory and the substantial, are all shimmeringly blended. Love is treated as tragic, poignant, absurd and farcical. ‘Lord, what fools these mortals be!’, jeers Robin Goodfellow; but the joke may be on him and on his master Oberon when Bottom the weaver, his head transformed into that of an ass, is embraced by the voluptuously amorous Titania. Recent stage-productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream have emphasised the enchanting, spectacular, ambiguous and erotically joyous aspects of this magical drama which culminates in a multiple celebration of marriage.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; 1st. Edition edition (1 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260308
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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

About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright of the 16th and 17 centuries, now widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the word's pre-eminent dramatist. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When Samuel Pepys saw A Midsummer Night's Dream in September 1662, he remarked that he had never seen it before - 'nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life'. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Portable Bard 22 Sep 2011
Format:Hardcover
I owned a large volume of the complete works of Shakespeare for a number of years and opened it perhaps once. The first play I started with was Midsummer Night's Dream. The ponderous size of the book along with the large pages filled with close print soon overwhelmed me and I gave up.

I have had a nicely filled bookcase full of the Collector's Library for a number of years and have continued to add to it. I was pleased to see Shakespeare's sonnets and some of his plays begin to appear. What a difference it made for me! I read Macbeth in one sitting. Cute little books with pictures make the Bard seem far less daunting. Each volume has an introduction and a glossary. I like the bright white paper and the pretty red cloth covers. The dustwrappers are so attractive that all you need is some ribbon and a bow to put it under the Christmas tree. They are especially handsome when you have a whole bookcase full of the little books.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a good one to start with if you've never read Shakespeare. It's lighthearted and fun with mischievous fairies and a sprinkling of magic. Frankly, it piqued my interest because I wanted to know how the unfortunately named Bottom ended up with an ass's head.

I really hope Collector's Library publishes all of Shakespeare's works like they did with Jane Austen and Sherlock Holmes.

I am now taking Hamlet to dinner.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great play, and formatting is fine. 26 Dec 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
We all know this is a great Shakespearean play, the only question to answer is: how is the formatting on the Kindle edition?

In this example it's done sufficiently and the play reads as it should. The stage directions are included in full, and are also very clear. I'm very pleased with my free download.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what you need 8 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
The book contains everything you need when putting on a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, there is a small glossary at the back for Shakespearian words no longer used and longer explanations about the significance of beards if needed

For 2 you can't fault it. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Shakespeare 18 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A true classic. Not a book I would have gone out and bought but as a free option it is unbeatable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars m s n d 28 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a great way to learn this play it sit's right in your pocket for use at any time
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Midsummer Night's Dream 22 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Appealing to the year 6 children I work with. illustrations are ideal for the story. used the text with special needs children
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great play in a great condition 14 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent service in all areas and I got the play for education in my drama course. The item does what it needed to do.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Always a pleasure 31 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I do like this text, although it is rather over-performed and studied! Some great characters and lines. This edition is good if you just want the text, as the notes and comments are not worth bothering about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairies
Romance, humour and action. Yes I've played a part in it (mustardseed) so I'm biased. When it comes to ham actors you can't find much better than the mechanicals!
Published 4 months ago by Miss M Holton
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
I would reccomend this book to everyone. It is brilliant and engaging and 4 stars describes it perfectly. I enjoyed most when Oberon and Puck restore the love of the four lovers.
Published 5 months ago by Happy
5.0 out of 5 stars :D
really impressed! the item was delivered quickly, and efficiently. the paper inside is a good thickness so i can write my notes on their without tearing the paper or causing... Read more
Published 5 months ago by cassandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Midsummer night's miracle
The classic tale that is a midsummer night's dream,brings joy and only one problem you can't put it down
Amazing
Published 8 months ago by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I don't really enjoy a lot of Shakespeare's plays really, even though I still respect them, but this one I actually really do like.
Published 10 months ago by james wray
5.0 out of 5 stars Midsummer nite
Product fine - delivery great -product as described. I really cannot be bothered to write reviews for every book I buy just to keep Amazon happy. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Tree man
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressed
For a first time student of Shakespeare this makes easy reading and it is well set out and is not too pricey for someone on a tight budget.
Published 11 months ago by Christine Glover
5.0 out of 5 stars Midsummer Night's Dream
This edition is a very cheap edition and is ideal for our - play-reading group use. It is compact and very portable. Read more
Published 11 months ago by mossy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Its great to find that you can get most of the classics for free on the Kindle. I have been working my way through them. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Shane Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
A classic book by Shakespeare that every one should read, it is interesting and a real page turner, would recommend.
Published 14 months ago by Suzy
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