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A Midsummer Night's Dream : (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 May 1992

56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; 1st. Edition edition (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260308
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Review

'… a fine example of judicious editorial writing. Foakes guides the reader securely and fluently through the critical and scholarly disputes that have accumulated around the play. He manages to be informative without being patronizing, and detached with out failing to offer opinions.' The Times Higher Education Supplement --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book

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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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dis Hammerhand on 22 Sept. 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 By Mp Barker on 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 By Sambrina on 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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By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Wordsworth Classics do not try to be anything they are not, a feature I have liked about them for years. They contain the text in a basic paperback format and are produced at a very cheap price. For students at Key Stage Three or GCSE, these are excellent texts, allowing them to annotate, underline and highlight in the knowledge that "they are expendable". For play production, they are ideal. Concentrating students on the text is an excellent idea which forces them to think and consider the language and that is the Shakespeare.

There is an edition of this accompanied by a CD and it is the best reasonably-priced study CD I have encountered and much better than many higher priced competitors; not only is the content excellent but the software and programming is solid too, an essential feature of any study CD.

Recommended.
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By Alexi on 22 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Another of Shakespeares great plays; a comedy this time based on two young couples who run away into the woods. With a comical series of misfortunes instigated by the fairies who have their own agenda; a really interesting plot and funny for the audience. After a very long night in the woods with many tricks played on them both the young couples return to their city the next day to be wed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave of Torquay on 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 By DGT Fisher ( Actor ) on 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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By cassandra on 6 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 imprints on other pages. there's also a little glossary in the back that explains the more archaic words and ideas. ideal for other students or just for leisure.
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