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A Midsummer Night's Dream Mass Market Paperback – Full length, March 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; annotated edition edition (March 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671722794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671722791
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
There are fairies and elves galore in it, as well as some very wonderful characters.
S. Schwartz
I really liked the book because it was funny and it kept me on the edge, something that I didn't think would happen in this play.
Amazon Customer
A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays and yet is his most slaughtered play on stage.
Damon Navas-Howard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a great play. It was my first time reading Shakespeare and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are a few sets of characters in this, and that makes it a little hard to understand at first. There is
There are the Athenians: Theseus, Philostrate, Hippolytta, Egeus, Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, and Lysander.
The Artisans or Actors: Quince, Snout, Snug, Flute, Starveling, and Bottom (Not named Bottom for just any reason)
The Fairies: Oberon, Titania, Robin Goodfellow (Puck), Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mustardseed, and Mote.
These characters are brought together all by one character, Robin Goodfellow. He is the servant of Oberon and he is ordered to complete some tasks, but he messes up. All of the characters are than linked by him. I won't tell you what happens because that is the good part of the book. I really liked the book because it was funny and it kept me on the edge, something that I didn't think would happen in this play. I read this in 7th grade and had a little trouble understanding it. Our class was told to buy the New Folger kind, because it helped explain the story. The book is a little hard to understand so is what Folger has done is put the synopsis of the scene at the beginning of each scene on the left hand page. Also on the left page are vocabulary words to help you further understand the book. The play is than written on the right hand side of the page. This makes life much easier. The plot is great and I didn't give it away so I expect you to buy the book at this cheap price and read the great play, A Midsummer Night's Dream!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy_Froh on March 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different time or place? Just pick up a copy of this comedy by William Shakespeare. It is a book that mixes four plots interchangeably, thus blurring the line between what is real and what is not. It is a book about Fairies, Royalty, and Struggling Actors. A timeless classic, that, once begun, is almost impossible to put down. Those who read through it's magical pages will never forget the content therein.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play in Five Acts, and revolves around several major characters, each of which can be classified into selective groups.
The Athenians (and lovers): Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, Philostrate (completely unimportant to the plot), Demetrius, Hermia, Lysander, and Helena.
The Actors: Peter Quince, Nick Bottom, Francis Flute, Tom Snout, Snug, and Robin Starveling
The Fairies: Oberon, Titania, Puck, Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed
The play successfully intertwines multiple plots, which, I believe is absolutely astounding. The play is brought together by one single event: The marriage of Theseus (The Duke of Athens) and Hippolyta (Queen of the Amazons). This event brings all the characters together to form what would become A Midsummer Night's Dream.
What's most interesting about the play though, are the various interpretations of it. Some feel that the reason the lovers went into the forest was to escape from the harshness of Athenian law and enter into the realm of the natural world. Some people feel that the end is the affirmation of the status quo. That is, with the ruling class men showing their superiority over the working class actors. But isn't this the very thing that is so great about Shakespeare? Shakespeare leaves each and every play open to many, many interpretations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher B. Jonnes on May 21, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was a restless ninth-grader, having just plowed through Dickens' Great Expectations under duress from a crotchety English-teaching schoolmarm, when the next assignment came down: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. All hope for excitement in life seemed lost. But as I did my duty and read this book, it grabbed hold of me. It was actually good. By the end of the story, it had become a defining moment in my literary life. I was astounded that some crusty old guy from England four hundred years ago could write such a funny, entertaining, and insightful tale. I've been a book lover ever since.
The story is a unique mix of romantic comedy and fantasy. Young couples are caught in a swirl of complicated love triangles. Theseus and Hippolyta are to be married. Lysander loves Hermia, whose father, Egius, prefers she marry Demetrius. And Helena, friend of Hermia, loves Lysander. So it goes.
When all the parties visit the forest on a midsummer night--along with a troupe of actors practicing their performance for Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding--a group of fairies led by Oberon, Titania, and Puck further complicate matters by introducing a magical love potion. What follows is one of the most hilarious and sophisticated tales ever written. It is truly genius, and deserving of its stature as a timeless classic. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "miezee" on December 29, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
New Folger's Shakespeare plays have a section of each page that defines and has pictures of archaic words and phrases, which aids in understanding of complicated plays like this one, which weaves together 3 sets of stories:
Fairies:
characters:
-Titania, queen of fairies, and her entourage: Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed
-Oberon, queen of fairies, and his sidekick, the troublemaking Puck(a.k.a. Robin Goodfellow)
plot(s): Oberon and Titania are one of those couples that really should get divorced, but don't, so their marriage is one of tensions and revenge. Their latest fight is over a young boy given to Titania. Oberon wants the boy, but Titania refuses to give the boy to him. Oberon, wanting revenge, sends Puck to find a magical flower that, rubbed into a person's eyes, can make that person fall in love with the first thing/person they see. After using the flower to cause some trouble among the humans(Athenians), Puck rubs the flower on Titania's eyes. Puck makes sure the first thing she sees upon waking is Bottom, a human(actor), whose head Puck has turned into a ass's head(the donkey kind, not the kind synonymous to Bottom's name)...much hilarity ensues
Humans(Athenians):
-Theseus, king
-Hippolyta, Amazon queen, betrothed to Theseus
-Egeus, Hermia's father
-Philostrate, Theseus's master of revels(in charge of entertainment)
-Hermia, spoiled brat
-Helena, Hermia's friend
-Lysander, loves Hermia
-Demetrius, loves Hermia
plot(s): At the beginning, both Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia, but Egeus wants Hermia to wed Demetrius(her options are to wed Demetrius, die by her father's hand according to Athenian law, or join a nunnery). Hermia elopes with Lysander.
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