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A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folger Shakespeare Library) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

' 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 SupplementFor this updated edition a new section of the Introduction takes account of important professional theatre productions and the large output of scholarly criticism on the play which have appeared in recent years. The Reading List has also been revised and augmented. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743477545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743477543
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Anne Wingate on October 29, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JMLOJU/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_img

A piece of magic on the stage or screen--or on the electronic paper!

This is probably Shakespeare's most delightful comedy, and I'm glad I have read it in several editions and seen various versions of the play on large screen, small screen, and stage. I wish schools would teach this instead of trying to get the kids to understand Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar. Even if they don't understand this one, they can tell that it's fun and somewhat vulgar, with Bottom running around in an ass's head and the Queen of the Fairies falling in temporary love with him. "Fairy" might not yet have had its most recent meaning, but Bottom in an ass's head suggested exactly the same thing then that it suggests now

While I was getting my doctorate in English, my Shakespeare teacher worshiped Shakespeare instead of enjoying it for what it was worth. She almost went ballistic when somebody pointed out vulgarities and slapstick in the plays, because we too were supposed to worship Shakespeare instead of analyzing him. Sorry, but I was right and she was wrong. Shakespeare was a very bawdy writer, and he enjoyed being bawdy.

DO NOT see the movie Dead Poet's Society without reading or watching this play first.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Okay, so maybe I'm not the world's greatest living expert on Shakespeare, considering the fact that, other than this, I have only read Romeo and Juliet. But hey, I thought it was great. Characters like Bottom and Robin Goodfellow were hilarious. Shakespeare seems to know how to make a tangled mess of everyone's lives very well. It amazes me his power to make that seem funny at times and then seem incredibly sad at others. I have to say, I really enjoyed this comedy better than his tragedy. I'm reading The Taming of The Shrew next. I don't know if I can handle Hamlet or Othello right now. By the way, if you're like me and you need someone to explain Shakespeare's language to you, I highly recommend the New Folger Library Copy with explanations on the opposite page.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are many reasons for the popularity of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", not the least among them is the almost unique joining of the humorous misuse of language (by the tradesman actors) and the utter beauty of language and expression (by Puck, Oberon, and Titania). One usually gets a farce of language or an attempt at the sublime. Here the music of the two enriches both.

How can one put together these four disparate plotlines into such a wonderful whole? The quartet of lovers and their mixed and varied attentions forms the basis of the plot in the comedy and it is a delightful enough farce. The squabble of Demitrius and Lysander over Hermia while Helena pines over Demitrius, Oberon and Titania's argument over one of her servants and Oberon's use of Puck to manipulate Titania's affections including Puck's mistaken application of Oberon's potion to Lysander's eyes, the pending marriage of Thesus and Hippolyta, and the wonderfully, magically awful play being put on by the tradesman for the nobles. Putting all this into a wonderful whole is an achievement that I believe is unmatched.

I do want to say that this play has suffered a great deal in our sex obsessed age. We have foisted on this play an eroticism that it does not claim for itself nor display. While the "adult" couples (Thesus & Hippolyta, Oberon & Titania) interact and talk in ways that include that aspect of their lives, the youthful couples always talk and act in ways that are concerned with propriety and modesty. Bottom is hardly the lust blinded brute depicted in modern productions. He is much more interested in eating and chatting with his Fairy friends than Titania.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ReaderFromAK on October 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm surprised that none of the reviews I've read (I didn't read them all, but about 25) even mention the pictures in this wonderful edition by Bruce Coville. I've read the play and adore it, seen it several times, etc. But the reason one would buy this book rather than Shakespeare's words is for the clear, modern English storytelling and the gorgeous images. This is a wonderful book to introduce Shakespeare to anyone. I personally love the poetry of Shakespeare's lines but know that they are difficult for children and Shakspeare newbies. This book tells the story in clear words and great pictures, full of classical fairies and beautiful maidens and valorous youths (plus some great facial expressions on Bottom). Worth every penny.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By DLH on January 5, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
i read this, and i just fell in love with it. i think this has become my favorite book or whatever it's concidered as of all time! i love how it's set up on this; it makes it very pleasing to read with a simple layout for it. some of his other plays on the kindle are set up in a more confusing way, but this one is jsut right. i cannot wait until we do julius caeser in my english class!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mel G. on October 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is great. It does a great job of breaking down the text of "Midsummer" and telling what it really means. On one page is the actual text of the play; On the direct opposite page is the translation. The only translation I've found so far that is way out there is the translation of "Tary rash wanton...." The translation is "Wait a minute, you brazen hussy...." Now, HOW is that an understandable translation?? This is the only thing that puts a damper on a perfect score. While I was in a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," our director frequently had us refer to the book to figure out what in the world we were saying. I highly reccommend buying this book.
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