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


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Product Details

  • Series: Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743482816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743482813
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

The edition is clean, clear, and easy-to-read, with just enough helpful notes on the facing page.
W. Billingham
I am preparing to teach a class (for ages 10 and up) on "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and a friend recommended this lovely edition as a great version for children.
Ingrid
They love their books so much that they asked me to buy more books from the Folger Shakespeare Library which I have.
Raising Thinkers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 2, 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Axe Amazonian on June 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Plays, even plays classified as comedies in the modern sense, don't always have a light spirit. For example, one famous scene of "Much Ado About Nothing" is flatly painful, and the viciousness of the "bad guy" in the play is fierce enough to keep present-day readers from ever relaxing.

This play, however, is light. It starts silly, stays silly, and ends silly. It is a comedy of errors, of crossed young lovers, of crossed old husbands and wives, of a kindly but perilous king and his considerate warrior queen, and of forest spirits causing mischief (accidentally) and then (honorably) setting their mischief right. Most of all, the play is about Nick Bottom, Peter Quince, Francis Flute, Tom Snout, Snug (the joiner), and Robin Starveling, the greatest thespians of their age or any other, and of their play within this play, The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe.

Everyone should meet Nick Bottom at least once.

A reader wishing to escape a while into a light-hearted place should consider this play. It is easy to read, easy on the heart; the poetry is beautiful; and the play is genuinely funny.

PS. As a general guide through the plays, readers new to Shakespeare might consider an inexpensive and famous book of criticisms by someone that really loved Shakespeare's plays: Shakespeare (New York Review Books Classics).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Daly on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" was the first Shakespearean work (aside from a few sonnets) I read. It was throughly enjoyable, although none of it was all that funny. Our teacher did continually call the boy who played Bottom an ass-head, which I'm sure enhanced the experience for me. The plot is pretty simple, though it being Shakespearean, it could be a little difficult to keep track of. This particular edition I found helpful. It includes definitions of some unknown words, as well as a section of famous quotes, which I found quite interesting. In general, I liked the play, and the Folger Shakespeare Library made the experience better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gochu on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant teaching ideas that work with students from grade 4 through graduate school. The book presents an approach that leads students into enjoyable experiences with Shakespeare's language instead of teaching them to depend on tedious paraphrase or translation. An added bonus is the array of photos from different productions--on stage and film--that help students see that there's no one right way to do it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just ordered this edition of the play and have been utterly thrilled. I wish that we had used a version like this in my college Shakespeare classes. I am preparing to teach a class (for ages 10 and up) on "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and a friend recommended this lovely edition as a great version for children. I didn't realize that it could also be a great version for adults!

For many of the students in my class, this will be their first Shakespeare play *in the original language* and *unabridged*. This version makes the entire play so much more accessible. Each page has Shakespeare's text on the right side and an explanation on the left (a quick summary at the top, plus explanations of unusual phrases/words below that). In addition, many pages include photos of different versions of that very scene.

Plus, the book has several color photos of various productions and includes teaching ideas. The book is so good that I already gave my copy away and have to order more for the class, so I can't refer to it right now to add additional details for the review! This book was a lovely surprise and well worth the money.

I own The Riverside Shakespeare, so I didn't think I needed another edition of any of Shakespeare's plays. This book proved me wrong. Even though I am an adult and have already read most of the bard's plays, I still found this version educational and entertaining.
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