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A Midsummer Night's Dream (No Fear Shakespeare) Study Guide ed. Edition
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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.
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
High School project! Granddaughter loved it! Arrived quickly and excellent condition.Published 1 month ago by Terrie Webb
The book it's self is pretty good, but when I received this book, it was a used copy, with writing in it and inappropriate drawings insidePublished 1 month ago by Darcie Muller
This was a great resource for my special ed students to have a visual to go with our Shakespeare unit. This was also fun for me to read! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Heidi G.