Item description for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series) by William Shakespeare...
The Arden Shakespeare is the established edition of Shakespeare's work. Justly celebrated for its authoritative scholarship and invaluable commentary, Arden guides you a richer understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's plays. This edition of A Midsummer Nights Dream provides, a clear and authoritative text, detailed notes and commentary on the same page as the text, a full introduction discussing the critical and historical background to the play and appendices presenting sources and relevant extracts.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.5" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Sep 6, 1979
ISBN 1903436605 ISBN13 9781903436608
Availability 0 units.
More About William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon." His extant works include some collaboration, consisting of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
William Shakespeare lived in Stratford-Upon-The Avon. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Midsummer Night's Dream (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series)?
Excellent publication Sep 21, 2007
The Arden series was requested as a gift and by someone who knows it well. Shakespearean students will appreciate this publication.
Magical and funny play in a fine edition Nov 22, 2004
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. It is Titania who is under the influence of the magic flower who is infatuated with Bottom while he remains quite oblivious to her desires.
In any case, this is a fine edition of the work with many helps for the reader. Almost half the book is filled with introductory essays that provide background on the play and its text. The play itself is full of notes to help the reader understand idioms and definitions of words that are obscure, unique to Shakespeare, or that have changed meaning since 1596. There are four Appendices that cover source materials for the play, realigned text that the editors believe were corrupted in the sources we have for the play and the last one is the prologue to the play that Peter Quince butchers to the amusement of the nobles. The appendix provides us with the prologue with correct punctuation, as Quince should have read it.
All the background material is interesting and enriches our understanding of the play. But it is the play that matters and is so much fun to read.