A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Guide to the Play
A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's happiest comedies and his first clear triumph in that genre. A perennial favourite in stage performance, it has also been made into successful films, and students of all ages love to act in it. The play is also remarkably complex. Shakespeare presents several different worlds, draws on a rich tradition of folk and fairy lore, and questions the art of dramatic representation. This reference is a convenient and thorough introduction to his comedy. It then considers his sources and contexts, along with the play's characters, language, and plot. The volume next examines the play's themes and its critical and scholarly reception. Because of the play's tremendous popularity, separate chapters treat stage and film versions. A selected, annotated bibliography summarizes the most important works for further reading.
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Contexts and Sources
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action actors appears ass's head Athenian Athens audience awakens begins Bergomask Bottom Brook Bullough Cambridge camera chapter characters cites comic contrast costumes couples criticism culture dance Demetrius dialogue Dramatic Sources E. K. Chambers edition Egeus Egeus's Elizabethan England enter erotic essay example eyes Fairy Queen female film Foakes forest friendship gender Halio Hermia Hermia and Helena Hermia's dream Hoffman Holland Ibid imagination Indian boy Knight's Tale later lines London Lysander Lysander's magic marriage Midsummer Night's Dream Moonlight Revels Narrative and Dramatic Northrop Frye notes Oberon and Titania opera Oxford Philostrate play-within-the-play play's production psychoanalytical Puck Puck's Pyramus and Thisbe Quince's reality reason role Romeo and Juliet Royal Shakespeare Company rude mechanicals scene sexual Shake Shakespeare in Performance Shakespeare's Comedies Shakespeare's plays sing sleep songs speare's speech stage suggests theater theme Theseus and Hippolyta Theseus's University Press wedding William Shakespeare woman women York young lovers