A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Guide to the Play

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Greenwood Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 168 pages
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"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is one of Shakespeare's happiest comedies and his first clear triumph in that genre. A perennial favorite in stage performance, it has also been made into a number of successful films. Yet the play is also remarkably complex, as 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.

The book begins with a discussion of the play's genesis and textual history. 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
Dramatic Structure

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About the author (2003)

JAY L. HALIO is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Delaware. His numerous publications include King Lear: A Guide to the Play (2001), Romeo and Juliet: A Guide to the Play (1998), and Understanding The Merchant of Venice (2000), all available from Greenwood Press.

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