A Midsummer Night’s Dream Reviews by Tollie Schmidt | Oct 1, 2010 | Book Reviews | 5 comments A Midsummer Night’s Dream The beloved play by William Shakespeare. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KDz5Ci7QL.jpg Rating: (out of 15 reviews) List Price: $ 4.95 Price: $ 4.95 More “dreams” Products Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related 5 Comments E. M. Van Court on October 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm Review by E. M. Van Court for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Rating: For some bizarre reason, schools push the most painfully boring works by any author. In Shakespeare’s case, you get handed a copy of “The Tempest”, when you could get this. The underlying theory appears to be that if a book is interesting, lively, and enjoyable, it can’t be good (upon this reflection, I think Arts departments get up to the same thing, lord knows it’s the NEA’s theory). “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is interesting, lively, and enjoyable. On the eve of the wedding of King Thesseus and Queen Hippolyta, the young and dreadfully confused lovers Hermia, Lysander, Helena, and Demetrius get caught in the middle of an old married couple’s spat. The old married couple is Oberon and Titania, who have what could mildly be described as a strained marriage. Oh yes, Oberon and Titania are the king and queen of Faerie. This is Shakespearean comedy at its best. Wordplay and physical comedy abound, and timeless aspects of human nature are shown at their most sublime and ridiculous. I loved it. E.M. Van Court Shalom Freedman on October 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm Review by Shalom Freedman for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Rating: The spirit of one of Shakespeare’s richest plays is lighthearted laughter. The great impressario of the proceedings is Puck who in giving the ‘love potion’ to the wrong person, sets up the chaos of both Demetrius and Lysander loving Helena. There are numerous networks of parallel and contrast through the work , between the worlds of the royal humans, the fairies, and the craftsmen. The motif of dreaming and imagination play a strong part in the play. And the resolution in all the couples finding themselves in love and harmony at last is a supreme happy ending. This is one of Shakespeare’s most delightful and amusing works, one of the richest comically in all the world of theater. E. A Solinas on October 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm Review by E. A Solinas for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Rating: 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. But despite those small flaws, Shakespeare is in rare form here — the story floats along in an enchanted haze of fairy magic, forest groves, and a love square that twists in on itself. And Shakespeare’s lush, haunting poetry is absolutely lovely here (“With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine/There sleeps Titania sometime of the night/Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight…”). But he also packs it with plenty of hilarity — not only is it funny to read about the haughty fairy queen fawning over a guy with a donkey head (Nick Bottom = “ass’s head”, get it?), but there’s plenty of funny moments in the dialogue (“Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet…”). The four main lovers are relatively bland and interchangeable, and we never find out much about them except that Helena is kind of stalkerish and not too bright (she tips off the guy she likes that the girl HE likes is eloping so he can stop her?). The real draws are the fairy creatures — Titania and Oberon are proud alien creatures filled with both cruelty and kindness, and Puck is delightfully mischievous and…. puckish. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a shimmering little concoction of magic, romantic mayhem and fairy squabbling. Absolutely stunning. Suresh K. Nandyala on October 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm Review by Suresh K. Nandyala for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Rating: Unfortunately, I did not get this book on time. A couple of days past the due date, had to call Amazon helpline to find out the status. Happy with the response and could understand that the book is lost in the shipment. The representative was helpful to immediately ship another book on express delivery and finally got it the next businessday. Overall, the experience is good. William A. Brenner on October 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm Review by William A. Brenner for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Rating: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The New Folger Library Shakespeare) This is a terrific book, particularly for those who have not studied Shakespeare or who want to brush up on the play before seeing it performed. The play’s text is printed on the right-hand pages, with explanations of archaic or unfamiliar words, terms, meanings, characters, etc. printed on the left-hand pages. Can’t take the class? Buy this beautiful little book. I hope the New Folger Libaray publishes similar volumes for all of Shakespeare’s plays. To learn about the historical figures, events, and beliefs in Shakespeare’s plays, find a new or used copy Azimov’s Guide to Shakespeare. Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying the Works of Shakespeare. Azimov presents a lucid, interesting chapter on every play. As does Harold Bloom Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. — Bill Brenner Submit a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.