Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream
by William Shakespeare
Summary from Goodreads:

"Each edition includes: 
Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play 
Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play 
Scene-by-scene plot summaries 
A key to famous lines and phrases 
An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language 
An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play 
Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books 

Essay by Catherine Belsey

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu."


I got a copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream because it had been quoted, retold or mentioned in several YA books I’ve read, so I got curious. 

While I was reading through it, I was quizzical about the fact that this was a comedy. The plot seemed tragic for me, especially the short play about Phyramus and Thisbe; I read it from Edith Hamilton’s Mythology so I felt it to be sad and heartbreaking. 

Anyway, when I got through the part where Lysander and Demetrius chasing each other through the woods, I laughed a little imagining how it would look like on an actual play on stage. I guess it was a comedy after all, knowing Puck’s stupidity or intentional prank towards his tasks and how awful the play of Phyramus and Thisbe turned out to be. 

I am a bit puzzled with the writing style since the vocabulary is deep but I somehow managed to understand it. When I think of the characters, I wasn’t able to get to know them that well since their roles were simply stated bluntly and not as descriptive as I would like it to be. 

When I finished reading this, I felt that there should’ve been more to it. It seemed the story was much too simple and that the idea of the tale had so much to offer. 

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