A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Paperback The RSC Shakespeare

By (author) William Shakespeare, Edited by Jonathan Bate, Edited by Eric Rasmussen

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Paperback | 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 14mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 5 September 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 0230217893
  • ISBN 13: 9780230217898
  • Sales rank: 100,625

Product description

From the Royal Shakespeare Company - a fresh new edition of Shakespeare's most loved comedy. This book includes: * An introduction to A Midsummer Night's Dream by award-winning scholar Jonathan Bate * The play - with clear explanatory notes on each page * A scene-by-scene analysis * An introduction to Shakespeare's career and the Elizabethan theatre * A rich exploration of approaches to staging the play The most enjoyable way to understand a Shakespeare play is to see it or participate in it. This book presents a historical overview of A Midsummer Night's Dream in performance, recommends film versions, takes a detailed look at specific productions and includes interviews with three leading Directors - Michael Boyd, Gregory Doran and Tim Supple - so that we may get a sense of the extraordinary variety of interpretations that are possible - a variety that gives Shakespeare his unique capacity to be reinvented and made 'our contemporary' four centuries after his death. www.rscshakespeare.co.uk

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Author information

JONATHAN BATE is Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, University of Warwick, UK, and the editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He has held visiting posts at Harvard, Yale and UCLA and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, and a Governor and Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. A prominent critic, award-winning biographer and broadcaster, he is the author of several books on Shakespeare, including The Genius of Shakespeare (Picador), which was praised by Sir Peter Hall, founder of the RSC, as "the best modern book on Shakespeare." In June 2006 he was awarded a CBE by HM The Queen 'for services to Higher Education'. ERIC RASMUSSEN is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, USA, and the Textual Editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama and has edited volumes in both the Arden Shakespeare and Oxford World's Classics series. He is the General Textual Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project - one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. For over nine years he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for the Shakespeare Survey.

Review quote

'Jonathan Bate writes with as much elegance as insight about the making of theatre and the creation of the plays.' -Richard Eyre, The Sunday Telegraph 'Footnotes at the bottom of each page gloss unfamiliar vocabulary, paraphrase tricky meanings and uncover bawdy puns. There is a universe to be found in these annotations: the Renaissance world of power and fate, sex and death, language and philosophy.' - Times Educational Supplement

Editorial reviews

Of late many classic titles - including the Bible - have been turned into manga, in a 21st-century version of the venerable Classics Illustrated comics. This take on the Bard boils his play down to approximately 20 words per page, drastically abridging the text, though keeping intact the original language and meter. A fully colored dramatis personae reduces the characters to sound bites and shines in comparison to the flat, gray-toned images that murkily tell the story itself. As drawn by Brown, the characters are decidedly more Western-looking in their styling than is typical to most manga, and the adaptor's choice of setting is an anachronistic mishmash of quasi-antique and modern, a choice that will leave sophisticated readers knowledgeable with the text slightly puzzled. The Tempest (ISBN: 978-0-8109-9476-8), drawn by Paul Duffield, follows an identical template. These attempts to convert Shakespeare into visual language fall flat, although the slick manga styling alone may attract some new readers to these works. (plot summary, author's biography) (Graphic fiction. 13 & up) (Kirkus Reviews)

Table of contents

Introduction to the Play Magical thinking Metamorphosis The festive world 'The poet's eye ... the poet's pen' Introduction to the Text Key Facts A Midsummer Night's Dream Textual Notes Scene-by-scene Analysis A Midsummer Night's Dream in Performance: the RSC and Beyond Four Centuries of the Dream: An Overview At the Royal Shakespeare Company The Director's Cut: interviews with Michael Boyd, Gregory Doran, Tim Supple Shakespeare's Career in the Theatre Shakespeare's Works: a Chronology Further Reading and Viewing Acknowledgements and Picture Credits