A Midsummer Night's Dream
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A Midsummer Night's Dream

By (author) , Introduction and notes by , Series edited by

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Edited, Introduced and Annotated by Cedric Watts, Professor of English Literature, University of Sussex. The Wordsworth Classics' Shakespeare Series, with Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and The Merchant of Venice as its inaugural volumes, presents a newly-edited sequence of William Shakespeare's works. The textual editing takes account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal. Its lyricism, comedy (both broad and subtle) and magical transformations have long made A Midsummer Night's Dream one of the most popular of Shakespeare's works. The supernatural and the mundane, the illusory and the substantial, are all shimmeringly blended. Love is treated as tragic, poignant, absurd and farcical. 'Lord, what fools these mortals be!', jeers Robin Goodfellow; but the joke may be on him and on his master Oberon when Bottom the weaver, his head transformed into that of an ass, is embraced by the voluptuously amorous Titania. Recent stage-productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream have emphasised the enchanting, spectacular, ambiguous and erotically joyous aspects of this magical drama which culminates in a multiple celebration of marriage.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 124.46 x 193.04 x 7.62mm | 68.04g
  • Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Herts, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Annotated
  • annotated edition
  • glossary
  • 1853260304
  • 9781853260308
  • 16,985

Review Text

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)

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