The Oxford Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Oxford Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

3.94 (365,289 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A Midsummer Night's Dream is perhaps the best-loved of Shakespeare's plays, and certainly the one that children are likely to encounter first; its mixture of aristocrats, workers, and fairies meeting in a wood outside Athens has a magic of its own. Simple and engaging on the surface, it is nonetheless a highly original and sophisticated work, remarkable for both its literary and its theatrical mastery. The fact that it is one of the very few of Shakespeare's plays
not to draw on a narrative source suggests the degree to which it reflects his deepest imaginative concerns.

In his Introduction, defining the play in both the literary and theatrical traditions to which it belongs, Peter Holland pays particular attention to dreams and dreamers, tracing the materials out of which Shakespeare constructs his world of night and shadows in the strange but enchanting amalgam he makes of them. Both here and in the detailed commentary he draws freely upon the play's extensive performance history to illustrate the wide range of interpretations of which it is
capable.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 284 pages
  • 144 x 223 x 23mm | 498g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • halftones
  • 0198129289
  • 9780198129288

Review quote

The commentary is admirably lucid and undogmatic on textual variants ... The introduction is of the kind that ponders and explores. Holland's method is to take each aspect or element of the play and consider it in the light of earlier traditions ... his critical position emerges unobtrusively but persuasively from the attested facts. * M.M. Mahoud, YES, 27, 1996 * ...he writes absorbingly about fairy lore, the dance-like interchangeability of love-partners, the play's intense self-reflexiveness, and its teasingly simple yet maddeningly reverbative structure. * English Studies Offprint from Volume 77 Number 1, January 1996 *
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Rating details

365,289 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 33% (122,349)
4 36% (131,353)
3 23% (85,188)
2 6% (20,720)
1 2% (5,679)
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