A Midsummer Night's Dream (Annotated with Biography and Critical Essay)

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A Midsummer’s Night Dream was written and first performed in the mid 1590’s.  Shakespeare used the device of magic extensively in this early comedy. There are four separate but intertwined plots.




The main plot is the marriage of Duke Theseus of Athens to Hippolyta, the Amazonian queen. Theseus is looking forward to his wedding and has ordered his master of the revels to prepare a wonderful wedding feast. While Theseus waits, he is approached by Egeus, father of Hermia.  Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, who loves Hermia. Hermia, however, wants to marry Lysander.   Under Athenian law, a woman must marry according to her father’s wishes.




This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay. 

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About the author

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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Additional Information

Publisher
BookCaps Study Guides
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Published on
Nov 7, 2013
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Pages
150
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ISBN
9781610426244
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Language
English
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Genres
Drama / Shakespeare
Fiction / Classics
Reference / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Complete Collection of William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, Tragedies and Poems What's Included: THE COMEDIES All's Well That Ends Well As You Like It The Comedy of Errors Cymbeline, King of Britain Love's Labour's Lost Measure for Measure The Merchant of Venice The Merry Wives of Windsor A Midsummer Night's Dream Much Ado About Nothing Pericles, Prince of Tyre The Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Troilus and Cressida Twelfth Night The Two Gentlemen of Verona The Winter's Tale THE HISTORIES The First Part of Henry the Fourth The Second Part of Henry the Fourth The Life of Henry the Fifth The First Part of Henry the Sixth The Second Part of Henry the Sixth The Third Part of Henry the Sixth The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth The Life and Death of King John The Life and Death of King Richard the Second The Life of Richard the Third THE TRAGEDIES Antony and Cleopatra Coriolanus Hamlet Julius Caesar King Lear Macbeth Othello Romeo and Juliet Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus THE POEMS A Lover's Complaint The Rape Of Lucrece Venus and Adonis A Funeral Elegy for Master William Peter THE COMPLETE SONNETS This version has been optimized for readability and includes: BEAUTIFUL FORMATTING There is plenty of white-space which makes reading easy on the eyes. FULLY FEATURED TABLE OF CONTENTS The full Table of Contents appears at the beginning of the book and can be accessed through the MENU or GO TO button. EPUBCHECK The book successfully passes EpubCheck, developed by the IDPF. The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is the global trade and standards organization dedicated to the development and promotion of electronic publishing and content consumption.
Arguably the darkest of all Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is also one of the most challenging. Is it a work of nihilistic despair, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, or is it a cautionary tale warning of the dangers of Machiavellianism and relativism? Does it lead to hell and hopelessness, or does it point to a light beyond the darkness? This critical edition of Shakespeare’s classic psychological drama contains essays by some of today’s leading critics, exploring Macbeth as a morality play, as a history play with contemporary relevance, and as a drama that shows a vision of evil and that grapples with the problem of free will.

The Ignatius Critical Editions represent a tradition-oriented alternative to popular textbook series such as the Norton Critical Editions orOxford World Classics, and are designed to concentrate on traditional readings of the Classics of world literature. Whereas many modern critical editions have succumbed to the fads of modernism and post-modernism, this series will concentrate on tradition-oriented criticism of these great works. Edited by acclaimed literary biographer, Joseph Pearce, the Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist, or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer-choice, enabling educators, students and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. The series is particularly aimed at tradition-minded literature professors offering them an alternative for their students. The initial list will have about 15 - 20 titles. The goal is to release three books a season, or six in a year.

A foolproof, enormously fun method of teaching your children the classic works of William Shakespeare
 
To know some Shakespeare provides a head start in life. His plays are among the great bedrocks of Western civilization and contain the finest writing of the past 450 years. Many of the best novels, plays, poems, and films in the English language produced since Shakespeare’s death in 1616—from Pride and Prejudice to The Godfather—are heavily influenced by Shakespeare’s stories, characters, language, and themes. In How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig provides the tools you need to inspire an understanding, and a love, of Shakespeare’s works in your children, and to have fun together along the way.
 
        Ken Ludwig devised his friendly, easy-to-master methods while teaching his own children. Beginning with memorizing short passages from the plays, his technique then instills children with cultural references they will utilize for years to come. Ludwig’s approach includes understanding of the time period and implications of Shakespeare’s diction as well as the invaluable lessons behind his words and stories. Colorfully incorporating the history of Shakespearean theater and society, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare guides readers on an informed and adventurous journey through the world in which the Bard wrote.
 
This book’s simple process allows anyone to impart to children the wisdom of plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. And there’s fun to be had throughout. Shakespeare novices and experts and readers of all ages will each find something delightfully irresistible in How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.
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