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A Midsummer Nights Dream

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Traditionally seen as one of Shakespeares more romantic and enchanting plays, A Midsummer Nights Dream has more recently been seen as a darker and more sinister play than generations of schoolchildren have ever imagined. The play has usually been seen as a comical tale with confused identities and the fickleness of youthful love, as the young lovers, Lysander, Hermia, De Traditionally seen as one of Shakespeares more romantic and enchanting plays, A Midsummer Nights Dream has more recently been seen as a darker and more sinister play than generations of schoolchildren have ever imagined. The play has usually been seen as a comical tale with confused identities and the fickleness of youthful love, as the young lovers, Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena escape parental control and the sharp Athenian law of their elders by eloping into the forest outside the city. Unfortunately they stumble into civil war in fairyland, where King Oberon and Queen Titania fight over possession of a beautiful young Indian changeling boy. The appearance of the rude mechanicals, a group of Athenian workers, including the weaver Nick Bottom, compounds the confusion. Chaos, confusion and shaping fantasies reign before the final settlement of the play, but underneath all the hilarity many critics have discerned more ambivalent attitudes towards coercive parental control, bestial sexuality and the destructive power of desire. These approaches in no way detract from the exquisite lyricism of many sections of the play, but make it a more complex and effective comedy than has often been appreciated. -- Jerry Brotton

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Traditionally seen as one of Shakespeares more romantic and enchanting plays, A Midsummer Nights Dream has more recently been seen as a darker and more sinister play than generations of schoolchildren have ever imagined. The play has usually been seen as a comical tale with confused identities and the fickleness of youthful love, as the young lovers, Lysander, Hermia, De Traditionally seen as one of Shakespeares more romantic and enchanting plays, A Midsummer Nights Dream has more recently been seen as a darker and more sinister play than generations of schoolchildren have ever imagined. The play has usually been seen as a comical tale with confused identities and the fickleness of youthful love, as the young lovers, Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena escape parental control and the sharp Athenian law of their elders by eloping into the forest outside the city. Unfortunately they stumble into civil war in fairyland, where King Oberon and Queen Titania fight over possession of a beautiful young Indian changeling boy. The appearance of the rude mechanicals, a group of Athenian workers, including the weaver Nick Bottom, compounds the confusion. Chaos, confusion and shaping fantasies reign before the final settlement of the play, but underneath all the hilarity many critics have discerned more ambivalent attitudes towards coercive parental control, bestial sexuality and the destructive power of desire. These approaches in no way detract from the exquisite lyricism of many sections of the play, but make it a more complex and effective comedy than has often been appreciated. -- Jerry Brotton
Additional Information
Title A Midsummer Nights Dream Height
William Shakespeare Width
ISBN-13 9780140620955 Binding Paperback
ISBN-10 0140620958 Spine Width
Publisher Penguin Books, Limited (UK) Pages 91
Edition 01, 1998 Availability Out Of Stock

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