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Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

Matt Simpson




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It is tempting to see A Midsummer Night's Dream as a great Renaissance tapestry woven out of a rich variety of colourful threads. Matt Simpson attempts to point out some of these subtly interweaving threads in order to help us understand the complexity of Shakespeare's imagination at its most genial, so that we can experience the play's happy admixture of pagan and Christian, madness and reason, dream and nightmare, the parallel worlds of humans and fairies, as fully as possible. He draws due attention to ritual aspects of the play, to the presiding influence of the moon, and to the themes of sleeping and waking, seeing and not-seeing, love aspiring to dignity and encountering indignity, to courtly civilities and the honest endeavours of the 'hempen homespuns'. He interprets the play as constructed out of a series of meaningful contrasts and vividly sketches in some of what we need to know if we were to approach it with perhaps something of the expectations of the audience for whom it was originally written.


About the author:

Matt Simpson is also the author of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night in the Student Guide Literary Series.


108  pages

ISBN: 978-1-871551-90-7

Greenwich Exchange Category: Student Guides

Series: Student Guide



Other books by Matt Simpson published by Greenwich Exchange:

Shakespeare's The Tempest

William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Experience

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Shakespeare's Othello

Shakespeare's Macbeth

The Waste Land: T.S. Eliot

Wuthering Heights: Emily Bronte

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: James Joyce

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare's As You Like It

What the Wind Said!