Author: William Shakespeare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Edition: Reprint Edition: July 27, 2004
Summary: One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, chronicling the on-again, off-again relationships of four Athenian lovers and a Faerie King and Queen. Full of magic, meddling, marriages, and a play within a play.
So, as many of you may know, I am taking another Shakespeare class in which we will study five or so of Shakespeare’s famous plays. Number one of the list was the comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was excited to go over this play again because I haven’t studied it since high school and it really is one of my favorites.
High Notes: Absolutely hilarity ensues when the young Athenian lovers Hermia, Lysander, Helena, and Demetrius enter the forest where the fairies dwell. In the beginning of the play, Lysander and Demetrius only have eyes for the fair Hermia and poor, lanky Helena is left pining for Demetrius on the side. However, when they enter the woods and the fairy king and his mischief maker try to intervene on her behalf, they turn all the lover’s lives upside down. The confusion, bickering, and magic spells makes for a great plot and a good laugh.
The play also ends happily in marriage which is a nice change from some of Shakespeare’s more tragic endings. This is also one of the shorter plays so it’s a good one to start with. Just about all the characters are entertaining and there aren’t really any long monologues to get through.
Low Notes: The language is obviously strange for our 21st century tongues, but honestly, the more you read it, the easier it gets. When reading Shakespeare, I will often find a movie version of it and follow along as the actors on screen read the lines. Obviously, some movies are more true to the script than others, so you may have to pause the movie to catch up on what it has skipped. It has been my experience that any of Kenneth Branagh’s movies are pretty faithful. That can also mean they are very long, but if you like the content, it’s worth it.
Other than that, nothing else was low, for me at least. :)
Character Development: 4/5
Prose: N/A (Although in some of Shakespeare’s plays, some people speak in prose, I usually use this portion of the ratings to judge all non-dialogue points, and since everything is dialogue in a play, I’m considering this to be N/A and will not include it.
Style and Grammar: 5/5 (What else would I say here!? It’s flippin Shakespeare for goodness sakes!)
Overall Rating: 90%