A Midsummer Night's Dream (Teen Classics)

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9780062066008: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Teen Classics)
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The course of true love never did run smooth. Demetrius and Lysander love Hermia. Hermia loves Lysander, but is betrothed to Demetrius much to her dismay. And no one loves Helena, though her heart belongs to Demetrius. It seems that love has never been so complicated! When Hermia and Lysander escape through the forest at night to elope, Demetrius chases them and Helena chases him. With the magic of the forest bewitching the hand of fate, morning may find their dreams of love come true. Our teen edition of A Midsummer Night s Dream will feature both Shakespeare s original play and the top five prose retellings of the unforgettable story written by teens in the Your Midsummer Night's Dream writing contest hosted on inkpop.com. With fun Extras inside, including an excerpt of Romeo and Juliet and ten facts you never knew about Shakespeare, and a romantic-looking cover, this beautiful and accessible edition is just right for teen readers.

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Review:

Traditionally seen as one of Shakespeare's more romantic and enchanting plays, A Midsummer Night's 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

Review:

This edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream is wonderfully lucid and thoughtful, offering supporting material that will appeal to readers from high school students to scholars. The introduction is especially thoughtful, offering, in addition to expected discussions of love, magic and imagination, an exploration of the theatrical history. The bibliography and filmography are both detailed and helpful, and the questions guide students to consider the play from many viewpoints without ever forcing an interpretation onto them.

- Annalisa Castaldo, Widener University

This edition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is wonderfully lucid and thoughtful, offering supporting material that will appeal to readers from high school students to scholars. The introduction is especially thoughtful, offering, in addition to expected discussions of love, magic and imagination, an exploration of the theatrical history. The bibliography and filmography are both detailed and helpful, and the questions guide students to consider the play from many viewpoints without ever forcing an interpretation onto them.
- Annalisa Castaldo, Widener University

This edition of "A Midsummer Night s Dream" is wonderfully lucid and thoughtful, offering supporting material that will appeal to readers from high school students to scholars. The introduction is especially thoughtful, offering, in addition to expected discussions of love, magic and imagination, an exploration of the theatrical history. The bibliography and filmography are both detailed and helpful, and the questions guide students to consider the play from many viewpoints without ever forcing an interpretation onto them.
- Annalisa Castaldo, Widener University"

Even as the New Kittredge Shakespeare series glances back to George Lyman Kittredge's student editions of the plays, it is very much of our current moment: the slim editions are targeted largely at high school and first-year college students who are more versed in visual than in print culture. Not only are the texts of the plays accompanied by photographs or stills from various stage and cinema performances: the editorial contributions are performance-oriented, offering surveys of contemporary film interpretations, essays on the plays as performance pieces, and an annotated filmography. Traditional editorial issues (competing versions of the text, cruxes, editorial emendation history) are for the most part excluded; the editions focus instead on clarifying the text with an eye to performing it. There is no disputing the pedagogic usefulness of the New Kittredge Shakespeare's performance-oriented approach. At times, however, it can run the risk of treating textual issues as impediments, rather than partners, to issues of performance. This is particularly the case with a textually vexed play such as "Pericles: Prince of Tyre." In the introduction to the latter, Jeffrey Kahan notes the frequent unintelligibility of the play as originally published: "the chances of a reconstructed text matching what Shakespeare actually wrote are about 'nil'" (p. xiii) But his solution to use a "traditional text" rather than one corrected as are the Oxford and Norton "Pericles" obscures how this "traditional text," including its act and scene division, is itself a palimpsest produced through three centuries of editorial intervention. Nevertheless, the series does a service to its target audience with its emphasis on performance and dramaturgy. Kahan's own essay about his experiences as dramaturge for a college production of "Pericles" is very good indeed, particularly on the play's inability to purge the trace of incestuous desire that Pericles first encounters in Antioch. Other plays' cinematic histories: Annalisa Castaldo's edition of" Henry V" contrasts Laurence Oliver's and Branagh's film productions; Samuel Crowl's and James Wells's edition of (respectively) I and 2 "Henry IV" concentrate on Welle's "Chimes at Midnight" and Gus Van Sant's "My Own Private Idaho"; Patricia Lennox's edition of "As You Like It "offers an overview of four Hollywood and British film adaptations; and John R. Ford's edition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" provides a spirited survey of the play's rich film history.

The differences between, and comparative merits of, various editorial series are suggested by the three editions of "The Taming of the Shrew" published this year. Laury Magnus's New Kittredge Shakespeare edition is, like the other New Kittredge volumes, a workable text for high school and first year college students interested in film and theater. The introduction elaborates on one theme Elizabethan constructions of gender and offers a very broad performance history, focusing on Sam Taylor's and Zeffirelli's film versions as well as adaptations such as "Kiss Me Kate" and "Ten Things I Hate About You" (accompanied by a still of ten hearthtrobs Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles). The volume is determined to eradicate any confusion that a first time reader of the play might experience: the dramatis personae page explains that "Bianca Minola" is "younger daughter to Baptista, wooed by Lucentio-in-disguise (as Cambio) and then wife to him, also wooed by the elderly Gremio and Hortensio-in-disguise (as Licio)" (p.1). Other editorial notes, based on Kittredge's own, are confined mostly to explaining individual words and phrases: additional footnotes discuss interpretive choices made by film and stage productions. Throughout, the editorial emphasis is on the play less as text than as performance piece, culminating in fifteen largely performance-oriented "study questions" on topics such as disguise, misogyny, and violence."Studies in English Literature, Tudor and Stuart Drama, "Volume 51, Spring 2011, Number 2, pages 497-499."

This edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream is wonderfully lucid and thoughtful, offering supporting material that will appeal to readers from high school students to scholars. The introduction is especially thoughtful, offering, in addition to expected discussions of love, magic and imagination, an exploration of the theatrical history. The bibliography and filmography are both detailed and helpful, and the questions guide students to consider the play from many viewpoints without ever forcing an interpretation onto them.
- Annalisa Castaldo, Widener University



Even as the New Kittredge Shakespeare series glances back to George Lyman Kittredge's student editions of the plays, it is very much of our current moment: the slim editions are targeted largely at high school and first-year college students who are more versed in visual than in print culture. Not only are the texts of the plays accompanied by photographs or stills from various stage and cinema performances: the editorial contributions are performance-oriented, offering surveys of contemporary film interpretations, essays on the plays as performance pieces, and an annotated filmography. Traditional editorial issues (competing versions of the text, cruxes, editorial emendation history) are for the most part excluded; the editions focus instead on clarifying the text with an eye to performing it. There is no disputing the pedagogic usefulness of the New Kittredge Shakespeare's performance-oriented approach. At times, however, it can run the risk of treating textual issues as impediments, rather than partners, to issues of performance. This is particularly the case with a textually vexed play such as Pericles: Prince of Tyre. In the introduction to the latter, Jeffrey Kahan notes the frequent unintelligibility of the play as originally published: "the chances of a reconstructed text matching what Shakespeare actually wrote are about 'nil'" (p. xiii) But his solution -- to use a "traditional text" rather than one corrected as are the Oxford and Norton Pericles -- obscures how this "traditional text," including its act and scene division, is itself a palimpsest produced through three centuries of editorial intervention. Nevertheless, the series does a service to its target audience with its emphasis on performance and dramaturgy. Kahan's own essay about his experiences as dramaturge for a college production of Pericles is very good indeed, particularly on the play's inability to purge the trace of incestuous desire that Pericles first encounters in Antioch. Other plays' cinematic histories: Annalisa Castaldo's edition of Henry V contrasts Laurence Oliver's and Branagh's film productions; Samuel Crowl's and James Wells's edition of (respectively) I and 2 Henry IV concentrate on Welle's Chimes at Midnight and Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho; Patricia Lennox's edition of As You Like It offers an overview of four Hollywood and British film adaptations; and John R. Ford's edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream provides a spirited survey of the play's rich film history.

The differences between, and comparative merits of, various editorial series are suggested by the three editions of The Taming of the Shrew published this year. Laury Magnus's New Kittredge Shakespeare edition is, like the other New Kittredge volumes, a workable text for high school and first year college students interested in film and theater. The introduction elaborates on one theme -- Elizabethan constructions of gender -- and offers a very broad performance history, focusing on Sam Taylor's and Zeffirelli's film versions as well as adaptations such as Kiss Me Kate and Ten Things I Hate About You (accompanied by a still of ten hearthtrobs Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles). The volume is determined to eradicate any confusion that a first time reader of the play might experience: the dramatis personae page explains that "Bianca Minola" is "younger daughter to Baptista, wooed by Lucentio-in-disguise (as Cambio) and then wife to him, also wooed by the elderly Gremio and Hortensio-in-disguise (as Licio)" (p.1). Other editorial notes, based on Kittredge's own, are confined mostly to explaining individual words and phrases: additional footnotes discuss interpretive choices made by film and stage productions. Throughout, the editorial emphasis is on the play less as text than as performance piece, culminating in fifteen largely performance-oriented "study questions" on topics such as disguise, misogyny, and violence.

Studies in English Literature, Tudor and Stuart Drama, Volume 51, Spring 2011, Number 2, pages 497-499.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780743477543: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folger Shakespeare Library)

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9781408133491: A Midsummer Night's Dream: Third Series (Arden Shakespeare Third) (The Arden Shakespeare Third Series)

Blooms..., 2017
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