Reviews

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Teacher's Guide, by William Shakespeare

reynate's review

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funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

melbsreads's review

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3.0

I studied this in year 11 literature way back in 1999. And this was the first time I'd picked it up since. I've read many other Shakespeare plays in the years in between, and figured it was time to reread this one as well.

Unfortunately, I think this is one of the plays that works MUCH better on the stage than it does in script form. I'm sure if I saw it live at the Globe, as it was intended to be seen, I would absolutely love it. But I didn't see it at the Globe and I didn't love it.

Honestly? I think my biggest problem with this is that it feels like two half plays mashed into one. Because on the one hand, it's set in Greece and you've got Theseus, Duke of Athens about to marry Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Then you've got four Athenians - Hermia, Helena, Demetrius and Lysander. So far so good.

But then you go and add in characters with very 16th century Britain names and professions, like Nick Bottom, Peter Quince, Robin Starveling, and Francis Flute. And THEN on top of all of that, you add fairies. Which is about the one thing that ancient Greece didn't have going on in its mythology.

So to me, it sort of feels like Shakespeare had this half a play about two mixed up couples living in Athens under the reign of Theseus. And half a play about these bumbling actors putting on a play set in ancient Greece who stumble across some fairies. And he couldn't work out a way to finish either of them, so he just went "You know what? Fuck it: MASH UP TIME."

Don't get me wrong - it certainly has its moments (Wall, for example, had me cackling on the tram). But on the whole, I feel like the most memorable things about this are Puck (and I fully admit most of why Puck is memorable is my eternal love of Dead Poets Society), Bottom with his donkey's head, and that it involves fairies.

I know, I'm a terrible person. Sorry not sorry.

deileenx's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

bujobooks's review

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it's one of shakespeare's most famous for a reason. i've read for helena before, which i think is one of the cooler roles in the play (and by far the coolest female role). i'd rank this as my second favorite of his comedies, below much ado and above comedy of errors.

nevreads's review

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4.0

read in English class

spellbindingstories's review

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4.0

This is the first Shakespearian comedy that I've actually read myself rather than see as a production and I really enjoyed it. It was very lighthearted compared to the other plays by Shakespeare that I've read (all tragedies). I've read a variety of Shakespeare's works but I'm thinking I need to read more of his comedies now! Great play!
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