A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folger Shakespeare Library)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folger Shakespeare Library)

William Shakespeare

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0743477545

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare stages the workings of love. Theseus and Hippolyta, about to marry, are figures from mythology. In the woods outside Theseus’s Athens, two young men and two young women sort themselves out into couples—but not before they form first one love triangle, and then another.

Also in the woods, the king and queen of fairyland, Oberon and Titania, battle over custody of an orphan boy; Oberon uses magic to make Titania fall in love with a weaver named Bottom, whose head is temporarily transformed into that of a donkey by a hobgoblin or “puck,” Robin Goodfellow. Finally, Bottom and his companions ineptly stage the tragedy of “Pyramus and Thisbe.”

The authoritative edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

-Scene-by-scene plot summaries

-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases

-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language

-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books

-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Catherine Belsey

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.

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I am able) a number of stylistic and typographical devices: • The annotation of a single word does not repeat that word • The annotation of more than one word repeats the words xiv about this book being annotated, which are followed by an equals sign and then by the annotation; the footnote number in the text is placed after the last of the words being annotated • In annotations of a single word, alternate meanings are usually separated by commas; if there are distinctly different ranges of

wrong, 1 round dance 2 before 3 caterpillars 4 bats 5 leatherlike 6 some WAR with REriMICE for their LEAthern WINGS 7 small elves: fairies are shaped more or less like humans, but elves are dwarflike 8 keep back ϭ restrain, hold back 9 noisy 10 every night 11 marvels, is astonished by 12 quaint spirits ϭ (1) clever/ingenious, (2) unfamiliar/odd/curious songs ( OED, spirit, 15d) 13 go and do 14 duties, responsibilities* 15 forked 16 reptiles, then confused with adders

substituted for what is, after a fashion, the closest thing to a Shakespeare manuscript we are likely ever to have. We do not know whether these particular seventeenth-century printers, like most of that time, were responsible for question marks, commas, periods and, especially, all-purpose colons, or whether these particular printers tried to follow their handwrit-ten sources. Nor do we know if those sources, or what part thereof, might have been in Shakespeare’s own hand, or even whether those

thy chink, to blink123 through with mine eyne! Snout stretches out his fingers Thanks, courteous Wall. Jove shield thee well, for this. But what see I? No Thisbe do I see. O wicked Wall, through whom I see no bliss, Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me. 180 Theseus The wall, methinks, being sensible,124 should curse again.125 121 right and sinister ϭ right and left 122 wisest/most intelligent (1) structural division, (2) section of a book 123 look 124 capable of feeling and

fountain or by rushy brook, Or in the beachèd margent of the sea, To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport. Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, As in revenge have sucked up from the sea Contagious fogs which, falling in the land, Hath every pelting river made so proud That they have overborne their continents. The ox hath therefore stretched his yoke in vain, The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn Hath rotted ere

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