Understanding A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - 197 pages

This casebook begins by establishing the dramatic and literary concerns of the play, such as structure, themes, poetic language, and original sources and classical inspiration. Four historical context chapters consider attitudes toward gender relations, social distinctions, popular culture, and imagination in Shakespeare's time, revealing contemporary social and political issues and debates reflected in the comedy.

One of Shakespeare's most delightful plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream enchants audiences and readers with its celebration of magic, dreams, and love. This casebook begins by establishing the dramatic and literary concerns of the play. Four historical context chapters consider attitudes toward gender relations, social distinctions, popular culture, and imagination in Shakespeare's time, revealing contemporary issues and debates reflected in the comedy.

Each unit is supported by primary historical documents, including pamphlets and proclamations. A discussion of performance and interpretation focuses on how the play's popularity and perspectives have evolved over the centuries, and thematic connections to modern influences like sitcoms and Freudian dream analysis show how the play is pertinent to young readers. Numerous ideas for written assignments and oral discussions are offered, along with further suggested readings.

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Contents

I
1
II
21
III
33
IV
35
V
37
VI
39
VII
41
VIII
47
XXX
136
XXXI
137
XXXII
138
XXXIII
140
XXXIV
141
XXXV
147
XXXVI
150
XXXVII
152

IX
55
X
58
XI
62
XII
69
XIII
81
XIV
84
XV
85
XVI
89
XVII
91
XVIII
92
XIX
97
XX
106
XXI
108
XXII
110
XXIII
111
XXIV
112
XXV
116
XXVI
119
XXVII
125
XXVIII
133
XXIX
134
XXXVIII
153
XXXIX
154
XL
155
XLI
156
XLII
161
XLIII
162
XLIV
163
XLV
164
XLVII
165
XLVIII
168
L
169
LI
175
LII
176
LIV
177
LV
178
LVI
179
LVII
180
LVIII
183
LX
184
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 25 - I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too...
Page 9 - I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows ; Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine...
Page 37 - Thou art more lovely and more temperate : Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date : Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd ; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd ; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest ; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest : So long...
Page 38 - My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun ; Coral is far more red than her lips' red : If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun ; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
Page 38 - But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

About the author (2003)

FAITH NOSTBAKKEN has taught at the University of Alberta, Canada. Her research focuses on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, particularly the historical contexts. She is the author of two other books in Greenwood's Literature in Context series, Understanding Macbeth: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents (1997) and Understanding Othello (2000).

Bibliographic information