A Midsummer Night’s Dream is perhaps Shakespeare’s most popular play, particularly as a first introduction to Shakespeare for children–filled as it is with a marvelous mixture of aristocrats, workers, and fairies. Simple and engaging on the surface, it is none the less a highly original and sophisticated work, remarkable for both its literary and its theatrical mastery. It is one of the very few of Shakespeare’s plays which do not draw on narrative sources, which suggests that it reflects his deepest imaginative concerns to an unusual degree.
For this edition, Peter Holland’s introduction looks at dreams and dreamers, tracing the materials out of which Shakespeare constructs his world of night and shadows.
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