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Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare,  William
Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare

Paperback $14.99 - Penguin UK
Plays, Theatre & Dance - Published: 29/Jul/2015 - ISBN: 9780141396668

'If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended: That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear'

A young woman, Hermia, flees ancient Athens with her lover, only to be pursued by her would-be husband and her best friend. Unwittingly, all four find themselves in an enchanted forest where fairies and sprites take an interest in human affairs, dispensing magical love potions and casting mischievous spells. In one of Shakespeare's most perennially popular comedies, slapstick collides with courtly romance and confusion ends in harmony, as love is transformed, misplaced and ultimately restored.

'He could mingle sublimity with pathos, bitterness with joy and peace and love.' Aldous Huxley

General Introduction on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre by Stanley Wells
Edited by Stanley Wells with an Introduction by Helen Hackett

William Shakespeare was born at Stratford upon Avon in April, 1564. He was the third child, and eldest son, of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. His father was one of the most prosperous men of Stratford, who held in turn the chief offices in the town. His mother was of gentle birth, the daughter of Robert Arden of Wilmcote. In December, 1582, Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway, daughter of a farmer of Shottery, near Stratford; their first child Susanna was baptized on May 6, 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, on February 22, 1585. Little is known of Shakespeare's early life; but it is unlikely that a writer who dramatized such an incomparable range and variety of human kinds and experiences should have spent his early manhood entirely in placid pursuits in a country town. There is one tradition, not universally accepted, that he fled from Stratford because he was in trouble for deer stealing, and had fallen foul of Sir Thomas Lucy, the local magnate; another that he was for some time a schoolmaster.

From 1592 onwards the records are much fuller. In March, 1592, the Lord Strange's players produced a new play at the Rose Theatre called Harry the Sixth, which was very successful, and was probably the First Part of Henry VI. In the autumn of 1592 Robert Greene, the best known of the professional writers, as he was dying wrote a

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