Publisher: Thomas Fisher
Released: October 8, 1600
Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.
I’ve been meaning to catch up on various Shakespeare plays that “everyone” has read, and after finishing a book and having no immediate plans for what to read next, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was conveniently waiting for me on my Kindle.
In short, I didn’t really like reading it much. I can see how it would probably work much better on stage, but read as a book it didn’t really do much for me.
If I ever get the opportunity to see it on stage I probably will, and I’ll be prepared to be pleasantly surprised at how well it can work as a play.
That said, I do enjoy poems, and I found the lyrical nature of the dialogue, the rhythm and the rhyme, to be quite fun. But as a story I just didn’t really appreciate it as much as I had expected.