Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Title: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Author: William Shakespeare
Read by: Full Cast Recording
Publisher: Naxos Audio
Length: Approximately 2 hours and 18 minutes
Source: From the Kewaunee Public Library through the Overdrive System

Shakespeare was meant to be read aloud.  Even when I took Shakespeare classes in high school and college, I would read the plays out loud to myself.  As plays, they are meant to be spoken word.  That is why I always enjoy audiobook productions of Shakespeare’s plays.

This production was wonderful.  They had a full cast play all the parts and they acted them with their all.  I especially love hearing this play spoken with British accents.  I also loved the classical music that was played between scenes of the play in this audiobook.  It was very fitting with the play and enjoyable.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s comedies.  Theseus, Duke of Athens is marrying Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons in a wooded area that is also inhabited by Fairy folk.  As events unfold, various couples are caught up in various misunderstandings and hilarity ensues.
I love that this play focuses on both love and on comedy.  Nick Bottom and Puck are two of my favorite comedy characters in any of Shakespeare’s plays and they both appear in this play.  I also love how misunderstandings form a lot of the comedy in a Shakespeare play.  In this play there is a love potion that causes a lot of misunderstandings.  I also love plays within a play.  This one has a play that is so terribly performed that everyone thinks it is a comedy which is quite hilarious.  The bad acting comes through in the audiobook version of this play within a play.

I saw a wonderful outdoor production way back in 2000 put on by the American Player’s Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  It was an outdoor theatre and the play was magical.  I was in Wisconsin with my best friend Jenn visiting her Aunt and Uncle in Madison, a couple of years before I moved to Wisconsin.  It was so nice of her Aunt and Uncle to take us to this production – and it is something that I will never forget.  Seeing Shakespeare on stage is always wonderful, but this production was especially wonderful as the setting was the woods and having the actual play outdoors fit so well.  The audiobook version of this play is fantastic – but seeing the actual production, even better.

I revisited A Midsummer Night’s as part of the Facebook Literary Classics group for May readings.

Favorite Quotes

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”

“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.”

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

Overall, A Midsummer’s Night Dream is a wonderful class comic play and audiobook.

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