Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: William Shakespeare, July 21, 2015
My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

  This brilliant comedy play is set in a magical ancient Greek forest on the eve of Theseus’ wedding to Hippolyta. 

The nuptials are besieged by a long-running love square, a disastrous play and a war between the king and queen of fairies. 

The love-square has previously seen the male of one pair betrothed to a girl, who in turn is in love with someone else. Both men are after the betrothed girl, Hermia, and her childhood friend Helena, the former partner of her spurned intended Lysander, is left out in the cold. 

Meanwhile, a bunch of peasants are preparing a play to celebrate the high profile wedding. Malapropism-prone Nick Bottom steals these scenes as he tries to constantly big up his part and at the same time advocate for explaining to the audience that nothing that seems scary in the play is real. 

Finally, King Oberon of the Fairies is having an almighty fall out with his wife Titania over who gets her new slave. He sets the mischievous Puck loose with a love potion that sees her fall for Bottom, whose head is transposed with that of an ass, and also tries to intervene in the love square. Of course, it only makes matters worse. 

There are many funny moments in Midsummer, but the fifth and final act is best. We are treated to the performance of the doomed play which is written as sharply and satirically as any modern sitcom. 

As with all Shakespeare, the great characters and fabulous plot are enhanced by the gorgeous writing. Whether aiming or a laugh or a flutter, he rarely misses the mark. I loved my first reading of this in 2001 and still love it now. 


One comment on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  1. Pingback: Othello | Simon's Bookcase

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on July 21, 2015 by in 4 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare