Summary

Shakespeare's most imaginative and merry play is set in an enchanted wood amidst fairies and sprites.
When Oberon, King of the Fairies, uses his magic upon four runaway lovers in a midsummer wood outside Athens, chaos ensues. Who really loves whom? Meanwhile, a band of well-meaning but bungling local actors have their rehearsal sabotaged by the mischievous Puck, who bewitches their leader, Bottom, and Titania, the Fairy Queen. The result is a lively and anarchic comedy which can only be resolved by an elaborate disentangling of spells.
Hermia is played by Amanda Root, Oberon by David Harewood, and Bottom by Roy Hudd.
Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Gil of the Amazon on 14-02-15

Shakespeare is rolling in his grave.

Would you try another book from William Shakespeare and/or the narrators?

I love Shakespeare, but these are the worst narrator I have EVER heard.

What did you like best about this story?

That it was a play by William Shakespeare.

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

The completely faux Jamaican accents of Oberon and his queen completely ruined the tale. They were almost offensive.

Was A Midsummer Night's Dream worth the listening time?

I cannot recommended this audio book. Offensive is putting it mildly.

Any additional comments?

In all the years that I have been a member of Audible, this is the very first time I can say a book was simply awful. Save your money save your time.

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57 of 63 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 24-04-17

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet

“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

I think I'm a dozen plays into my First Folio frolic. April means spring, and in my sequential reading of Shakespeare it also means lyricism out the yin yang. Reading a Bloom analysis of either Richard II (#10) or Romeo & Juliet (#11), Bloom (and I'm paraphrasing here) described these three plays as a lyrical triad. Romeo and Juliet = lyrical tragedy; Richard II = lyrical history; Midsummer Night's Dream = lyrical high comedy.

It was a dream and a trip watching Shakespeare weave together the 2x2 love story with the amateur actors with Puck and the fairies. Again, like Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, etc., Midsummer Night's Dream is hard to objectively read because it is so familiar. There are certain plays that have almost become a part of our cultural subconscious. I don't remember ever first learning, reading, knowing this play. It seems to have just always been there -- tickling my memory and my dreams. I have friends with quotes tattooed on their arms: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” and others that seem more Puck than real. That is the genius of some of Shakespeare's more fanciful plays. Despite them containing magic, etc., they all seem so VERY HUMAN. There is something about Puck and Oberon that seem -- despite their other worldliness -- very grounded in this world.

One aspect of this play I loved, and it is a common Shakespeare conceit is the play within the play, the players, the development of the narrative through a parallel sub-narrative. It is both simple, sublime, and surreal. More important, it works. Obviously, Hamlet is the most well-known example of this, but Shakespeare uses this idea again and again (The Tempest, Love's Labour's Lost) and I LOVE it.

There were also several nice lines, specifically:

- “My soul is in the sky.”
- “I’ll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.”
- “Take pains. Be perfect.”
- “Ay me! for aught that ever I could read,
could ever hear by tale or history,
the course of true love never did run smooth.”
- “And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.”

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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