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1001 Stories Collection

A Midsummer Night's Dream

1001 midsummernightsdream
Added on 14th July 2020

Author William Shakespeare
First performed mid 1590s

Magic
1001

One of Shakespeare's best known comedies, filled with magical mayhem.

Story

Angry at his wife, Titania, Oberon, the Fairy King instructs his mischievous servant, Puck, to bewitch her with a love potion. Meanwhile, Athenian lovers, Hermia and Lysander, escape into the forest to elope. The couple, along with a group of amateur actors, Hermia’s suitor Demetrius, and his admirer Helena, become unwittingly entangled in the Fairyland feud, and magical mayhem ensues.

Why we chose it

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies and one of the plays most often introduced to primary school age children.

Where it came from

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is widely considered the best playwright of all time. Many historians believe that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was first written and performed for an aristocratic wedding in the mid-1590s, although the exact date is unknown. For this play, Shakespeare was influenced by a range of sources, including Ovid’s Metamorphoses (8 AD) and Chaucer’s The Knight’s Tale (1392).

Where it went next

It has inspired numerous composers, including Henry Purcell and Felix Mendelssohn, and ballets and plays set to Mendelssohn’s music are regularly performed. Various films and TV series’ have been based on the story. A BBC adaptation in 1981, which was part of the BBC Television Shakespeare project, saw Puck played as an anti-establishment punk. In 2016 Russell T Davies’ adaption of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the BBC took the play and re-imagined it for a modern television audience.

The play was also included in SelfMadeHero’s Manga Shakespeare collection in 2008.

Associated stories

Shakespeare’s plays are performed more often than any other playwright’s. His other comedies include All’s Well That Ends Well, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew.

Added on 14th July 2020

Author William Shakespeare
First performed mid 1590s

Magic
1001