William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 marks the transition from Shakespeare

s early comedies, where he can be seen honing his craft, to the period of his middle or “golden” comedies. It was probably first performed in 1595 (Wiggins, 2013: 299), and was first published in quarto in 1600; it also appeared in the First Folio of 1623. It is a masterpiece of construction and has justly been seen as one of Shakespeare’s most perfect plays. It may also be regarded as one of his lightest and brightest works, peopled by fairies and young lovers and “quick bright things” (1.1.149); yet even here we can see how comedy proceeds by invoking then vanquishing its opposite. Tragedy hovers nearby as Hermia is threatened with death or enforced chastity if she refuses to accept her father’s choice of…

3782 words

Citation: Hackett, Helen. "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 December 2002; last revised 05 November 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7109, accessed 22 June 2024.]

7109 A Midsummer Night's Dream 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.