The wordsworth classics‚ao shakespeare series, withromeo and juliet,henry vandthe merchant of veniceas its inaugural volumes, presents a newly-edited sequence of william shakespeare‚aos works. The textual editing takes account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal. Its lyricism, comedy (both broad and subtle) and magical transformations have long madea midsummer night‚aos dreamone of the most popular of shakespeare‚aos works. The supernatural and the mundane, the illusory and the substantial, are all shimmeringly blended. Love is treated as tragic, poignant, absurd and farcical. ‚aolord, what fools these mortals be!‚ao, jeers robin goodfellow; but the joke may be on him and on his master oberon when bottom the weaver, his head transformed into that of an ass, is embraced by the voluptuously amorous titania. Recent stage-productions ofa midsummer night‚aos dreamhave emphasised the enchanting, spectacular, ambiguous and erotically joyous aspects of this magical drama which culminates in a multiple celebration of marriage.
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