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Athens and the forest represent two opposing worlds. Whereas the city is influenced by the clear and male reason of Theseus and is characterised by consciousness and order, the forest embodies fantasy, dreams, unconsciousness and disorder. According to his notion, the romantic, and therefore irrational, love, disappeared from the relation of Lysander and Hermia as man and wife and also Demetrius had been cured from his delusion. Reality has triumphed over unreality, the world of facts over the world of dreams.

The play within the play represents one of several forms of metadrama which, in general, refers to its own fiction and illusion by presenting this self-reference as content of the play KRIEGER, f. One can state that the form of the play within the play is existent, when the characters find themselves in the roles of an audience or of actors. This is realised, for instance, by the presentation of the rehearsal or the performance of a play. This had also been the case in the Elizabethan period, in which, however, this form had been developed only by and by.

In the early forms, the relationship between the two levels of the play were still clearly out-. MEHL, However, it stays on top of the main action and both levels do not merge. The play of the craftsmen is clearly separated from the aristocratic and courtly world. Consequently, the border between performance and reality is kept evident. MEHL, Nevertheless, the following chapters will show that questions of imagination can be extensively focused on even with such a clear distinction. Overall, the play within the play fulfils several functions, which are also often connected to each other.

ZIPFEL distinguishes between two groups of functions: the immanent functions and the transcendent functions. The former relate to the relationships between the plots of the inner and the outer play. Furthermore, the function of the inner play to conclude the plot of the outer play or to resolve its conflict is possible, too.

Another immanent function is the creation of a particular atmosphere with the help of the inner play. Transcendent functions apply to the total structure of the play within the play.

Verslag Engels Critical review of A Midsummer Night | vanupyfatuvy.tk

Having a meta-dramatic and meta-aesthetic potential, the play within the play often reflects the technical, social and political preconditions and practices of production. Moreover, the philosophical function refers to questions of distinction between fiction, illusion and reality in general. Finally, the perspectival function concerns the potential of the play within the play to give information about a particular story element or conflict by presenting different points of view.

The title of the play within the play already indicates the combination of tragic and comical elements ZIPFEL, Nevertheless, it is important to note that the tragedy is not only limited to the fate of the two characters Pyramus and Thisbe. It is completely different from any other of the plays which Shakespeare had written up to that point, although some of the themes present themselves again in "Romeo and Juliet" , but given an entirely different emphasis and dramatic intent. One such theme is the ownership of females by their father.

The play opens with Egeus asking for Theseus's support, in insisting that Hermia Egeus's daughter should marry whom he chooses, "As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death, according to our law" The third choice, if his daughter refuses to do her father's bidding, is for her to live a life of chastity as a nun, worshipping the goddess Diana.

This was the prevailing ethos in Elizabethan times, and there is no question that a daughter was the legal property of her father.


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Additionally, a common justification for choosing a future husband for his daughter could be summed up in the idea that "love is blind". Egeus is not merely insisting on his rights as a father, but wants the best for his daughter, and according to the Elizabethan view, thinks that an arranged marriage is the best way of protecting her from any irrational romantic nonsense. Hermia herself is refusing to submit to her father's demands, as she is in love with Lysander.

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This theme, of a young girl's rebellion against her father, is against all conventions of the time, and is taken up with a devastating conclusion in "Romeo and Juliet. Helena says, "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:" which could easily be the author's voice, and tends towards the opposite view. Perhaps one could speculate that this could have been the reason why he developed the idea further, to make a much more serious statement in his tragic play. A Midsummer Night's Dream, however, is a much more frivolous and fanciful affair.

Not one love affair but three are intertwined throughout the play. Demetrius, whom Hermia has been commanded to wed, is in turn loved by Helena. So Hermia loves Lysander, and Lysander loves Hermia. Helena loves Demetrius - but Demetrius also loves Hermia rather than Helena. So one young woman has two suitors, the other none, but since four are involved the audience are hoping for a traditional "happy ending".

In the meantime, there are plenty of chances for misunderstandings. As the play proceeds we are invited to laugh at this hapless group, in their lovelorn afflictions, rather than feel any true sympathy, because the whole affair is portrayed in such a light-hearted way, as opposed to the tragic story of young love, "Romeo and Juliet" , which has probably not yet been completed. In that play there is tension throughout, and the sure knowledge, as the audience had been told in the prologue that there would be no happy outcome. Here we are free to poke fun at the young lovers' "torments", as we are fairly sure of everything ending happily.

Other characters who become involved in the confusion are "Titania", queen of the fairies, and "Oberon" king of the fairies. Shakespeare has taken the character of "Titania" from Ovid's "Metamorphoses" , and his "Oberon" may have been taken from the medieval romance "Huan of Bordeaux" , translated by Lord Berners in the mids. She is keeping the child as a page, but Oberon wants to train him as a knight. All the young lovers from Athens, plus the main fairy characters, are in the woodland for various reasons at the same time.


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  • The woodland of course being also the realm of the fairies, much confusion is bound to follow. The audiences of the time will have greatly anticipated and appreciated this devilment, as "Robin Goodfellow"'s pranks and tricks will have been well known to them. To a modern audience, the events seem farcical, and the play does require quite a leap of faith to enjoy the fairytale whimsy of the woodland scenes.

    Nevertheless, the scenes of passion between the beautiful, graceful Titania and the clumsy Bottom, with a grotesque ass's head, are so incongruous that its humour is timeless and crosses any boundaries with ease. There are other "opposites" which tickle our funnybones even after so many centuries. Helena is tall, a "painted maypole" , whereas Hermia is short, "though she be but little she is fierce," and both their scuffles and the enchanted lovers' declarations seem deliberately ridiculous in this context. They are overly earnest and serious - and followed immediately by joking, merry, clumsy workmen.

    All the fairies are ethereal, Titania being particularly beautiful; all the craftsmen earthy and clumsy, Bottom being particularly grotesque. Puck plays pranks, whereas Bottom is an easy and natural victim. Puck uses his magic with ease, whereas the craftsmen's attempts to stage their play is laborious and ridiculous by contrast. The incompetent acting troupe's enactment of the "play within a play", "Pyramus and Thisbe" , is still humorous even now. Juxtaposing these extraordinary differences to exaggerate the contrast, meant that Shakespeare ensured laughs from his audience, while heightening the surreal fantastical elements.

    The idea of dreams is perhaps the central pivot of the play. Events happen in a haphazard fashion, and time seems to lose its normal motion and progress. No one in the woodland scenes is ever in control of their environment - even Puck makes mistakes with his love potions. He gleefully revels in such mistakes, "Lord, what fools these mortals be! The audience is given no explanation for the fantastical woodland sphere, with its illusions and fragile grip on reality. Shakespeare is clearly manipulating our sense of understanding throughout, inducing a dream-like feeling to the action.

    The love potions are magical or supernatural symbols of the power of love itself, inducing the same symptoms that true romantic lovers exhibit in their natural state, of unreasoning, fickle and erratic behaviour. No one who has been given a love potion in the play is able to resist it, much as falling in love appears to others to be inexplicable and irrational. Towards the end of the play we have a delightful rendering of the bumbling tradesmen's attempts to stage "Pyramus and Thisbe," which Shakespeare has taken from Ovid's epic poem "Metamorphoses".

    He also incidentally uses the plot again for "Romeo and Juliet" , which seems quite bizarre, given the way it is used as a ludicrous farce here. Theseus and Hippolyta are well aware that the enactment of this play may be farcical and clumsy. They have been warned by Philostrate that the production is by "hard-handed men" , or as Puck calls them "rude mechanicals" and that their production is, "Merry and tragical! And Theseus will welcome the diversion of such fancies. His wise words earlier, about his world of the rational, "Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends" could refer both to the action which we have seen so far, and the workmen's play we are about to see.

    The audience views this absurd little play through the eyes of Theseus and Hippolyta. The young Athenian lovers are also present, having been satisfactorily paired off, as we suspected they would be. Everyone is relaxing and poking fun at the hapless players, "This is the silliest stuff I ever heard" protests Hippolyta, but Bottom, the bumbling buffoon, breaks out of character every now and then, to earnestly assure his audience that all is as it is meant to be - they merely need to keep watching and they'll understand Shakespeare has written their performance as a delicious satire of the overly melodramatic earlier actions of the young lovers, and recognising this makes it even more hilarious to the audience.

    The young Athenians' overpowering emotions are made to seem even more ridiculous by virtue of these clumsy actors and this provides a comic ending to the play. Since the Pyramus and Thisbe of the craftsmen's play were themselves facing parental disapproval, it encapsulates and echoes the whole play within which it is set. The final speech by Puck highlights the thematic idea of dreams. If the audience does not care for the play, he says, or if we have been offended by it, then he suggests it should be considered as nothing but a dream.

    It is interesting that the fairies are all still present as the wedding are about to take place. Shakespeare's message is not entirely clear here; it is as if he is merging the fairies and their magic with Theseus and Hippolyta's rational world. Perhaps it is to convey that we will never be free of the irrationalities and unpredictabilities of romantic love; either that or that the fairy folk will always be around us to create havoc. The workmen's play was mocked by Theseus and Hippolyta, perhaps the message is that human behaviour and ceremonies of the larger play, that is the real rational world, are unknowingly mocked by the fairy folk.

    Who knows? A Midsummer Night's Dream is not one of Shakespeare's greatest masterpieces. Although it remains popular and is staged quite regularly, this may be down to imaginative staging and the exceptional production values we now have. On the page it reads as an inconsequential play, all whimsy, candyfloss and fluff. It is both significant and noticeable, how Shakespeare revisited some of the themes here, in "Romeo and Juliet," but in that play he used them with such skill that he created an abiding and deeply tragic drama.

    In both plays we have the intoxicating and overwhelming influence of romantic love, the powerlessness of young women to rise up against their families and conventions, and the "potions" to influence a particular course of events; all those elements are here too, but combined to make a fantastical, frivolous, illusory bit of nonsense. However there is much beautiful poetic imagery in this play, such as, "My soul is in the sky" "Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;" " Yes, A Midsummer Night's Dream does provide a few smiles even now.

    And if your taste runs to flights of fancy; if you like to read tales of fairies such as Peas-Blossom, Cobweb, Moth and Mustard-Seed, using language and imagery such as, "Those be rubies, fairy favours, In those freckles live their savours:" "[I] heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back For as "The Bard" says, " View all 27 comments. If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was— there is no man can tell what.

    The eye of man hath If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. It is outside of the abilities of mankind to explain it: a man is as foolish as a donkey if he tries to about to expound this dream. Methought I was—there explain the dream of mine. I thought I was — well no one can really say what exactly. I thought I was — and I methought I had, -- but man is but a patched fool, if thought I had — but someone would be an idiot to say what I thought I had. Shakespeare has always been an over-riding need for me. I don't have the ability to act, though I do write betimes, but there's nothing like the thrill of a life performance, like the one I watched in The rest of this review can be found elsewhere.

    Feb 16, Josh Caporale rated it liked it. This particular explanation, for its face value, is neutral in its tone and execution, for this play is so absurd, but it almost seems like it is trying to be as such. While Shakespeare has been known to borrow his plots, I would say that his tragedies are better than his comedies in the way that the elements to his tragedies are a bit more original or is it the fact that we have seen elements of his comedies time and time again. In a way, this was original, but I feel that the structure of who loves who and who everyone wants who to be with is something I am way too familiar.

    Meanwhile, Theseus turns to a group of workers, including Nick Bottom, to provide the entertainment. Bottom wants to play all of the parts in this play that they are planning to put on. There is also a group of fairies that mirror the participants in this play and Puck, who plays a key role in the many alterations of what takes place in this play. This is by no means my favorite Shakespeare play, but it is certainly unique! It is as organized as an episode of The Muppet Show and just as insane, but if that's what you like, then this is the play for you!

    View all 6 comments. I love William Shakespeare more than life itself. It had a lot fantasy aspects to it and a interesting combination between a comedy and a drama. It worked really well and made the whole play confusing in a good way, if that makes sense. Somethi "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind" I love this play so much. Something I noticed was how much easier I found it to follow the plot. The characters were so diverse and interesting, which made the plot so much more funny and interesting.

    The characters and the relationship between the them is so ridiculous at times that it was difficult not to laugh out loud. This is one of my new favorites. This is the most hilarious comedy of Shakespeare that I have read, more mirthful than A Comedy of Errors. Written with the combination fantasy and reality, and set in Athens at the time of the wedding of the Duke of Athens, Theseus to Hippolyta, the Queen of Amazon, the play revolves around the adventures of the four young Athenian lovers, a group of performers who plan to put on a play for the wedding of the Duke and the Queen, and the meddling acts of fairies, especially of the fairy King's This is the most hilarious comedy of Shakespeare that I have read, more mirthful than A Comedy of Errors.

    Written with the combination fantasy and reality, and set in Athens at the time of the wedding of the Duke of Athens, Theseus to Hippolyta, the Queen of Amazon, the play revolves around the adventures of the four young Athenian lovers, a group of performers who plan to put on a play for the wedding of the Duke and the Queen, and the meddling acts of fairies, especially of the fairy King's through his most trusted "knavish" spirit, Pluck.

    The main theme of the play is love; and actions of jealousies and betrayals center upon that theme. The writing is beautiful; poetic and lyrical. This is the second time in my reading of Shakespeare that I came across such beautiful, poetic and lyrical writing; first being in Rome and Juliet. It is really a treat to read such poetic and lyrical verses as they tell this light hilarious story.

    This is one of the most creative and imaginative plays by Shakespeare. The fantasy element is brilliantly combined with reality to produce a truly entertaining story. The play is cast by an interesting set of characters ranging from humans to fairies to human-animal forms! All these elements combined make the play an interesting read. I enjoyed it very much. I also had a good laugh all along. Shakespeare had done a great job with this play. Dec 16, Geoff rated it it was amazing.

    The unconscious, the sleep-world, the dream-world. And what else sends a plague of fantasies across our minds? Love, jealousy, madness. The lights come down in the theater. We are momentarily encapsulated in complete dusk. Before sleep our eyes are shuttered completely, and what power draws us into that black? Our still bodies become vessels of the visions of that other world, and what happens there, on the stage, of little consequence to our physicality, an animated vision drawn and protracted out in rhythms, figures, symbols as old as language itself. The dream of the stage, the dream of the novel, dream of life.

    Strong desire creates another irreality, unrequited desire creates distorted reality, jealousy tells its horrible lies to us, and our thoughts and bodies seem animated by some will other than our own. Is passion but a spell cast on us, twisting reason and sense, where we pursue our desired object astonished and half-blind, like in a dream? And the absurdities of our delusions in desire, are they not but the stuff of the utmost comedy?

    The influence of the full moon is the stuff of legend, myth, but also of proven fact. The moon-mad howl in the bright night.

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    In the forests shapeless things delineate themselves by the watery light of the moon. The glitter of dew on leaves glimmers like ice. Fairies carry little lights in the palms of their hands and lay us down to sleep on thyme and eglantine covered bowers. Men are the clowns of this earth, so all of this is very funny.

    All of this is very gentle and star-light and ephemeral and fleeting. As dew dries quickly once the morning has ascended, our dreams dissipate, and only through great effort do we keep them. Love too is brief and comes quickly to confusion, and our mercurial love that one day seems the direst need soon seems the most innocent delusion. As if we were players in a ridiculous play. A farce or satire of something more serious.

    'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' and 'The Tempest' in the mirror of changing critical approaches

    And the ass-headed weaver Nick Bottom, dreamer so deep that his body is lost, lover of the Faerie Queene, is the hammiest actor of them all. Those who fall deepest into their fantasies are the most foolish. But also the most fun to watch because they are, at least for the moment, other than us. In the end Puck sweeps away the dream dust. Here there is no death, all is life, all is dream, the human comedy playing itself out, swimming before our slumbering eyes.

    I remember. View all 13 comments. No, Shakespeare did not write those tragedies! It is a good reason to read this piece, because the wonderful, it is almost-omnipresent with Shakespeare, is very rare in classical theatre. View 2 comments. Jul 02, Candace Robinson added it. This has nothing to do with Shakespeare or his lovely writing. I think if I were to watch the movie and see a visual I would know what was going on!! Aug 07, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: , for-kindle , reviewed. Aww, this is a cute little play. Which is a pretty condescending thing to say about a work of Shakespeare, right?

    Get thee to a nunnery! Poor, sad second girl. Fortunately for her, though, there are sorcerous sprites who live nearby and attempt to assist her with the pitiful predicament of her one-sided love which is, by the way, a horror show in its one-sidedness. Only in their ineptitude do things go dreadfully wrong for the first woman, who until that point at least had someone to love her back. Well, not anymore! Which makes you wonder This play is very enjoyable. I really liked Theseus, the duke, who gives credit to those who try to please him even while they may not be terribly successful at it.

    Awkward delivery or not, their intent is recognized and appreciated by him. Just saw a performance of this and it has me all nostalgic. This has meddling fairies, ridiculous lovers and a donkey named Bottom. What's not to love? Also fun fact, I played Titania once. I was volunteering as a stage hand when then original chick who was cast dropped out and so did her understudy and there I was organizing props back stage.

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Was this my Disney-channel moment? Did I miss my cue?? Oh yeah, it was also a Jersey Shore remix for some reason. I recommend this version a lot more. Jan 26, Liam rated it really liked it. What a wonderful yet messed up play this was, thoroughly enjoyed it! Absolutely loved the setting, the language and the element of fantasy within the story. It was comical yet still had potential to be a tale of tragedy and I think that's why I enjoyed it so much. It keeps you on your toes and the story goes round in circles but it reached a satisfactory resolution!

    For me, Shakespeare is a bit hit or miss but I really did enjoy this one! View 1 comment. May 12, Mia Parentheses Enthusiast rated it it was amazing Shelves: side-characters-i-love , yes-theres-romance , fun , plays. Oh, I loved this so much. It's charming and fun and hilarious and silly but it has a lot of heart- it's not just an empty comedy. There's wit and some really great observations on flights of fancy and the ridiculous things humans will do with or without the help of forest nymphs in the name of love.

    Also, an enchanted forest has got to be one of my favourite settings of all time, the heady summer air and a sense of magic really seeped through the pages. Two of my favourite quotes, both by Robin Oh, I loved this so much. Two of my favourite quotes, both by Robin Goodfellow a. Puck and I'm reciting from memory here, so bear with me : "If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended. That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear, And this weak and idle theme; No more yielding but a dream Shall we their fond pageant see?

    Lord, what fools these mortals be! View all 23 comments. May 24, Kelly rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone. Shelves: favorites , shakespeare , , theatre , brit-lit. My high school English teacher called this "the perfect play. He would use it with new groups of drama students, because there was absolutely no possible way for them to screw it up. And now, close on 10 years later, I can't yet prove him wrong. I've been in this play twice Hermia , I've seen it performed countless times by good groups of actors, mediocre ones, and one cast that was mostly pretty bad, I've seen it done in traditional Shakespearean My high school English teacher called this "the perfect play.

    I've been in this play twice Hermia , I've seen it performed countless times by good groups of actors, mediocre ones, and one cast that was mostly pretty bad, I've seen it done in traditional Shakespearean costumes, modern day, Edwardian, s, and one time a psychadelic 60s show, and I've still not yet had a bad evening at the theatre with it yet. The text speaks for itself, I think. The first conversation is the perfect thing to draw in adults and giggly twelve year olds alike.

    Repressive fathers, good boys and mean boys, the pathetic boy-crazy friend with a weird obsessions Even in the hands of average actors, I think the text just catches people up into it. You can almost act this one on instinct. You can do it with half remembered intonations and gestures from sitcoms, and people will laugh. For some characters, the direction for what to do is implied in the lines.

    Bottom, for instance, while he's trying to ensure that he plays every part in the play so no one interferes with his spotlight- the mousy sounds, the roaring, the pompous hero, the woman. Anyone who likes a bit of attention can get into that- as I say, the thing sort of just pulls you along with it. The last time I was in it, one of my best friends played Helena, and we were tearing each others hair out by the middle of the first rehearsal like it was the most natural thing in the world.

    After all that, I should probably also tell you that I'm incredibly biased: this was the first Shakespeare play that I ever read, and it was through reading this that I became close to some of the girls who are still my best friends, and its responsible for leading me to the rest of the Shakespeare plays that I came to love.

    Yeah, probably should've said that first, but whatever. I think if anything it strengthens my case, so oh well. View all 11 comments. An entertaining and amusing tale, filled with an inexhaustible richness of symbolicism, atmosphere and verbal complexity. After having seen Shakespeare as a writer of tragic and twisted stories dealing with death and schemes as major leitmotifs for many years, a light-hearted story like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" proved to be exactly the right one to convince me of the direct opposite: that Shakespeare can also masterfully create romantic comedies full of amusing allusions.

    View all 9 comments. Mar 14, K. Shelves: ws , play. The very first Shakespeare that I read from cover to cover! Sneer if you have to but I graduated from a low-standard high school in a small island in the Pacific. The only dramatization that we did was Leon Ma. I played the lead role of Leon, the young farmer, though.

    In college, I took up a paramedical course in the city and we had World Lit but we only read mimeographed copies of Shakespeare sonnets. I still remember the term iambic pentamer Yey! I still remember the term iambic pentamer but don't ask me to explain what that means since it was almost 30 years ago. Since then, Shakespeare works seem to be too classy for me to read. I thought that I would never find myself reading this book or any of his plays for that matter. So this is how a Shakespeare's play looks like?

    I say it's awesome. She has a friend, Helena who is in love with Demetrius; 3 The story of the artisan men who are to present a long short play about young Pyramus and his lover Thisbe to Theseus and Hipolita; and 4 The story of the fairies Oberon and Titania and the series of blunders committed by Puck Robin Goodfellow in using the "love-in-idleness," i.

    It is crazy funny how Puck commits mistakes and the rendezvous of the characters. It's good that my edition of the book has both the Shakespeare original text and its modern version. The Introduction suggests that I should read both for me to appreciate Shakespeare's poetic expressions.

    So, I did and found it wonderful. I still prefer the original texts though although of course, it is harder to understand. And the theme? Obviously, it's all about love. Of course, I know that Romeo and Juliet is about two young lovers who committed suicide. I just did not know, or maybe did not have time to know, that there are many other lovers in WS plays. My friend, who obviously studied in a better high school, says that she played a part in the dramatization of this play when she was in 4th year high. Judging from her avatar, I would think that she should have played the lead roles of Hermia or Titania for she looks pretty and, based on her reviews and comments here in Goodreads, definitely smart.

    Those roles are far more sophisticated compared to mine, playing the farmer Leon, but it is not too late for me to get acquainted with Shakespeare's characters, right? Feb 12, Lyn rated it really liked it. While it is generally true that plays should be seen and not just read, this is even more true of Midsummer Night's Dream. It is a popular play to be performed and I have seen it several times but struggled with the reading. Still, it is a brilliant work by Shakespeare, and very entertaining.

    Like so many of his works, this one has been very influential on so many romantic comedies that have come since. Shakespeare may have tried to recreate or even improve on the fairie ideal with Ariel from Th While it is generally true that plays should be seen and not just read, this is even more true of Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare may have tried to recreate or even improve on the fairie ideal with Ariel from The Tempest , but Puck may well be his perfect impish creation.

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    Dec 26, Emily Howard rated it it was amazing Shelves: adult-fiction , favorites. My favorite Shakespeare. I've been in it and I see it whenever I have the chance. I forced it on 4th, 5th, and 6th graders last year. At first they were terribly confused by Shakespearean language but ultimately, they loved it. During Bottom's soliloquy in the play-within-a play, after a half-page of ridiculous, melodrama and general wordiness, I asked the kids what he was trying to say, and one correctly deduced, "It's night. It's night. That's a wall. It's a wall. I said, "It can mean breast or chest or heart.

    Readers also enjoyed. About William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare baptised 26 April was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His surviving works consist of 38 plays, sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr William Shakespeare baptised 26 April was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.

    His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon.