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A Midsommer Nights Dreame

Midsommer Nights Dreame. William Shakespeare
London, 1600

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written no later than 1598, is one of Shakespeare’s most enduringly popular comedies. A mixture of fantasy and farce, it is one of the few plays by Shakespeare with no single, traceable source. Instead, the pastoral setting—with its intertwining marriage plots, magic potions, aristocratic love squabbles, woodland fairies, and climactic play-within-a-play—was assembled from a varied collection of different sources.

Scholars have long suggested that Shakespeare created A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the occasion of an aristocratic wedding that mirrored events in the play, with a guest list that might have included Queen Elizabeth herself.

This first edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was printed in 1600. This is one of eight surviving copies. (G.176.22)
Digitized: https://archive.org/stream/midsommernightsd1600shak#page/n1/mode/2up