bibliography

On this page: collections of criticism about A Midsummer Night's Dream
bibliographies
articles about A Midsummer Night's Dream

short notes about A Midsummer Night's Dream
about Shakespeare's plays in general
about Elizabethan theatre and acting
context
films and adaptations
general reference works

There is also a lot of information on Shakespeare on the Web. Some of the most relevant sites are collected in our webography. You will probably find more through these links.

This bibliography is far from complete. There is a wealth of material written about A Midsummer Night's Dream, and about Shakespeare's work in general. What you will find here are the bibliographical details of all books that have been cited or mentioned at this site, and some pointers to where you can start further research.

collections of critical essays

Dutton, Richard (ed.) New Casebooks: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Contemporary Critical Essays. London: Macmillan Press, 1996.

Kehler, Dorothea (ed.) A Midsummer Night's Dream: Critical Essays. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1998.

Kehler's anthology contains many of the same essays as the New Casebooks collection, and also a few influential older essays, such as Jan Kott's. There's also a good introduction with a historial survey of criticism and approaches to the play, and a section of essays about recent productions of the play. At the time of writing (Sept 1999) it costs £77, whereas Dutton's collection is available for £20. The university libraries in both Oslo and Bergen have Kehler's anthology, and the library in Bergen has Dutton's.

bibliographies

Carroll, D. Allen and Gary Jay Williams. A Midsummer Night's Dream. An Annotated Bibliography. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1986.

articles about A Midsummer Night's Dream that have been mentioned at this site

Barber, C.L. "May Games and Metamorphoses on a Midsummer Night." Shakespeare's Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1959. 119-62.

"An essential study of the grounding of the romantic comedies in early modern holiday customs that afford a kind fo Saturnalian catharsis from frustration over social constraints." (Kehler 1998: 28) This book is a classic of festive criticism on the play.

Bellringer, Alan W. "The Act of Change in A Midsummer Night's Dream." English Studies. Vol 3. (1983): 201-217.

Bevington, David. "'But We Are Spirits of Another Sort': The Dark Side of Love and Magic in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Boehrer, Bruce Thomas. "Bestial Buggery in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Production of English Renaissance Culture. Eds. David Lee Miller, Sharon O'Dair and Harold Weber. Ithaca and London: Cornell UP, 1994. 123-150.

Extending Kott's dark erotic interpretation of the Dream. The essay is discussed in our commentary.

Brooks, Harold F. "Introduction" to Shakespeare, William. The Arden Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream. London: Routledge, 1983.

Calderwood, James L. "A Midsummer Night's Dream: the Illusion of Drama." Modern Language Quarterly. 1965. 506-523.

Comtois, M. E. "The Hardiness of A Midsummer Night's Dream." Theatre Journal 32 (1980): 305-11.

A diagrammatical, structural approach.

Empson, William. "Fairy Flight in A Midsummer Night's Dream." Essays on Shakespeare. Ed. David Pire. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986. 223-230.

Forey, Madeleine. "'Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee! Thou art translated!': Ovid, Golding, and A Midsummer Night's Dream." The Modern Language Review. Vol. 93, part 2. (April 1998): 321-329.

Frye, Northrop. Northrop Frye on Shakespeare. Edited by Robert Sandler. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. 1986.

Hendricks, Margo. "'Obscured by Dreams': Race, Empire, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream." Shakespeare Quarterly 47 (1996): 37-60.

This is probably the first post-colonialist reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It concentrates mainly on the role and meaning of the Indian boy and on the relationship of India to fairyland.

Hunter, G. K. "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Writers and their Work. Vol. 143: Shakespeare. The Late Comedies. London: Longmans Green & Co, 1963. 7-20.

Garlick, Kenneth. "Illustrations to A Midsummer Night's Dream before 1920." Shakespeare Survey. 37. (1984): 41-53.

Garner, Shirley Nelson. "A Midsummer Night's Dream: 'Jack shall have Jill;/ Nought shall go ill'" New Casebooks: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Contemporary Critical Essays. Ed. Richard Dutton. London: Macmillan, 1996. 84-100. Originally published in Women's Studies. 9. (1981): 47-63.

Gertz, Sunhee Kim. "Authorial Audiences in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream." Semiotica. Vol. 106. No. 1/2 (1995): 153-170.

Kott, Jan. "Titania and the Ass's Head." Kehler, Dorothea (ed.) A Midsummer Night's Dream: Critical Essays. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1998. Shakespeare our Contemporary. Translated by Boleslaw Taborski. London: Methuen, 1967.

A much referred to and often reprinted article that underlines the nightmarish brutality of the play. It is discussed separately in our commentary. Boehrer and ?? refer to Kott's essay.

Krieger, Elliot. "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Dutton, Richard (ed.) New Casebooks: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Contemporary Critical Essays. London: Macmillan Press, 1996. 38-60.

A marxist reading of the play, originally published in 1979, as a chapter of the book A Marxist Study of Shakespeare's Comedies. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1979. 37-69. Among other things, Krieger discusses the conflict between words of love and physical love.

Long, John H. 1955. "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Shakespeare's Use of Music: A Study of the Music and Its Performance in the Original Production of Seven Comedies. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1955. 82-104.

Music is seen to be a major means of constructing structural harmony and unity in the play. [commentary]

McDonald, Marcia. "Bottom's Space: Historicizing Comic Theory and Practice in A Midsummer Night's Dream." Acting Funny: Comic Theory and Practice in Shakespeare's Plays. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1994. 85-108.

Montrose, Louis Adrian. "'Shaping Fantasies': Figurations of Gender and Power in Elizabethan Culture." New Casebooks: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Contemporary Critical Essays. Dutton, Richard (ed.) London: Macmillan Press, 1996. 101-139.

This much-referenced essay was first published in the New Historicist journal Representations in 1983, and has been published several places since. The essay is discussed in the commentary at this site.

Olsen, Elder. The Theory of Comedy. Bloomington and London: Indiana UP.

Includes some specific discussion of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Patterson, Annabel. "Bottom's Up: Festive Theory." New Casebooks: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Contemporary Critical Essays. Dutton, Richard (ed.) London: Macmillan Press, 1996. 172-198.

Festive theory is an approach that examines the relationships between literature and folk festivals and rituals. In A Midsummer Night's Dream the connections with Midsummer Eve and May Day have been mentioned often, but Patterson also draws parallells to contempory riots among artisans.

Priestly, J.B. "Bully Bottom." The English Comic Characters. London: Bodley Head, 1925. 1-17. Reprint. 1963.

Rose, Mark. Shakespearean Design. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1972.

A structuralist approach to Shakespeare's plays. Short sections are specifically about A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Sagar, Keith. "A Midsummer Night's Dream: a marriage of heaven and hell." Critical Survey. Vol 7. No 1. (1995): 34-43.

Schanzer, Ernest. "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Shakespeare, the Comedies. A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Kenneth Muir. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1965. 26-31.

Stansbury, Joan. "Characterization of the Four Young Lovers in A Midsummer Night's Dream." Shakespeare Survey. Vol. 35. (1982): 57-63.

Young, David P. Something of Great Constancy: The Art of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." New Haven: Yale UP, 1966.

A "major contribution to Dream Criticism," (Kehler 1998: 22) this is a study of language and metrical differences in the lines of the various characters in the play.

short notes on A Midsummer Night's Dream

Andrews, Michael Cameron. "Titania on 'Enforced Chastity.'" Notes and Queries. Vol. 229. No. 2. (June 1984): 188.

Blythe, David-Everett. "Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream." The Explicator. Vol. 55. No. 1. (1996): 8-9.

Cohen, Marion. "'Dian's Bud' in A Midsummer Night's Dream IV.i.72." Notes and Queries. Vol. 228. No. 2. (April 1983): 118-120.

Taylor, Gary. "A Crux in A Midsummer Night's Dream." Notes and Queries. Vol. 230. No. 1. (March 1985): 47-49.

about Shakespeare's plays in general

Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The invention of the human. Fourth Estate. 1999.

Johnson, Samuel. Johnson on Shakespeare. Essays and notes selected and set forth with an introduction by Walter Raleigh. London: Oxford UP. 1908.

Dr. Samuel Johnson published an edition of Shakespeare's works in 1768. This book contains his notes from this edition.

Greenblatt, Stephen. Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

Paster, Gail Kern. The Idea of the City in the Age of Shakespeare. Athens GA: The University of Georgia Press. 1985.

about elizabethan theatre and acting

Gurr, Elizabeth. Shakespeare's Globe: The Guide Book. Reading: Spinney Publications. 1998.

Hov, Live. Thalias første døtre. Skuespillerinderne i 1500- og 1600-tallets europæiske teater. Oslo: Solum / København: Nansengade Antikvariat og Forlag. 1990

This study of actresses in 16th and 17th century European theatre includes some interesting discussion of Shakespearean theatre's use of male actors in female parts, and also of the later entrance of actresses in English theatre.

Thomson, Peter. Shakespeare's Theatre. London: Routledge. 1983.

Brockett, History of the Theatre. New York: Allyn and Bacon. Sixth edition. 1991.

A standard reference work with a decent coverage of Shakespeare's theatre. Cited in the comment on the style of acting in Shakespeare's theatre.

Welsford, Enid. The Court Masque. 1927.

background: history, sources

Salgãdo, Gãmini. The Elizabethan Underworld. London: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd. 1992.

Gurr, Andrew. Playgoing in Shakespeare's London. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 1987.

films

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. 1999. Writer and director: Michael Hoffman.

The film has a web site where you'll find a teacher's guide as well as nifty design.

Elizabeth. 1998.

This film also has a web site. The film tells the story of the early reign of Elizabeth I, though not necessarily exactly as historians would tell it. See for instance the review by Katherine Duncan-Jones in the Times Literary Supplement, February 5 1999, p 18 for criticism of the film.

There are several older film versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream. An overview can be found at the Internet Movie Database.

general reference works

Abrams, M. H. 1993. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Fort Worth etc: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

last updated 17/9/99