Collections of links

The site Mr William Shakespeare and the Internet aims at being "a complete annotated guide to the scholarly Shakespeare resources available on Internet." A lot of sites are listed here, and it is an excellent place to start if you are looking for something special.


humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare is the usenet group that is most specifically about Shakespeare and his work, although there are other groups that sometimes have interesting discussions related to Shakespeare. (If the link doesn't work, you need to specify the news server you want your browser to use, or use a separate news reader.) You might like to do a search on Deja News to find usenet discussions about a particular topic.

The mailing list shaksper has a web site with an archive [find URL!] of past discussions, and you can download files submitted by members of the list. This list has a serious and scholarly profile. To join the list, write to for more information. (the automated subscription doesn't seem to work)

The ShakeSPA in Athemoo. This is a series of rooms built in athemoo, a moo that specialises in theatre. The ShakeSPA includes a Midsummer Night's Steam Bath, where Puck will make sure you have enough towels, a massage parlour run by Lady Macbeth, and called "Out damned knot", and other relaxing facilities. To explore the ShakeSPA, telnet to athemoo, either with your own client (the address is or by clicking the link above. Then connect as a guest (type in "connect Guest") and once you're inside, type "@go shakespa". You can always type "help" if you need to know how to use the moo.

Ardennet is a web site run by Arden, who publish excellent critical editions of Shakespeare's work. Among other things, you will find a search engine that has indexed high quality Shakespeare web sites. There is a discussion board here, but it isn't active.

There are several web based discussion boards devoted to Shakespeare's works and to A Midsummer Night's Dream in particular. Unfortunately, all of these seem to be dominated by high school students hoping that other people will do their homework for them. Still, you may find some interesting discussions here. Boards devoted soley to A Midsummer Night's Dream at the MIT Shakespeare site and at the Jolly Roger. There is a Shakespeare discussion board at the Surfing with the Bard site. The site as a whole is well put together and worth a visit, although it is aimed mostly at high school students. There are archives of some good discussions at the Shakespeare web, but these groups are unfortunately no longer active.

There is also a live chat room at The Jolly Roger that is dedicated to discussing A Midsummer Night's Dream. It has been empty when I've visited it, but you may have better luck.

The text

The text of A Midsummer Night's Dream is available online many places, as are Shakespeare's other plays. Most of these electronic editions are versions of the text available at this site, which we have been given by the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. A transcription of the folio and quarto editions is available at The Internet Shakespeare Editions.

Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare is a nineteeth century retelling of Shakespeare's plays, with children as an intended audience. The tale of A Midsummer Night's Dream is available online.

There is a searchable electronic library of Shakespeare's collected works at MIT, and another called The Works of the Bard that is supposed to have a better search engine. m is another place to try.

The first folio project is making facsimiles of the first folio edition of Shakespeare's works freely available on the web. As of September 1999, Hamlet and King Lear are accessible.


Fools Cathedral Theatre Company have a web site with information about their productions of Shakespearean plays. As of February 1999, the site has sections about Hamlet and Macbeth, but a section devoted to A Midsummer Night's Dream is due to be published during the spring of 1999 (still not there in September 1999.) This site provides synopsises, director's notes, production photos, sound bytes and more.

The New Globe theatre has a homepage with information about the rebuilding of Shakespeare's theatre, and about the original Globe. There are some quicktime vr files that show the Globe from various angles.

The web site for the 1999 movie of A Midsummer Night's Dream has a teacher's guide and other resources, as well as a fancy design.

Other links

The Shakespeare Magazine for teachers and enthusiasts. A few articles from each edition of this print journal are featured at the web site.

If you're interested in the authorship debate, you might like to have a look at The Shakespeare Oxford Society's web site. The society's purpose is to document and establish Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), as the universally recognized author of the works of William Shakespeare. A possibly more neutral source is The Shakespeare Mystery, the web site of a show aired by PBS.

Background material and sources

The Perseus Project is a vast digital library providing a wealth of Greek and Latin texts. Many are also available in English translation. You will find some of Shakespeare's sources here, including the story of Pyramus and Thisbe from Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Another source of A Midsummer Night's Dream is Apuleius' The Golden Ass, where a man is metaphorphosed into an ass, like Bottom. You can download a translation from the Gutenberg project.

For more general mythological background, you can try searching Thomas Bullfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes, which was printed in 1855 and is available in its entirety online. Other, possibly more reliable sources, are modern mythological encyclopedias that are available at any library.

Last updated 8/12/99.