Ok, so a couple weeks ago, I read Shakespeare's A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Thanks to your recommendations last year when I recapped Much Ado About Nothing, I put A Midsummer-Night's Dream on this year's book list. One of my readers said it was "very, very easy to follow and very humorous." And she was absolutely correct. (I mean, she is an English teacher so she knows whereof she speaks.)
In A Midsummer-Night's Dream, we are introduced to Hermia who is madly in love with Lysander who returns her love but is forbidden to marry her by her father Egeus who wants her to marry Demetrius who is also in love with Hermia but won't give the time of day to Helena who is desperately in love with him. (Did you follow all of that? It's like, totally high school drama, amiright?) Other principal characters include Theseus and Hippolyta (who are engaged), a bunch of laymen (who are preparing a play for the wedding festivities of the aforementioned Theseus and Hippolyta), and a magical world of fairies (who have their own little side drama going on but are most important in this story for how they interfere with the young lovers, in my opinion).
At the beginning of the play, we find out about Hermia's predicament (her predicament being that she's in love with Lysander but her father wants her to marry Demetrius--in case you glossed over that complicated high school drama I ran through above and missed the actual predicament) and learn that she either needs to choose Demetrius in obedience to her father's wishes or die. Yes. I said or die. Apparently, the ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about keeping their children in line. She and Lysander concoct a plan to meet in the woods that night and run away together. They tell Helena about their plan, and Helena decides to tell Demetrius so that he'll love her for telling him (sister needs to find a little self-respect, I'm just sayin'). So when all four of these young lovers end up in an enchanted wood that night, the fairies wreak a little havoc with some love potion #9.
As I mentioned above and as my reader-friend astutely pointed out, the play was easy to follow, and, all in all, it was very entertaining. It was probably a little bit easier to read than Much Ado About Nothing, but I have to admit, I personally liked Much Ado About Nothing better than I liked A Midsummer-Night's Dream.
So there you have it. I will always recommend Shakespeare (I mean, according to pretty much anyone, he's the world's greatest writer) so I recommend A Midsummer-Night's Dream. I read it in 3 days. I put Macbeth on the list this year as well because I'd really like to read at least two of Shakespeare's plays each year (I definitely failed last year), and I think reading one comedy and one tragedy is probably a good way to go about it.
Have you read any Shakespeare lately? Which Shakespeare play is your absolute favorite? What two plays should go on next year's book list? (Too forward thinking? Never.)