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A Midsummer Night's Dream

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Norrie Epstein
(from The Friendly Shakespeare, © 1993)
Summary: In this critical essay, Norrie Epstein analyzes Shakespeare's play, showing how it "reveals . . . deep truths about our hidden emotional life."

"The Song of Wandering Aengus" by William Butler Yeats
Summary: The speaker of this poem recalls the time he went fishing and beheld a magical transformation, which haunts his life still.

The Sweet Miracle / El Dulce Milagro by Juana de Ibarbourou
(from Some Spanish-American Poets, edited and translated by Alice Stone Blackwell, © 1929)
Summary: This poem, by a prominent Spanish poet, celebrates the transformative powers of love.

"April Witch" by Ray Bradbury
(from Saturday Evening Post, © 1952)
Summary: Young Cecy possesses magical powers: "she can live in anything at all." On this spring night, she decides to experience love first hand.

"Come. And Be My Baby" by Maya Angelou
(from Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well, © 1975)
Summary: In this poem, the speaker looks to love as an escape from the dilemmas and turmoil of life in the modern world.

Excerpt from "Love's Initiations" by Thomas Moore
(from Care of the Soul, © 1992)
Summary: Thomas Moore, a well-known psychologist, analyzes love "as a kind of madness" and seeks to explain what we can learn from its power.

"The Sensible Thing" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
(from The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, © 1924)
Summary: Practicality and love collide when a young couple must decide between their romantic dreams and doing "the sensible thing."

Excerpt from Love and Marriage by Bill Cosby, © 1989)
Summary: Bill Cosby offers his own account of the connection between lovers and lunatics in this humorous reminiscence of adolescent love and its aftermath.