A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's earlier comedies, written around 1595-6. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote this play to be performed at the wedding celebrations of a young nobleman. If this is true, the final act of the play is self-referential, as the wedding guests would have been doing exactly what they watched Hippolyta and Theseus doing: watching a play before them on the stage. Although the title of the play refers to a dream, it is clear that it is also refers to the old English custom or festivity of 'maying' on the first day of May: a day of singing, dancing,

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