William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in the home of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden at Stratford-on-Avon. He was educated at the King Edward IV Grammar School in Stratford, where he learned Latin and a little Greek and read the Roman dramatists. At eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, a woman seven or eight years his senior. Together they raised Susanna, who was born in 1583, and the twins Judith and Hamnet (who died in boyhood), born in 1585. He was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.
He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. In 1594, Shakespeare joined the Lord Chamberlain’s company of actors, the most popular of the companies acting at Court. The Globe, which became the most famous theater of its time. With his share of the income from the Globe, Shakespeare was able to purchase New Place, his home in Stratford. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613.
His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare’s.
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare’s genius, and the Victorians worshipped Shakespeare. In the 20th century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.
In his poems and plays, Shakespeare invented thousands of words, often combining or contorting Latin, French and native roots. His impressive expansion of the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, includes such words as: arch-villain, birthplace, bloodsucking, courtship, dewdrop, downstairs, fanged, heartsore, hunchbacked, leapfrog, misquote, pageantry, radiance, schoolboy, stillborn, watchdog, and zany. His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses.
Only eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays were published separately in quarto editions during his lifetime. He retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Superstitions during Shakespearean time Superstitions are irrational beliefs but a handful of them are actually still evident in our modern world. The superstitions that originated during the Elizabethan era were based on various beliefs and traditions. The historians opine that many of the traditional English customs were based on the myths and superstitions that date back to the Dark Ages.
Ignorance and fear of the unknown, combined with a false conception of death resulted in many superstitions during the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare had made use of the superstitions regarding spirits and witchcraft that prevailed in the Elizabethan society in his plays Macbeth and Hamlet. Books by Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet The play begins with a large fight between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. Meanwhile, Romeo and Benvolio are accidentally invited to their enemy’s party. At the party, Romeo locks eyes with a young woman named Juliet.
They instantly fall in love, but they do not realize that their families are mortal enemies. When they realize each other’s identities, they are devastated, Romeo sneaks into Juliet’s yard after the party and proclaims his love for her. She returns his sentiments and the two decide to marry. The next day, Romeo and Juliet are married Juliet’s mother, informs Juliet that she will marry a man named Paris in a few days. Juliet asks Friar Lawrence for advice. Friar Lawrence gives Juliet a potion which will make her appear dead and tells her to take it the night before the wedding.
Juliet drinks the potion and everybody assumes that she is dead. Romeo assumes that his wife is dead. He rushes to Juliet’s tomb and, in deep grief, drinks a vial of poison. later, Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead and kills herself due to grief. Once the families discover what happened, they gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their. Macbeth It is considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful tragedies. Set in Scotland when its protagonist, the Scottish lord Macbeth, chooses evil as the way to fulfill his ambition for power.
The play is believed to have been written between 1603 and 1607, Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath swiftly takes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death. Othello Believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capuano Moro (“A Moorish Captain”) by Cinthio.
The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign, Iago. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy, and betrayal, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations. The Tempest Believed to have been written in 1610–11. The Tempest attained popularity only after the Restoration.
It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand. The story draws heavily on the tradition of the romance, and it was influenced by tragicomedy and the courtly masque. It differs from Shakespeare’s other plays in its observation of a stricter, more organized neoclassical style.
Twelfth Night Twelfth Night or, what you will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–02 for the close of the Christmas season. The play expanded on the musical interludes and riotous disorder expected of the occasion Much Ado about Nothing Much Ado About Nothing is a comedic play by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his Much Ado About Nothing chronicles two pairs of lovers: Benedick and Beatrice (the main couple), and Claudio and Hero (the secondary couple).
Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a very “merry war”; they are both very witty and proclaim their disdain of love. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are sweet young people who are rendered practically speechless by their love for one another career. The courtship between the wittier, wiser lovers Benedict and Beatrice is what makes Much Ado about Nothing so memorable. Benedick and Beatrice argue with delightful wit, and Shakespeare develops their journey from antagonism to sincere love and affection with a rich sense of humor and compassion.
Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other. Dogberry, a Constable who is a master of malapropisms, discovers the evil trickery of the villain, Don John. In the end, Don John runs away and everyone else joins in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples. As You Like It It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 or early 1600 . The play features one of Shakespeare’s most famous and oft-quoted speeches The play remains a favorite among audiences and has been adapted for radio, film, and musical theatre.
As You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle’s court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the court jester, to find safety and eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden. Julius Caesar Julius Caesar is a tragedy believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi.
It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history,. Although the title is Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; and is killed at the beginning. The central psychological drama is Marcus Brutus’s struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship. The Comedy of Errors The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare’s earliest plays. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humor coming from slapstick and mistaken identity.
The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of the twin brothers, When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.
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