A Note on William Shakespeare

Posted: October 13, 2007 in Literature
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Few days back one of junior asked me to write something http://chawedrosin.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/shakespeare.jpgabout Shakespeare. Well, they use the articles I wrote for their assignment. But they did not find anything about Shakespeare in my blog. For them, I just copy and paste the note given by my drama professor Mr. C.D. Sebatian

Shakespeare had a posthumous fame. If we place the books written on SP and his writings, as a chain, it will round the globe twice. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. His birth date is subjected to the assumption. William, the eldest son of John and Mary , was born in 1564, probably on April 23, several days before his baptism on April 26, 1564. That Shakespeare also died on April 23, 52 years later, may have resulted in the adoption of this birth date. William no doubt attended the local grammar school in Stratford where his parents lived, and would have studied primarily Latin rhetoric, logic, and literature. At age 18, William married Anne Hathaway, a local farmer’s daughter eight years his senior.

Shakespeare had suffered financial reverses at his teens and early married life, thus resulted his flee to London. He started his career as a horse keeper at Global Theater. Later he was appointed to stage management. The skill he has shown to insert proper dialogs when, the actor forgets his actual dialogs, may be called, improvising dialog had been noted by the directors. At some point during this “dark years,” Shakespeare began his career with a London theatrical company—perhaps in 1589—for he was already an actor and playwright of some note in 1592. Shakespeare apparently wrote and acted for Pembroke’s Men, as well as numerous others, in particular Strange’s Men, which later became the Chamberlain’s Men, with whom he remained for the rest of his career.

When, in 1592, the Plague closed the theaters for about two years, Shakespeare turned to writing book-length narrative poetry. Most notable were “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece,” both of which were dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, whom scholars accept as Shakespeare’s friend and benefactor despite a lack of documentation. During this same period, Shakespeare was writing his sonnets. He wrote 153 sonnets addressing the Earl of Southampton while some are addressing a Black Lady.

He returned to play writing when theaters reopened in 1594, and published no more poetry. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 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 sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, producing plays, such as Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare’s.

His works are:

Commedies:

  • All’s Well That Ends Well
  • As You Like It
  • Cardenio
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Cymbeline
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Love’s Labour’s Won
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Pericles Prince of Tyre
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • The Winter’s Tale

Histories:

  • King John
  • Edward III
  • Richard II
  • Henry IV, Part 1
  • Henry IV, Part 2
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • Henry VI, Part 2
  • Henry VI, Part 3
  • Richard III
  • Henry VIII
  • Sir Thomas More

Tragedies:

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Macbeth
  • King Lear
  • Hamlet
  • Othello
  • Titus Andronicus
  • The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
  • Antony and Cleopatra
  • Coriolanus
  • The History of Troilus and Cressida
  • The Life of Timon of Athens
  • Cymbeline

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare’s genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called “bardolatry”. In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today, consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

He was attacked by his contemporaries, because all except Tempests, were the plot already taken by other wrights. He was called” Crow beautified by the feather of others” . But in fact he has giving flesh and blood to those skeleton. He died on April 23, 1616 , apparently from an infection contracted by consuming spoiled herring, at the age of 52. He is believed to have written the epitaph on his tombstone:

“Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear,

 

To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.”

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Copyright ©2007 Arun Chullikkal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Comments
  1. Brodit says:

    Excellent you seem to have a sound knowledge about this wonderful soul who was in true sense a legend in poetry and playwright. I have readl All’s Well That Ends Well and it is y best comedies ever in my life.

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  3. I feel more men and women need to read this, quite excellent info.

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