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Posts published in “Shakespeare”

Picture of William Shakespeare
Shakespeare (1564-1616 AD)

Homer and Vergil, Dante and Cervantes, Milton and Goethe, are the only writers known to human history who in universality of recognition challenge comparison with Shakespeare.  Shakespeare’s achievement reveals a mastery of one faculty, —the faculty of dramatic expression, of instantaneous revelation of the springs of human conduct, to which his peers on the heights of Parnassus were for the most part strangers. In many of their peculiar excellences, too, Shakespeare outshone his peers too conspicuously to admit of any questioning of the fact. He can be more spontaneous in description than Homer, more solemn in reflection than Dante, more piercing in satire than Cervantes, more searching in introspect than Goethe. No poet has been endowed with command of language.  No author has sounded a more vivid or a fuller note of humour and comicality. Intimacy with the griefs and joys that sway humanity is an essential characteristic of all great literature, but no author has come within measurable distance of the fulness and certainty which marked Shakespeare’s control of the sources both of merriment and pathos.

Life of William Shakespeare

Born in 1564, Shakespeare died in 1616, having just completed his fifty-second year.  His first play, “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” may be assigned to the year 1591; his latest completed play, “The Tempest,” may be assigned to the year 1611. He was of the comparatively mature age of twenty-seven years when his career as dramatic author is positively known to have opened, and he was forty-seven years old when it closed. It is probable that the whole of his dramatic work as we know it was begun and ended within that period of twenty years which formed the midmost period of his adult career.

Unlike many eminent poets, through nearly the whole era of his activity Shakespeare produced great work, at the methodical rate of two plays a year. Nor did he exhaust his powers by undue exertion before he died. He always economized his energy. From first to last, from “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” and the “Comedy of Errors” to the “Winter’s Tale” and “Tempest,” it was his habit to borrow his plots. He did not spend labour in inventing his fables; he sought them in such accessible sources. Always carefully husbanding his resources, he ceased to write when his powers were at their ripest. His last five years were spent at leisure and in retirement.


 

The Tragedy of Coriolanus

by William Shakespeare Dramatis Personæ SCENE: Partly in Rome, and partly in the territories of the Volscians and Antiates. Act I Scene I. Rome. A…

William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”

Dramatis Personæ THE DUKE OF VENICETHE PRINCE OF MOROCCO, suitor to PortiaTHE PRINCE OF ARRAGON, suitor to PortiaANTONIO, a merchant of VeniceBASSANIO, his friend, suitor…

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Enjoy this BBC Radio recording of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, starring Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons).

William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost

The Date of Love’s Labour’s Lost “Love’s Labour’s Lost” may safely be regarded as the earliest of Shakespeare’s plays. Its composition may be assigned without…

William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Date of Two Gentlemen of Verona Shakespeare’s play “Two Gentlemen of Verona” is said to be one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays. In chronology, it…

William Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors

Dramatis Personae Solinus, duke of Ephesus.Aegeon, a merchant of Syracuse.Antipholus of Ephesus, } twin brothers, and sons toAntipholus of Syracuse, } Aegeon and Aemilia.Dromio of…

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