William Shakespeare

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This article is about the poet and playwright. William Shakespeare_sentence_0

For other persons of the same name, see William Shakespeare (disambiguation). William Shakespeare_sentence_1

For other uses of "Shakespeare", see Shakespeare (disambiguation). William Shakespeare_sentence_2

William Shakespeare_table_infobox_0

William ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_0_0
BornWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_1_0 Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, EnglandWilliam Shakespeare_cell_0_1_1
BaptisedWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_2_0 26 April 1564William Shakespeare_cell_0_2_1
DiedWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_3_0 23 April 1616 (aged 52)

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, EnglandWilliam Shakespeare_cell_0_3_1

Resting placeWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_4_0 Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-AvonWilliam Shakespeare_cell_0_4_1
OccupationWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_5_0 William Shakespeare_cell_0_5_1
Years activeWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_6_0 c. 1585–1613William Shakespeare_cell_0_6_1
EraWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_7_0 William Shakespeare_cell_0_7_1
MovementWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_8_0 English RenaissanceWilliam Shakespeare_cell_0_8_1
Spouse(s)William Shakespeare_header_cell_0_9_0 Anne Hathaway ​(m. 1582)​William Shakespeare_cell_0_9_1
ChildrenWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_10_0 William Shakespeare_cell_0_10_1
ParentsWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_11_0 William Shakespeare_cell_0_11_1
SignatureWilliam Shakespeare_header_cell_0_12_0

William Shakespeare (bapt. William Shakespeare_sentence_3

26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. William Shakespeare_sentence_4

He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "the Bard"). William Shakespeare_sentence_5

His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. William Shakespeare_sentence_6

His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. William Shakespeare_sentence_7

They also continue to be studied and reinterpreted. William Shakespeare_sentence_8

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. William Shakespeare_sentence_9

At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. William Shakespeare_sentence_10

Sometime 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. William Shakespeare_sentence_11

At age 49 (around 1613), he appears to have retired to Stratford, where he died three years later. William Shakespeare_sentence_12

Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; this has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. William Shakespeare_sentence_13

Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. William Shakespeare_sentence_14

His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. William Shakespeare_sentence_15

He then wrote mainly tragedies until 1608, among them Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. William Shakespeare_sentence_16

In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies (also known as romances) and collaborated with other playwrights. William Shakespeare_sentence_17

Many of Shakespeare's plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime. William Shakespeare_sentence_18

However, in 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays. William Shakespeare_sentence_19

The volume was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Jonson presciently hailed Shakespeare in a now-famous quote as "not of an age, but for all time". William Shakespeare_sentence_20

Life William Shakespeare_section_0

Main article: Life of William Shakespeare William Shakespeare_sentence_21

Early life William Shakespeare_section_1

William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover (glove-maker) originally from Snitterfield, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. William Shakespeare_sentence_22

He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was baptised on 26 April 1564. William Shakespeare_sentence_23

His date of birth is unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George's Day. William Shakespeare_sentence_24

This date, which can be traced to a mistake made by an 18th-century scholar, has proved appealing to biographers because Shakespeare died on the same date in 1616. William Shakespeare_sentence_25

He was the third of John and Mary Shakespeare's eight children, and their oldest surviving child; their first two children, both girls, did not live beyond infancy. William Shakespeare_sentence_26

Although no attendance records for the period survive, most biographers agree that Shakespeare was probably educated at the King's New School in Stratford, a free school chartered in 1553, about a quarter-mile (400 m) from his home. William Shakespeare_sentence_27

Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but grammar school curricula were largely similar: the basic Latin text was standardised by royal decree, and the school would have provided an intensive education in grammar based upon Latin classical authors. William Shakespeare_sentence_28

At the age of 18, Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. William Shakespeare_sentence_29

The consistory court of the Diocese of Worcester issued a marriage licence on 27 November 1582. William Shakespeare_sentence_30

The next day, two of Hathaway's neighbours posted bonds guaranteeing that no lawful claims impeded the marriage. William Shakespeare_sentence_31

The ceremony may have been arranged in some haste since the Worcester chancellor allowed the marriage banns to be read once instead of the usual three times, and six months after the marriage Anne gave birth to a daughter, Susanna, baptised 26 May 1583. William Shakespeare_sentence_32

Twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith, followed almost two years later and were baptised 2 February 1585. William Shakespeare_sentence_33

Hamnet died of unknown causes at the age of 11 and was buried 11 August 1596. William Shakespeare_sentence_34

After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592. William Shakespeare_sentence_35

The exception is the appearance of his name in the "complaints bill" of a law case before the Queen's Bench court at Westminster dated Michaelmas Term 1588 and 9 October 1589. William Shakespeare_sentence_36

Scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare's "lost years". William Shakespeare_sentence_37

Biographers attempting to account for this period have reported many stories. William Shakespeare_sentence_38

Nicholas Rowe, Shakespeare's first biographer, recounted a Stratford legend that Shakespeare fled the town for London to escape prosecution for deer poaching in the estate of local squire Thomas Lucy. William Shakespeare_sentence_39

Shakespeare is also supposed to have taken his revenge on Lucy by writing a scurrilous ballad about him. William Shakespeare_sentence_40

Another 18th-century story has Shakespeare starting his theatrical career minding the horses of theatre patrons in London. William Shakespeare_sentence_41

John Aubrey reported that Shakespeare had been a country schoolmaster. William Shakespeare_sentence_42

Some 20th-century scholars suggested that Shakespeare may have been employed as a schoolmaster by Alexander Hoghton of Lancashire, a Catholic landowner who named a certain "William Shakeshafte" in his will. William Shakespeare_sentence_43

Little evidence substantiates such stories other than collected after his death, and Shakeshafte was a common name in the Lancashire area. William Shakespeare_sentence_44

London and theatrical career William Shakespeare_section_2

It is not known definitively when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays were on the London stage by 1592. William Shakespeare_sentence_45

By then, he was sufficiently known in London to be attacked in print by the playwright Robert Greene in his Groats-Worth of Wit: William Shakespeare_sentence_46

Scholars differ on the exact meaning of Greene's words, but most agree that Greene was accusing Shakespeare of reaching above his rank in trying to match such university-educated writers as Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Nashe, and Greene himself (the so-called "University Wits"). William Shakespeare_sentence_47

The italicised phrase parodying the line "Oh, tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide" from Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3, along with the pun "Shake-scene", clearly identify Shakespeare as Greene's target. William Shakespeare_sentence_48

As used here, Johannes Factotum ("Jack of all trades") refers to a second-rate tinkerer with the work of others, rather than the more common "universal genius". William Shakespeare_sentence_49

Greene's attack is the earliest surviving mention of Shakespeare's work in the theatre. William Shakespeare_sentence_50

Biographers suggest that his career may have begun any time from the mid-1580s to just before Greene's remarks. William Shakespeare_sentence_51

After 1594, Shakespeare's plays were performed only by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a company owned by a group of players, including Shakespeare, that soon became the leading playing company in London. William Shakespeare_sentence_52

After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the company was awarded a royal patent by the new King James I, and changed its name to the King's Men. William Shakespeare_sentence_53

In 1599, a partnership of members of the company built their own theatre on the south bank of the River Thames, which they named the Globe. William Shakespeare_sentence_54

In 1608, the partnership also took over the Blackfriars indoor theatre. William Shakespeare_sentence_55

Extant records of Shakespeare's property purchases and investments indicate that his association with the company made him a wealthy man, and in 1597, he bought the second-largest house in Stratford, New Place, and in 1605, invested in a share of the parish tithes in Stratford. William Shakespeare_sentence_56

Some of Shakespeare's plays were published in quarto editions, beginning in 1594, and by 1598, his name had become a selling point and began to appear on the title pages. William Shakespeare_sentence_57

Shakespeare continued to act in his own and other plays after his success as a playwright. William Shakespeare_sentence_58

The 1616 edition of Ben Jonson's Works names him on the cast lists for Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Sejanus His Fall (1603). William Shakespeare_sentence_59

The absence of his name from the 1605 cast list for Jonson's Volpone is taken by some scholars as a sign that his acting career was nearing its end. William Shakespeare_sentence_60

The First Folio of 1623, however, lists Shakespeare as one of "the Principal Actors in all these Plays", some of which were first staged after Volpone, although one cannot know for certain which roles he played. William Shakespeare_sentence_61

In 1610, John Davies of Hereford wrote that "good Will" played "kingly" roles. William Shakespeare_sentence_62

In 1709, Rowe passed down a tradition that Shakespeare played the ghost of Hamlet's father. William Shakespeare_sentence_63

Later traditions maintain that he also played Adam in As You Like It, and the Chorus in Henry V, though scholars doubt the sources of that information. William Shakespeare_sentence_64

Throughout his career, Shakespeare divided his time between London and Stratford. William Shakespeare_sentence_65

In 1596, the year before he bought New Place as his family home in Stratford, Shakespeare was living in the parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, north of the River Thames. William Shakespeare_sentence_66

He moved across the river to Southwark by 1599, the same year his company constructed the Globe Theatre there. William Shakespeare_sentence_67

By 1604, he had moved north of the river again, to an area north of St Paul's Cathedral with many fine houses. William Shakespeare_sentence_68

There, he rented rooms from a French Huguenot named Christopher Mountjoy, a maker of ladies' wigs and other headgear. William Shakespeare_sentence_69

Later years and death William Shakespeare_section_3

Rowe was the first biographer to record the tradition, repeated by Johnson, that Shakespeare retired to Stratford "some years before his death". William Shakespeare_sentence_70

He was still working as an actor in London in 1608; in an answer to the sharers' petition in 1635, Cuthbert Burbage stated that after purchasing the lease of the Blackfriars Theatre in 1608 from Henry Evans, the King's Men "placed men players" there, "which were Heminges, Condell, Shakespeare, etc.". William Shakespeare_sentence_71

However, it is perhaps relevant that the bubonic plague raged in London throughout 1609. William Shakespeare_sentence_72

The London public playhouses were repeatedly closed during extended outbreaks of the plague (a total of over 60 months closure between May 1603 and February 1610), which meant there was often no acting work. William Shakespeare_sentence_73

Retirement from all work was uncommon at that time. William Shakespeare_sentence_74

Shakespeare continued to visit London during the years 1611–1614. William Shakespeare_sentence_75

In 1612, he was called as a witness in Bellott v Mountjoy, a court case concerning the marriage settlement of Mountjoy's daughter, Mary. William Shakespeare_sentence_76

In March 1613, he bought a gatehouse in the former Blackfriars priory; and from November 1614, he was in London for several weeks with his son-in-law, John Hall. William Shakespeare_sentence_77

After 1610, Shakespeare wrote fewer plays, and none are attributed to him after 1613. William Shakespeare_sentence_78

His last three plays were collaborations, probably with John Fletcher, who succeeded him as the house playwright of the King's Men. William Shakespeare_sentence_79

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616, at the age of 52. William Shakespeare_sentence_80

He died within a month of signing his will, a document which he begins by describing himself as being in "perfect health". William Shakespeare_sentence_81

No extant contemporary source explains how or why he died. William Shakespeare_sentence_82

Half a century later, John Ward, the vicar of Stratford, wrote in his notebook: "Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and, it seems, drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted", not an impossible scenario since Shakespeare knew Jonson and Drayton. William Shakespeare_sentence_83

Of the tributes from fellow authors, one refers to his relatively sudden death: "We wondered, Shakespeare, that thou went'st so soon / From the world's stage to the grave's tiring room." William Shakespeare_sentence_84

He was survived by his wife and two daughters. William Shakespeare_sentence_85

Susanna had married a physician, John Hall, in 1607, and Judith had married Thomas Quiney, a vintner, two months before Shakespeare's death. William Shakespeare_sentence_86

Shakespeare signed his last will and testament on 25 March 1616; the following day, his new son-in-law, Thomas Quiney was found guilty of fathering an illegitimate son by Margaret Wheeler, who had died during childbirth. William Shakespeare_sentence_87

Thomas was ordered by the church court to do public penance, which would have caused much shame and embarrassment for the Shakespeare family. William Shakespeare_sentence_88

Shakespeare bequeathed the bulk of his large estate to his elder daughter Susanna under stipulations that she pass it down intact to "the first son of her body". William Shakespeare_sentence_89

The Quineys had three children, all of whom died without marrying. William Shakespeare_sentence_90

The Halls had one child, Elizabeth, who married twice but died without children in 1670, ending Shakespeare's direct line. William Shakespeare_sentence_91

Shakespeare's will scarcely mentions his wife, Anne, who was probably entitled to one-third of his estate automatically. William Shakespeare_sentence_92

He did make a point, however, of leaving her "my second best bed", a bequest that has led to much speculation. William Shakespeare_sentence_93

Some scholars see the bequest as an insult to Anne, whereas others believe that the second-best bed would have been the matrimonial bed and therefore rich in significance. William Shakespeare_sentence_94

Shakespeare was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. William Shakespeare_sentence_95

The epitaph carved into the stone slab covering his grave includes a curse against moving his bones, which was carefully avoided during restoration of the church in 2008: William Shakespeare_sentence_96

(Modern spelling: Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, / To dig the dust enclosed here. William Shakespeare_sentence_97

/ Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones.) William Shakespeare_sentence_98

Some time before 1623, a funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall, with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. William Shakespeare_sentence_99

Its plaque compares him to Nestor, Socrates, and Virgil. William Shakespeare_sentence_100

In 1623, in conjunction with the publication of the First Folio, the Droeshout engraving was published. William Shakespeare_sentence_101

Shakespeare has been commemorated in many statues and memorials around the world, including funeral monuments in Southwark Cathedral and Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. William Shakespeare_sentence_102

Plays William Shakespeare_section_4

Main articles: Shakespeare's plays and William Shakespeare's collaborations William Shakespeare_sentence_103

Most playwrights of the period typically collaborated with others at some point, and critics agree that Shakespeare did the same, mostly early and late in his career. William Shakespeare_sentence_104

The first recorded works of Shakespeare are Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI, written in the early 1590s during a vogue for historical drama. William Shakespeare_sentence_105

Shakespeare's plays are difficult to date precisely, however, and studies of the texts suggest that Titus Andronicus, The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona may also belong to Shakespeare's earliest period. William Shakespeare_sentence_106

His first histories, which draw heavily on the 1587 edition of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, dramatise the destructive results of weak or corrupt rule and have been interpreted as a justification for the origins of the Tudor dynasty. William Shakespeare_sentence_107

The early plays were influenced by the works of other Elizabethan dramatists, especially Thomas Kyd and Christopher Marlowe, by the traditions of medieval drama, and by the plays of Seneca. William Shakespeare_sentence_108

The Comedy of Errors was also based on classical models, but no source for The Taming of the Shrew has been found, though it is related to a separate play of the same name and may have derived from a folk story. William Shakespeare_sentence_109

Like The Two Gentlemen of Verona, in which two friends appear to approve of rape, the Shrew's story of the taming of a woman's independent spirit by a man sometimes troubles modern critics, directors, and audiences. William Shakespeare_sentence_110

Shakespeare's early classical and Italianate comedies, containing tight double plots and precise comic sequences, give way in the mid-1590s to the romantic atmosphere of his most acclaimed comedies. William Shakespeare_sentence_111

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a witty mixture of romance, fairy magic, and comic lowlife scenes. William Shakespeare_sentence_112

Shakespeare's next comedy, the equally romantic Merchant of Venice, contains a portrayal of the vengeful Jewish moneylender Shylock, which reflects Elizabethan views but may appear derogatory to modern audiences. William Shakespeare_sentence_113

The wit and wordplay of Much Ado About Nothing, the charming rural setting of As You Like It, and the lively merrymaking of Twelfth Night complete Shakespeare's sequence of great comedies. William Shakespeare_sentence_114

After the lyrical Richard II, written almost entirely in verse, Shakespeare introduced prose comedy into the histories of the late 1590s, Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. William Shakespeare_sentence_115

His characters become more complex and tender as he switches deftly between comic and serious scenes, prose and poetry, and achieves the narrative variety of his mature work. William Shakespeare_sentence_116

This period begins and ends with two tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, the famous romantic tragedy of sexually charged adolescence, love, and death; and Julius Caesar—based on Sir Thomas North's 1579 translation of Plutarch's Parallel Lives—which introduced a new kind of drama. William Shakespeare_sentence_117

According to Shakespearean scholar James Shapiro, in Julius Caesar, "the various strands of politics, character, inwardness, contemporary events, even Shakespeare's own reflections on the act of writing, began to infuse each other". William Shakespeare_sentence_118

In the early 17th century, Shakespeare wrote the so-called "problem plays" Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, and All's Well That Ends Well and a number of his best known tragedies. William Shakespeare_sentence_119

Many critics believe that Shakespeare's greatest tragedies represent the peak of his art. William Shakespeare_sentence_120

The titular hero of one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, Hamlet, has probably been discussed more than any other Shakespearean character, especially for his famous soliloquy which begins "To be or not to be; that is the question". William Shakespeare_sentence_121

Unlike the introverted Hamlet, whose fatal flaw is hesitation, the heroes of the tragedies that followed, Othello and King Lear, are undone by hasty errors of judgement. William Shakespeare_sentence_122

The plots of Shakespeare's tragedies often hinge on such fatal errors or flaws, which overturn order and destroy the hero and those he loves. William Shakespeare_sentence_123

In Othello, the villain Iago stokes Othello's sexual jealousy to the point where he murders the innocent wife who loves him. William Shakespeare_sentence_124

In King Lear, the old king commits the tragic error of giving up his powers, initiating the events which lead to the torture and blinding of the Earl of Gloucester and the murder of Lear's youngest daughter Cordelia. William Shakespeare_sentence_125

According to the critic Frank Kermode, "the play...offers neither its good characters nor its audience any relief from its cruelty". William Shakespeare_sentence_126

In Macbeth, the shortest and most compressed of Shakespeare's tragedies, uncontrollable ambition incites Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, to murder the rightful king and usurp the throne until their own guilt destroys them in turn. William Shakespeare_sentence_127

In this play, Shakespeare adds a supernatural element to the tragic structure. William Shakespeare_sentence_128

His last major tragedies, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus, contain some of Shakespeare's finest poetry and were considered his most successful tragedies by the poet and critic T. William Shakespeare_sentence_129 S. Eliot. William Shakespeare_sentence_130

In his final period, Shakespeare turned to romance or tragicomedy and completed three more major plays: Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest, as well as the collaboration, Pericles, Prince of Tyre. William Shakespeare_sentence_131

Less bleak than the tragedies, these four plays are graver in tone than the comedies of the 1590s, but they end with reconciliation and the forgiveness of potentially tragic errors. William Shakespeare_sentence_132

Some commentators have seen this change in mood as evidence of a more serene view of life on Shakespeare's part, but it may merely reflect the theatrical fashion of the day. William Shakespeare_sentence_133

Shakespeare collaborated on two further surviving plays, Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen, probably with John Fletcher. William Shakespeare_sentence_134

Performances William Shakespeare_section_5

Main article: Shakespeare in performance William Shakespeare_sentence_135

It is not clear for which companies Shakespeare wrote his early plays. William Shakespeare_sentence_136

The title page of the 1594 edition of Titus Andronicus reveals that the play had been acted by three different troupes. William Shakespeare_sentence_137

After the plagues of 1592–93, Shakespeare's plays were performed by his own company at The Theatre and the Curtain in Shoreditch, north of the Thames. William Shakespeare_sentence_138

Londoners flocked there to see the first part of Henry IV, Leonard Digges recording, "Let but Falstaff come, Hal, Poins, the rest ... and you scarce shall have a room". William Shakespeare_sentence_139

When the company found themselves in dispute with their landlord, they pulled The Theatre down and used the timbers to construct the Globe Theatre, the first playhouse built by actors for actors, on the south bank of the Thames at Southwark. William Shakespeare_sentence_140

The Globe opened in autumn 1599, with Julius Caesar one of the first plays staged. William Shakespeare_sentence_141

Most of Shakespeare's greatest post-1599 plays were written for the Globe, including Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear. William Shakespeare_sentence_142

After the Lord Chamberlain's Men were renamed the King's Men in 1603, they entered a special relationship with the new King James. William Shakespeare_sentence_143

Although the performance records are patchy, the King's Men performed seven of Shakespeare's plays at court between 1 November 1604, and 31 October 1605, including two performances of The Merchant of Venice. William Shakespeare_sentence_144

After 1608, they performed at the indoor Blackfriars Theatre during the winter and the Globe during the summer. William Shakespeare_sentence_145

The indoor setting, combined with the Jacobean fashion for lavishly staged masques, allowed Shakespeare to introduce more elaborate stage devices. William Shakespeare_sentence_146

In Cymbeline, for example, Jupiter descends "in thunder and lightning, sitting upon an eagle: he throws a thunderbolt. William Shakespeare_sentence_147

The ghosts fall on their knees." William Shakespeare_sentence_148

The actors in Shakespeare's company included the famous Richard Burbage, William Kempe, Henry Condell and John Heminges. William Shakespeare_sentence_149

Burbage played the leading role in the first performances of many of Shakespeare's plays, including Richard III, Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear. William Shakespeare_sentence_150

The popular comic actor Will Kempe played the servant Peter in Romeo and Juliet and Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, among other characters. William Shakespeare_sentence_151

He was replaced around 1600 by Robert Armin, who played roles such as Touchstone in As You Like It and the fool in King Lear. William Shakespeare_sentence_152

In 1613, Sir Henry Wotton recorded that Henry VIII "was set forth with many extraordinary circumstances of pomp and ceremony". William Shakespeare_sentence_153

On 29 June, however, a cannon set fire to the thatch of the Globe and burned the theatre to the ground, an event which pinpoints the date of a Shakespeare play with rare precision. William Shakespeare_sentence_154

Textual sources William Shakespeare_section_6

In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two of Shakespeare's friends from the King's Men, published the First Folio, a collected edition of Shakespeare's plays. William Shakespeare_sentence_155

It contained 36 texts, including 18 printed for the first time. William Shakespeare_sentence_156

Many of the plays had already appeared in quarto versions—flimsy books made from sheets of paper folded twice to make four leaves. William Shakespeare_sentence_157

No evidence suggests that Shakespeare approved these editions, which the First Folio describes as "stol'n and surreptitious copies". William Shakespeare_sentence_158

Nor did Shakespeare plan or expect his works to survive in any form at all; those works likely would have faded into oblivion but for his friends' spontaneous idea, after his death, to create and publish the First Folio. William Shakespeare_sentence_159

Alfred Pollard termed some of the pre-1623 versions as "bad quartos" because of their adapted, paraphrased or garbled texts, which may in places have been reconstructed from memory. William Shakespeare_sentence_160

Where several versions of a play survive, each differs from the other. William Shakespeare_sentence_161

The differences may stem from copying or printing errors, from notes by actors or audience members, or from Shakespeare's own papers. William Shakespeare_sentence_162

In some cases, for example, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, and Othello, Shakespeare could have revised the texts between the quarto and folio editions. William Shakespeare_sentence_163

In the case of King Lear, however, while most modern editions do conflate them, the 1623 folio version is so different from the 1608 quarto that the Oxford Shakespeare prints them both, arguing that they cannot be conflated without confusion. William Shakespeare_sentence_164

Poems William Shakespeare_section_7

In 1593 and 1594, when the theatres were closed because of plague, Shakespeare published two narrative poems on sexual themes, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. William Shakespeare_sentence_165

He dedicated them to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. William Shakespeare_sentence_166

In Venus and Adonis, an innocent Adonis rejects the sexual advances of Venus; while in The Rape of Lucrece, the virtuous wife Lucrece is raped by the lustful Tarquin. William Shakespeare_sentence_167

Influenced by Ovid's Metamorphoses, the poems show the guilt and moral confusion that result from uncontrolled lust. William Shakespeare_sentence_168

Both proved popular and were often reprinted during Shakespeare's lifetime. William Shakespeare_sentence_169

A third narrative poem, A Lover's Complaint, in which a young woman laments her seduction by a persuasive suitor, was printed in the first edition of the Sonnets in 1609. William Shakespeare_sentence_170

Most scholars now accept that Shakespeare wrote A Lover's Complaint. William Shakespeare_sentence_171

Critics consider that its fine qualities are marred by leaden effects. William Shakespeare_sentence_172

The Phoenix and the Turtle, printed in Robert Chester's 1601 Love's Martyr, mourns the deaths of the legendary phoenix and his lover, the faithful turtle dove. William Shakespeare_sentence_173

In 1599, two early drafts of sonnets 138 and 144 appeared in The Passionate Pilgrim, published under Shakespeare's name but without his permission. William Shakespeare_sentence_174

Sonnets William Shakespeare_section_8

Main article: Shakespeare's sonnets William Shakespeare_sentence_175

Published in 1609, the Sonnets were the last of Shakespeare's non-dramatic works to be printed. William Shakespeare_sentence_176

Scholars are not certain when each of the 154 sonnets was composed, but evidence suggests that Shakespeare wrote sonnets throughout his career for a private readership. William Shakespeare_sentence_177

Even before the two unauthorised sonnets appeared in The Passionate Pilgrim in 1599, Francis Meres had referred in 1598 to Shakespeare's "sugred Sonnets among his private friends". William Shakespeare_sentence_178

Few analysts believe that the published collection follows Shakespeare's intended sequence. William Shakespeare_sentence_179

He seems to have planned two contrasting series: one about uncontrollable lust for a married woman of dark complexion (the "dark lady"), and one about conflicted love for a fair young man (the "fair youth"). William Shakespeare_sentence_180

It remains unclear if these figures represent real individuals, or if the authorial "I" who addresses them represents Shakespeare himself, though Wordsworth believed that with the sonnets "Shakespeare unlocked his heart". William Shakespeare_sentence_181

The 1609 edition was dedicated to a "Mr. W.H.", credited as "the only begetter" of the poems. William Shakespeare_sentence_182

It is not known whether this was written by Shakespeare himself or by the publisher, Thomas Thorpe, whose initials appear at the foot of the dedication page; nor is it known who Mr. W.H. was, despite numerous theories, or whether Shakespeare even authorised the publication. William Shakespeare_sentence_183

Critics praise the Sonnets as a profound meditation on the nature of love, sexual passion, procreation, death, and time. William Shakespeare_sentence_184

Style William Shakespeare_section_9

Main article: Shakespeare's style William Shakespeare_sentence_185

Shakespeare's first plays were written in the conventional style of the day. William Shakespeare_sentence_186

He wrote them in a stylised language that does not always spring naturally from the needs of the characters or the drama. William Shakespeare_sentence_187

The poetry depends on extended, sometimes elaborate metaphors and conceits, and the language is often rhetorical—written for actors to declaim rather than speak. William Shakespeare_sentence_188

The grand speeches in Titus Andronicus, in the view of some critics, often hold up the action, for example; and the verse in The Two Gentlemen of Verona has been described as stilted. William Shakespeare_sentence_189

However, Shakespeare soon began to adapt the traditional styles to his own purposes. William Shakespeare_sentence_190

The opening soliloquy of Richard III has its roots in the self-declaration of Vice in medieval drama. William Shakespeare_sentence_191

At the same time, Richard's vivid self-awareness looks forward to the soliloquies of Shakespeare's mature plays. William Shakespeare_sentence_192

No single play marks a change from the traditional to the freer style. William Shakespeare_sentence_193

Shakespeare combined the two throughout his career, with Romeo and Juliet perhaps the best example of the mixing of the styles. William Shakespeare_sentence_194

By the time of Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night's Dream in the mid-1590s, Shakespeare had begun to write a more natural poetry. William Shakespeare_sentence_195

He increasingly tuned his metaphors and images to the needs of the drama itself. William Shakespeare_sentence_196

Shakespeare's standard poetic form was blank verse, composed in iambic pentameter. William Shakespeare_sentence_197

In practice, this meant that his verse was usually unrhymed and consisted of ten syllables to a line, spoken with a stress on every second syllable. William Shakespeare_sentence_198

The blank verse of his early plays is quite different from that of his later ones. William Shakespeare_sentence_199

It is often beautiful, but its sentences tend to start, pause, and finish at the end of lines, with the risk of monotony. William Shakespeare_sentence_200

Once Shakespeare mastered traditional blank verse, he began to interrupt and vary its flow. William Shakespeare_sentence_201

This technique releases the new power and flexibility of the poetry in plays such as Julius Caesar and Hamlet. William Shakespeare_sentence_202

Shakespeare uses it, for example, to convey the turmoil in Hamlet's mind: William Shakespeare_sentence_203

After Hamlet, Shakespeare varied his poetic style further, particularly in the more emotional passages of the late tragedies. William Shakespeare_sentence_204

The literary critic A. William Shakespeare_sentence_205 C. Bradley described this style as "more concentrated, rapid, varied, and, in construction, less regular, not seldom twisted or elliptical". William Shakespeare_sentence_206

In the last phase of his career, Shakespeare adopted many techniques to achieve these effects. William Shakespeare_sentence_207

These included run-on lines, irregular pauses and stops, and extreme variations in sentence structure and length. William Shakespeare_sentence_208

In Macbeth, for example, the language darts from one unrelated metaphor or simile to another: "was the hope drunk/ Wherein you dressed yourself?" William Shakespeare_sentence_209

(1.7.35–38); "... pity, like a naked new-born babe/ Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors'd/ Upon the sightless couriers of the air ..." (1.7.21–25). William Shakespeare_sentence_210

The listener is challenged to complete the sense. William Shakespeare_sentence_211

The late romances, with their shifts in time and surprising turns of plot, inspired a last poetic style in which long and short sentences are set against one another, clauses are piled up, subject and object are reversed, and words are omitted, creating an effect of spontaneity. William Shakespeare_sentence_212

Shakespeare combined poetic genius with a practical sense of the theatre. William Shakespeare_sentence_213

Like all playwrights of the time, he dramatised stories from sources such as Plutarch and Holinshed. William Shakespeare_sentence_214

He reshaped each plot to create several centres of interest and to show as many sides of a narrative to the audience as possible. William Shakespeare_sentence_215

This strength of design ensures that a Shakespeare play can survive translation, cutting and wide interpretation without loss to its core drama. William Shakespeare_sentence_216

As Shakespeare's mastery grew, he gave his characters clearer and more varied motivations and distinctive patterns of speech. William Shakespeare_sentence_217

He preserved aspects of his earlier style in the later plays, however. William Shakespeare_sentence_218

In Shakespeare's late romances, he deliberately returned to a more artificial style, which emphasised the illusion of theatre. William Shakespeare_sentence_219

Influence William Shakespeare_section_10

Main article: Shakespeare's influence William Shakespeare_sentence_220

Shakespeare's work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature. William Shakespeare_sentence_221

In particular, he expanded the dramatic potential of characterisation, plot, language, and genre. William Shakespeare_sentence_222

Until Romeo and Juliet, for example, romance had not been viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy. William Shakespeare_sentence_223

Soliloquies had been used mainly to convey information about characters or events, but Shakespeare used them to explore characters' minds. William Shakespeare_sentence_224

His work heavily influenced later poetry. William Shakespeare_sentence_225

The Romantic poets attempted to revive Shakespearean verse drama, though with little success. William Shakespeare_sentence_226

Critic George Steiner described all English verse dramas from Coleridge to Tennyson as "feeble variations on Shakespearean themes." William Shakespeare_sentence_227

Shakespeare influenced novelists such as Thomas Hardy, William Faulkner, and Charles Dickens. William Shakespeare_sentence_228

The American novelist Herman Melville's soliloquies owe much to Shakespeare; his Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick is a classic tragic hero, inspired by King Lear. William Shakespeare_sentence_229

Scholars have identified 20,000 pieces of music linked to Shakespeare's works. William Shakespeare_sentence_230

These include three operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, whose critical standing compares with that of the source plays. William Shakespeare_sentence_231

Shakespeare has also inspired many painters, including the Romantics and the Pre-Raphaelites. William Shakespeare_sentence_232

The Swiss Romantic artist Henry Fuseli, a friend of William Blake, even translated Macbeth into German. William Shakespeare_sentence_233

The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud drew on Shakespearean psychology, in particular, that of Hamlet, for his theories of human nature. William Shakespeare_sentence_234

In Shakespeare's day, English grammar, spelling, and pronunciation were less standardised than they are now, and his use of language helped shape modern English. William Shakespeare_sentence_235

Samuel Johnson quoted him more often than any other author in his A Dictionary of the English Language, the first serious work of its type. William Shakespeare_sentence_236

Expressions such as "with bated breath" (Merchant of Venice) and "a foregone conclusion" (Othello) have found their way into everyday English speech. William Shakespeare_sentence_237

Shakespeare's influence extends far beyond his native England and the English language. William Shakespeare_sentence_238

His reception in Germany was particularly significant; as early as the 18th century Shakespeare was widely translated and popularised in Germany, and gradually became a "classic of the German Weimar era;" Christoph Martin Wieland was the first to produce complete translations of Shakespeare's plays in any language. William Shakespeare_sentence_239

Actor and theatre director Simon Callow writes, "this master, this titan, this genius, so profoundly British and so effortlessly universal, each different culture – German, Italian, Russian – was obliged to respond to the Shakespearean example; for the most part, they embraced it, and him, with joyous abandon, as the possibilities of language and character in action that he celebrated liberated writers across the continent. William Shakespeare_sentence_240

Some of the most deeply affecting productions of Shakespeare have been non-English, and non-European. William Shakespeare_sentence_241

He is that unique writer: he has something for everyone." William Shakespeare_sentence_242

Critical reputation William Shakespeare_section_11

Main articles: Shakespeare's reputation and Timeline of Shakespeare criticism William Shakespeare_sentence_243

Shakespeare was not revered in his lifetime, but he received a large amount of praise. William Shakespeare_sentence_244

In 1598, the cleric and author Francis Meres singled him out from a group of English playwrights as "the most excellent" in both comedy and tragedy. William Shakespeare_sentence_245

The authors of the Parnassus plays at St John's College, Cambridge, numbered him with Chaucer, Gower, and Spenser. William Shakespeare_sentence_246

In the First Folio, Ben Jonson called Shakespeare the "Soul of the age, the applause, delight, the wonder of our stage", although he had remarked elsewhere that "Shakespeare wanted art" (lacked skill). William Shakespeare_sentence_247

Between the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the end of the 17th century, classical ideas were in vogue. William Shakespeare_sentence_248

As a result, critics of the time mostly rated Shakespeare below John Fletcher and Ben Jonson. William Shakespeare_sentence_249

Thomas Rymer, for example, condemned Shakespeare for mixing the comic with the tragic. William Shakespeare_sentence_250

Nevertheless, poet and critic John Dryden rated Shakespeare highly, saying of Jonson, "I admire him, but I love Shakespeare". William Shakespeare_sentence_251

For several decades, Rymer's view held sway; but during the 18th century, critics began to respond to Shakespeare on his own terms and acclaim what they termed his natural genius. William Shakespeare_sentence_252

A series of scholarly editions of his work, notably those of Samuel Johnson in 1765 and Edmond Malone in 1790, added to his growing reputation. William Shakespeare_sentence_253

By 1800, he was firmly enshrined as the national poet. William Shakespeare_sentence_254

In the 18th and 19th centuries, his reputation also spread abroad. William Shakespeare_sentence_255

Among those who championed him were the writers Voltaire, Goethe, Stendhal, and Victor Hugo. William Shakespeare_sentence_256

During the Romantic era, Shakespeare was praised by the poet and literary philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the critic August Wilhelm Schlegel translated his plays in the spirit of German Romanticism. William Shakespeare_sentence_257

In the 19th century, critical admiration for Shakespeare's genius often bordered on adulation. William Shakespeare_sentence_258

"This King Shakespeare," the essayist Thomas Carlyle wrote in 1840, "does not he shine, in crowned sovereignty, over us all, as the noblest, gentlest, yet strongest of rallying signs; indestructible". William Shakespeare_sentence_259

The Victorians produced his plays as lavish spectacles on a grand scale. William Shakespeare_sentence_260

The playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw mocked the cult of Shakespeare worship as "bardolatry", claiming that the new naturalism of Ibsen's plays had made Shakespeare obsolete. William Shakespeare_sentence_261

The modernist revolution in the arts during the early 20th century, far from discarding Shakespeare, eagerly enlisted his work in the service of the avant-garde. William Shakespeare_sentence_262

The Expressionists in Germany and the Futurists in Moscow mounted productions of his plays. William Shakespeare_sentence_263

Marxist playwright and director Bertolt Brecht devised an epic theatre under the influence of Shakespeare. William Shakespeare_sentence_264

The poet and critic T.S. William Shakespeare_sentence_265 Eliot argued against Shaw that Shakespeare's "primitiveness" in fact made him truly modern. William Shakespeare_sentence_266

Eliot, along with G. William Shakespeare_sentence_267 Wilson Knight and the school of New Criticism, led a movement towards a closer reading of Shakespeare's imagery. William Shakespeare_sentence_268

In the 1950s, a wave of new critical approaches replaced modernism and paved the way for "post-modern" studies of Shakespeare. William Shakespeare_sentence_269

By the 1980s, Shakespeare studies were open to movements such as structuralism, feminism, New Historicism, African-American studies, and queer studies. William Shakespeare_sentence_270

Comparing Shakespeare's accomplishments to those of leading figures in philosophy and theology, Harold Bloom wrote: "Shakespeare was larger than Plato and than St. William Shakespeare_sentence_271 Augustine. William Shakespeare_sentence_272

He encloses us because we see with his fundamental perceptions." William Shakespeare_sentence_273


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William Shakespeare.