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Essay Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was great English playwright, dramatist and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest playwright of all time. No other writer’s plays have been produced so many times or read so widely in so many countries as his.

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was one of eight children. When William Shakespeare was about seven years old, he probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School with other boys of his social class. Students went to school year round attending school for nine hours a day.

The teachers were strict disciplinarians. Stratford was an exciting place to live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it giving William the opportunity to hunt and trap small game. The River Avon, which ran through die town, endowed him the title the Bard of Avon.

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Shakespeare’s poems and plays show love for nature and rural life which reflects his childhood. In London, Shakespeare’s career took off. It is believed that he may have become well I known in London theatrical life by 1592. By that time, he had joined one of die city’s repertory theatre companies.

These companies were made up of a permanent cast of actors who presented different plays week after week. The companies were commercial organisations that depended on admission from their audience. Scholars know that Shakespeare belonged to one of the most popular acting companies in London called ‘the Lord Chamberlain’s Men’.

Shakespeare was a leading member of the group from 1594 for the rest of his career. 1594 had produced at least six of Shakespeare’s plays; During Shakespeare’s life, there were two monarchs who ruled England. They were Henry the eighth and Elizabeth the first. Both were impressed with Shakespeare, which made his name known.

There is evidence that he was a member of a traveling theatre group. In 1594, he became an actor and playwright for Lord Chamberlain’s Men. In 1599, he became a part owner of the prosperous Globe Theatre. He also was a part owner of the Black friars Theatre as of 1609. Shakespeare retired to Stratford in 1613 where he wrote many of his excellent plays. There are many reasons as to why William Shakespeare is so famous.

He was able to find universal human qualities and put them in a dramatic situation creating characters that are timeless. Yet he had the ability to create characters that are highly individual human beings. Their struggles in life are universal.

The world has admired and respected many great writers, but only Shakespeare has generated such enormous continuing interest. Shakespeare’s plays are usually divided into their major Categories. These are comedy, tragedy and history.

Three plays, which are in the category of comedy, are The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Three plays, which are in die category of tragedy, are Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus and Julius Caesar. In the category of history, three plays are Henry V, Richard II and Richard III.

William Shakespeare is an 1864 work by Victor Hugo, written in his 13th year of exile. The title is misleading; the true subject of the work is the writers that Hugo considered "the greatest geniuses of all time."[1]

Background[edit]

When Hugo began writing it, he intended for it to be an introduction for a collection of French translations of Shakespeare's plays written by his son, François-Victor Hugo. However, it grew to be approximately 300 pages in length, and Hugo had to write a separate introduction to the plays.[1]

Content[edit]

The work begins with an approximately twenty page biography, filled with inaccuracies,[1] and then becomes a work of literary criticism focusing on the literary geniuses of history. Shakespeare, but also Homer, Job, Aeschylus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Lucretius, Juvenal, St. John, St. Paul, Tacitus, Dante, Rabelais, and Cervantes. It was a critical failure. Deciding there was more of Hugo in the work than Shakespeare, some French critics suggested he should have entitled it, "Myself".[1]

Book V of Part II, The Mind and the Masses, and Book II of Part III, The Nineteenth Century, have often been combined and published as The Mind and the Masses. In it he argues for a "vast public literary domain."

Literature is the secretion of civilisation, poetry of the ideal. That is why literature is one of the wants of societies. That is why poetry is a hunger of the soul. That is why poets are the first instructors of the people. That is why Shakespeare must be translated in France. That is why Molière must be translated in England. That is why comments must be made on them. That is why there must be a vast public literary domain. That is why all poets, all philosophers, all thinkers, all the producers of the greatness of the mind must be translated, commented on, published, printed, reprinted, stereotyped, distributed, explained, recited, spread abroad, given to all, given cheaply, given at cost price, given for nothing.[2]

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Victor Hugo

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