Reading ShakespeareAugust 10th, 2012 | Posted by in Culture
William Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright of the English language. His plays and sonnets encompass all the human emotions, from joy to pathos. He lived in the Elizabethan Era, when Queen Elizabeth was Queen of England, during a time of world exploration. He was grounded in the past, with eyes for the future.
Shakespeare’s birth is generally considered to be April 23, 1564, but the date is not certain. He grew up in Stratford-on-Avon, a town on the river Avon, which was very important in those days. He got married to Anne Hathwey on November 28 1582. They had three children, first a daughter and then twins, boy and girl. He died on April 23, 1616, and is buried Stratford-on Avon. There is a bust, that is, a marble statue the decorates his tombstone.
Shakespeare was a actor first then playwright. From the depth of his knowledge, he must have also spent some time at sea, in the queen’s court, as a soldier, and was a keen observer of human nature. Many of his plays depict historical events such as the plays of King Henry VI and Richard III. He also took Greek tragedies and brought them to the stage as in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The Language of Shakespeare
Shakespeare uses the English language of his time, making jokes, and at the same time providing for social change. Who has not heard of Romeo and Juliet? The story itself had been told a number of times by different authors, but Shakespeare took the main plot, which in other writers lasted 9 months, and compressed it to a week of joy and disaster. His poetry transformed the characters into cultural icons. These lines are forever impressed upon our thoughts as the true expression of love. “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! ” (Romeo and Juliet Act II scene ii).
Even today, his stories are being told and retold. The modern movies of West Side Story, and Shakespeare in love adapt the life and plays of William Shakespeare for the modern audience. It is worth it, however, to pick up an edition of the original and read it with the help of a dictionary. In this way you will feel the real power and feeling of William Shakespeare.
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