Shakespeare in a nutshell by bunpeiris
It has been argued the best of the literary works comes into life in the worst of times: the living testimony towards such a persuasion comes in the form of no less than the glorious literature of Russia. The best of the literary works of Russia [Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky in 1866; War and peace by Tolstoy in 1869] had all sprung up during the worst of its times [czarist autocracies: reign of Alexander 111 1845-1894; reign of Nicholas 11 1894-1917].
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all?
King Lear (5.3.13)
A hush has descebded on the Globe Theatre. Th packed audience of three thousand-lords, ladies, gentlemen, merchants, tradesmen, sailors, lawyers, servants, apprentices, schoolboys, prostitutes, brothel keepers, many of whom have paid only one penny to stand as “groundlings” in front of the stage-are watching a brand –new play in broad spring daylight.. Richard burbage enters as the old King Lear. In his arms in his daughter, Cordelia, played by a boy actor. Burbage fills the rapt silence with sounds of torment even more painful than his cries of madness on the heath an hour or so earlier. His beloved Cordlia is “dead as earth”. Nothing as unremittingly bleak has ever been seen on the English stage. Departing radically from previous telling of the story. Willaim Shakespeare, the play’s 42 year old author, has been brave to let Cordelia die. By doing so he has raised stark questions about the nature of existence, questions raised afreash each time King Lear is performed. Arguably the greatest of Shakespeare’s plays, King Lear is also one of humanity’s finest artistic achievements.
Stanley Wells: Shakespeare off the record
James S. Shapiro [born 1955], the Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University who specializes in Shakespeare and the Early Modern period, contends that Shakespeare was born in the right place and time: “his genius flourished in the richly collaborative world of the Elizabethan theater, and his dyer’s hand was steeped in the social and spiritual contradictions of an age poised between the medieval and the modern.”
Furthermore, importance of the arts to the life and legacy of her nation was recognized by Queen Elizabeth [reign: 1558-1603]. The Queen being fond of the theater, extended Royal patronage to establish professional theaters attracting 15,000 theatergoers per week in London, a city of 150,000 to 250,000. Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen, and Sir Philip Sidney’s Defence of Poesie were all written during this golden age. And Shakespeare was the favourite dramatist of the queen.
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame;
While I confess thy writings to be such
As neither man nor muse can praise too much;
To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare by Ben Jonson [1572- 1637].
The literary humanist
To his friend and rival dramatist Ben Jonson, Shakespeare was the Sweet Swan of Avon and not of an age, but for all time, man for all ages. Since Ben Jonson, a stream of literary lumineries have articulated his concise words in longer versions: here goes Joeph Fiennes [born 1970].
When I was preparing to play him in the film Shakespeare in Love, my starting point was that he was an incredible observer of the people around him, soaking up their characteristic like blotting paper. The key is that Will Shakespeare was Everyman; politically his views ranged across the board: in religious matters he was non-committal; sexually he was able to inhabit all points of view. He could deal with everyone from street urchins to monarchs, and he had the same problems as his characters. Being aware of his own doubts & contradictions made him intensly human.Shakespeare is for all ages, all cosmos
Despite the huge thrust of technological advance since the Elizabethen era, the human condition Shakepeare wrote about remains timeless. We still fall in love &get angry and avaricious; we are materiliastic or fanatical or seek spoirtually. Here was a man who understood all the pain of being human, yet loved life & humour& fun. Put simply, he was one of the greatest-ever literary humanists.
Stanley Wells: Shakespeare off the record
Over the past four centuries, Shakespeare’s iconic status as a poet & dramatist has come to represent what it means to be a genius, and his words have provided a language of self expression for every human emotion. Shakepeare is cited as an athourity in moral, political and cultural contexts that even he could have never dreamed of. His very name can stimulate approval, challenge, argument, lunacy, brilliance and, occassinlay, especially among schoolchildren, boredom. Shakespeare’s legacy represents more than the story of a life & its age; it has dominated artistic & cultural endeavour in every generation that has followed him.
Furthermore, the leading light of Shakepearan works, Harold Bloom [born 1930] 1930 would go further: Shakespeare "essentially invented human personality as we continue to know and value it."
"Before Hamlet taught us not to have faith either in language or in ourselves, being human was much simpler for us but also rather less interesting," Bloom writes. "Shakespeare, through Hamlet, has made us skeptics in our relationships with anyone, because we have learned to doubt articulateness in the realm of affection."