The Plays and Poems of William Shakspeare

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 138 頁
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: rials for such a biographical detail being now ten- attainable, we must content ourselves with such particulars as accident has preserved, or the most sedulous industry has been able to collect. - -';': -j'J '-: ' - From Sir William Dugdale, who was born in 14)05, and bred at the school of Coventry, but twenty' miles from Stratford upon Avon, and whose Antiquities of Warwickshire appeared in 1656, only thirty years after the death of our poet, we might reasonably have expected some curious memorials of his illustrious countryman: but he has not given us a single particular of his private life; contenting himself with a very slight mention of him in his account of the church and tombs of Stratford upon Avon. '? The next biographical printed notice that I have found, is in Fuller's Worthies, folio, 1662, in Warwickshire, p. 116; where there is a short quibbling account of our poet, furnishing very little information concerning him. In Theatrum Poetarum, which was not published till 1675 (though in the Bodleian, and other catalogues, that book is mentioned as having appeared in Mdclx, in consequence of the last two figures (xv) having, in some copies, dropped out of their place, at the press), Edward Phillips gives this character of our author: William Shakspeare, the glory of the English stage, whose nativity at Stratford upon Avon is the highest honour that town can boast of, from an actoi of tragedies and comedies, he became a maker; and such a maker, that though some others may perhaps pretend to a more exact decorum and economy, especially in tragedy, never any expressed a more lofty md tragick height; never any represented nature chapter{Section 4more purely to the life: and where the polishments of art re most wanting, as probably his learning was not extraor...

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William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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