William shakespeare

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William shakespeare

William Shakespeare

The English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare was the author of the most widely
admired and influential body of literature by any individual in the history of Western
civilization. His work includes 36 plays, 154 sonnets, and 2 narrative poems. Knowledge
of Shakespeare is derived from two sources: his works and those remains of legal and
church records and contemporary allusions through which scholars can trace the external
facts of his life.

The poetry of the English Renaissance between 1580 and 1660 was the result of
a remarkable burst of energy. It is, however, the drama of the same period that stands
highest in popular estimation. The works of its greatest author, William Shakespeare,
have achieved worldwide renown. In the earlier Middle English period there had been,
within the church, a gradual spread of dramatic representation of such important events
as the angel's announcement of the resurrection to the women at the tomb of Christ.The
Renaissance drama proper rose from this late medieval base by a number of different
stages ending about 1580. A large number of comedies, tragedies, and examples of
intermediate types were produced for London theaters between that year and 1642,
when the London theaters were closed by order of the Puritan Parliament. Like so much
nondramatic literature of the Renaissance, most of these plays were written in an
elaborate verse style and under the influence of classical examples, but the popular taste,
to which drama was especially susceptible, required a flamboyance and sensationalism
largely alien to the spirit of Greek and Roman literature. Only the Roman tragedian
Lucius Annaeus Seneca could provide a model for the earliest popular tragedy of blood
and revenge, The Spanish Tragedy (1594) of Thomas Kyd. Kyd's skillfully managed,
complicated, but sensational plot influenced in turn later, psychologically more
sophisticated revenge tragedies, among them Shakespeare's Hamlet. A few years later
Christopher Marlowe, in the tragedies Tamburlaine, Part I (1590), and Edward II
(1594), began the tradition of the chronicle play of the fatal deeds of kings and
potentates. Marlowe's plays, such as Dr. Faustus (1604) and The Jew of Malta (1633),
are remarkable primarily for their daring depictions of world-shattering characters who
strive to go beyond the normal human limitations as the Christian medieval etho...

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