Critical introduction to William Shakespeare
A critical introduction to William Shakespeare, he was born in Stratford-on-Avon, a developed small business City, on 23 April 1564. His father, John Shakespeare, was a prosperous man engaged in different trades and also a member of the municipal council.
After attending the grammar school in Stratford and having married at quite a young age, Shakespeare came to London around 1587.
A natural talent inclined him to theatres where he performed odd jobs and also acting till his plays became popular.
His early comedies and historical plays were so successful that Robert Greene, one of the university wits, had apprehensions that this young playwright might out excel all of them.
His jealous comment on Shakespeare is a documentary proof of the capabilities of the adventurer who was fast becoming well-known among the London aristocracy-
for there is an upstart crow, beautiful
with our feathers, t!JE:t with his Tiger’s
heart wrapt in a player’s hide,
supposes he is well able to bombast
out a blank verse as the best of you.
And being an absolute Yohannes factotum
is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene
in a country.
William Shakespeare introduction
Shakespeare not only did become successful in such a competitive career but showed a shrewd business sense in choosing the best theatre companies and also in turning to the best patrons.
In 1599 he became a partner of the Globe theatre, continuing to write two plays in a year.
For about twenty-five, years he remained associated with this theatre and then in 1612.
He retired to Stratford though his involvement with affairs in London did not stop till his death, The most touching thing about this great dramatist was that in spite of being based in London and enjoying the favors of the royal family, Shakespeare maintained his links with Stratford by regularly visiting his native place.
The pictures of the rural countryside of England that abound in his plays are connected in fact to the scenic beauty and flora and fauna of Warwickshire.
They enlivened his plays not only with a nationalist perspective but also with lofty poetic descriptions of natural beauty.
It is true that Shakespeare rebuilt Elizabethan drama by adding something vital to every popular genre, time-comedy, tragedy, and historical play.
But already there was a richness about the Elizabethan dramatic theatrical conventions which must be kept in mind.
In the first place, the Elizabethan stage in its location and structure was badly affected by the hostile attitude of the municipal authorities who believed that theatres attracted bad elements and were responsible for both crime and disease.
Write introduction of William Shakespeare
They therefore wanted. theatres to be built on the borders of London Actors were required to form a group and to be attached to a Lord who generally them as his servants.
In spite of their hostilities, the theatres emerged as centers of great cultural activities due to playwrights who came from the educated classes and took aims to accommodate the best elements from plays written in other European languages.
The Elizabethan theatre was a wooden building, circular in shape with a paved courtyard, open to the sky. In the middle of the courtyard was a rectangular stage.
For the richer classes, there were seats in three roofed galleries which were also called balconies. The poor section of the audience stood in the pit. On either side of the back of the stage, doors led to the dressing room.
The inside of the stage roof was painted with sun, moon, and stars. There was a device with which the objects could be lowered or pulled up On the stage. This structure was sufficiently flexible for the enactment of various scenes of plays.
In the words of Marguerite Alexander, “a high degree of practical realism was. not considered essential for the enjoyment of a play-a battle scene could be suggested by a few men running on with swords, a scene could be set in a speech of descriptive verse.
William Shakespeare Biography
” Shakespeare was deeply influenced in his choice of plays by the comments that were in effect. The classical comedies of Terence and plants were the main sources of inspiration for Elizabethan dramatists and Shakespeare, in the beginning, fully relied upon them Similarly in the realm of, tragedy Seneca happened to be the model.
Rhetorical flourish in language combined with melodramatic scenes of bloodshed to make their plays very popular. A third important group comprised of historical plays concerned with the recent past of England.
It had great relevance for the English audience in showing them the crises that the English kings overcame, bringing glory to their country, Shakespeare was influenced by all these traditions.
But as a man of great imagination and creativity, he introduced such themes and structure! devices that altered them deeply.
In the words of Irving Ribner-“When Shakespeare began to write, history, comedy, and tragedy had all emerged as parts of a dynamic, steadily evolving dramatic tradition.
In each dramatic form, he had important predecessors, but Shakespeare was. to develop their work beyond anything of which the best of them had been capable.
” The role of two leading actors of the time Richard Burbage and William Kempe did a lot to make Shakespeare’s plays very popular.
The former excelled in the roles of tragedy, the latter in comedy. Together they enacted the complexities of the characters conceived by Shakespeare.
For the first time the Elizabeth and had a perception of the mental states of the principal characters of Shakespeare reflected in long soliloquies delivered by a perfect blend of physical gestures, facial expression, and depth-and clarity of voice.
There is a tendency to classify all the plays of Shakespeare in four major groups in chronological order and to view each group being dominated by one particular approach to life clearly, there is a development of outlook and art in Shakespeare that is reflected in the plays written in four phases of life.
But there are two important points that deserve mention-first, Shakespeare created the taste of the audience by making new experiments, particularly by making his characters intellectually complex so that they sour above their counterparts in other contemporary plays.
Secondly, Shakespeare’s work reflects the subtle changes that took place in the royal place sometimes catching the sovereign’s moods and interests very intelligently.
From The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594) to The Tempest (1611) there is thus a journey into the Elizabethan times, the mind of the loyal patrons, and the personal outlook of Shakespeare which is fascinating as well as instructive.
The Two Gentlemen is Shakespeare’s first romantic comedy, remarkable for the funny situations and the use of the blank verse, supple and beautiful. Romeo and Juliet, among the early plays, is distinguished for its romantic atmosphere that gives way to a tragic end.
Its elegance is felt in the nobility of principal characters, poetic diction, and sensuous music. And in The Merchant of Venice, we feel the true genius of Shakespeare in outlining Portia, an extraordinary woman of great charm and intellectual resourcefulness.
William Shakespeare Introduction Essay
The commercial world of Europe comes alive here with all its fierce competitiveness, racial rivalries, and the support given to it by law. To this is added a story that deeply impresses us by its human appeal, the trials of love and friendship ending in happiness. a critical introduction to William Shakespeare
The historical plays Richard II (1596), 1 lens IV (1597), and Henry V (1599) form a class of their own in which national history is subject to a critical review and is carried to an epic scale, Shakespeare must have written them laboriously they are a product of the serious study of contemporary chronicles and political mood in England, But it is Imagination that helps him weave situations of universal human interest.
The references to affairs of Spain, Portugal, and France with which English political life has been closely connected make them a work of complete history but the poetry lifts them at once to great art.
Julius Caesar (1600) marks the beginning of a glorious phase in Shakespeare that culminates with King hear (1606). Each play of this group is remarkable for its characterization -the close analysis of the human mind in its motives, secret destress,s and impulses, dreams, and anxieties.
The thematic complexity is matched in structure, careful handling of plot, choice of images, chain of soliloquies, and a very Psychological use of supernatural elements.
They are all tragedies, conforming to the Aristotlean conception in the nobility of character, poetic and plot but differing in laying total responsibility of catastrophe to the weaknesses in character to the extent that A.C. Bradley declared, “in Shakespeare’s tragedies character is destiny.
” Why did Shakespeare turn to comedies in his last phase cannot be fully explained. But as things stand his last plays Cymbelive (1610), The Winter’s Tale (1611) and The Tempest (1612) constitute a group in which there is an amazing pattern of recurrence of themes and refreshing pleasantness of dictions.
The Tempest is credited for its compact structure and observance of dramatic unities. Although a few critics would object to reading anything personal in the farewell to magic by Prospera one can feel in this touching scene the emotion of a great dramatist who chose to relative after entertaining a great nation with a series of great works.
Over the years the works of Shakespeare have been interpreted. in the I light of modem researches in Psychology, genetics, and mythology. critical introduction to William Shakespeare
Naturally, the interpretations differ on account of focus on certain selective aspects of the plays, But the way the educated people all over the world have responded to his works, memorizing passages and quoting them as sacred truth, only show their time dresses, their quality of encompassing the totality of human life.
No other writer has held the interest of the people for so long a time nor has any writer portrayed such variety of human experience from idyllic happiness to the worst crimes followed by an unrelieved feeling of guilt and remorse.
To understand Shakespeare is to understand the whole of life. In 1612 Shakespeare realized to Stratford after a brilliant career. He died quietly on 23 April 1616. Stratford-on-Avon is now a place of international tourist interest.
Many personal effects of Shakespeare are well-preserved in his ancient house, including his manuscripts and books. In 1932 was established The Royal Shakespeare Theatre where his plays are performed every year from April to October. critical introduction to William Shakespeare