Books & Comics

#DailyBookQuote 24Apr14 : Shakespeare’s 450th Anniversary

#DailyBookQuote : 24th April 2014

Shakespeare

–          William Shakespeare (January 14, 1564 – April 23, 1616)

–          William Shakespeare is the most well known English playwright, acknowledged as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet or simply The Bard. His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

–          Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. Scholars believe that he died on his 52nd, coinciding with St George’s Day. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later.

–          Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16h century. Until 1608, he wrote mainly tragedies, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognized as Shakespeare’s. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

–          According to historians, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets throughout the span of his life. Shakespeare’s writing average was 1.5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.

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