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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. EARLY YEARS. William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, a yeoman , and Mary Arder. He was born in Stratford on Avon , probably on 23 April 1564, in St George’s Day , which is also said to be the date of his death , but in 1616.
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EARLY YEARS • William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, a yeoman, and Mary Arder. Hewasborn in Stratford on Avon, probably on 23 April 1564, in St George’s Day, whichisalsosaidtobe the date ofhisdeath, but in 1616. • Heattendedthe Grammarschool , during the ElizabethanEra, wherestudied the latin text and Latin classicalauthors. • At the ageof 18, Shakespeare married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway, pregnantwiththeirdaughter. The DioceseofWencesterissued a marriagelicence on 27 November 1582. Sixmonthsafter the marriage Anne gave birth to a daughter,Susanna.Aftertheyhad the twins, son Hamnet and daughterJudith; Hamnetdiedofunknowncauses at the ageof 11.
LONDON • In the 1584 heleftStratford and wentto London and heentred in a company. At first, hehadverymeanrank, buthisadmirablewitsoondistinguishedhim and hebecameanexcellentwriter. • In the 1593 the London theatreswereclosedbecauseof the plague, and Shakespeare neededof a private support. The EarlofSouthampton,supportedhim , so hededicatedtwoofhisworkstohim. The sonnetsofthisperiodwereaboutlove, especiallyaboutthe passionfor a dark lady whohasneverbeenidentified. • When the theatrereopened, Shakespeare was a shareolder and the best playwrightof the company. In the 1599 his company built the Globe Theatre. • In the periodbetween 1590 and 1596 hewrotehistoricaldrama. • In the periodbetween 1593 and 1600 hecomposedhistoricalpalys and also 10 comedies, from farce to romance. • The greattragedieswerewrittenbetween 1595 and 1605.
LAST YEARS AND DEATH • Shakespeare retiredtoStratfordsome yearsbeforehisdeathbuthewasstillworkingasanactor in London in 1608. • After 1610, Shakespeare wrotefewerplays, and none are attributedtohimafter 1613. His last threeplayswerecollaborations, probablywith John Fletcher whosucceededhimas the house playwrightfor the King's Men. • Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616. • Shakespeare signedhis last will and testament on 25 March 1616; In hiswill, Shakespeare left the bulk ofhislarge estate tohiselderdaughter Susanna • Shakespeare wasburied in the chancelof the HolyTrinity Church twodaysafterhisdeath.
THE SONNET Shakespeare’s sonnetswerepublished in 1609, althoughttheywereprobablywritten in 1590. The collectionincluded 154 sonnets in decasyllables. Shakespeare didnotuse the Italianform, anoctave and a sestet; on the contrary, heemployedthreequatrains and a finalcouples. The 154 sonnetsin the 1609 includedpublicationsthatwerenotnecessarilychronological, but can bedividedintotwosections: The first isaddressedto a ‘fair youth’, probably Shakespeare’s youngpatron, the Earl oh Southampton, and itisdevotedto the themeof ‘increase’. The poetencourages the young man tomarry and preservehisvirtues and beauty throughhischildren. The secondsection, isaddressedto a ‘dark lady’ or ‘black woman’ who, thoughphysicallyunattracctive, isirresistiblydesiderable.
THE COMEDIAN Shakespeare’s comediesfollow a certain set ofconventionsincluding : disgiude, frustrated love, mistakenidentity, marital and romanticmisunderstandings. They end in multiple marriages, and theyseemtohave in common threeworriesaboutthe journeyofyoung women and sometimesmen, from the state ofvirginitytothatofmarriage. Whereastragedyworkstowardsdeath, comedy traces the passageofyoung people out oftheirparents’ control and intomarriage.
THE HISTORIAN Shakespeare’s historypalyswerecloselybased on serousrecordslike the Tudors’ chronicles. Even so, theydidnotonly deal withkings, queens and lords; theygenerallygave some sortofportraitsof the nationas a whole, withpeasants, workers and soldiershavingrolesto play. Itwasduringthisperiodthat the idea of England as a ‘nation’ gainedstrenght. Theytell the story of the civilwarsbetween the Housesof York and Lancaster. Shakespeare’s historiesare usallydividedintotwo ‘tetralogies’, thatis a groupoffourplays. The firtstetralogyincludes : Henry VIPartsOne, Two and Three, Richard III. The secondtetralogyconsistsof : Richard II, Henry IV PartsOne and Two, Henry V.
THE TRAGIC PLAYWRIGHT The historical moment oftransitionbetween the medieval and modern world helpedto create the nature oftragedies in Shakespeare’s work. Shakespeare set out totell a story in a recogniseddramaticgenrethatwouldbeattractiveto London theatregoers, butonlya minorityofthemwouldhavebeenfamiliarwithclassicaltragedy. In tellingthesestorieswithin the genreoftragedy, hemadestatementsaboutmanyaspectsofhuman life, butmainlyabout the nature ofpoliticalpower and the problemsof the powerful in a world thatwaschanging.
THE GLOBE THEATRE The Globe Theatrewasbuilt in 1599 in west of London Bridge in an area knownasBankside. The Globe wasalsoknownas the Shakespeare Globe Theatresinceitwas the playhousewhere Shakespeare performedmanyofhisgreatestplays. Builtfromoak, thisfamousplayhousehad a largecircularstructure, threestories high. A smallstrawthatchedroofonlypartiallycovered the circularstructure, givingitanappearancelikea modernday football stadiumwhere the center isuncovered. Toadvertise the arrivalof the newplayhouse, the Lord Chamberlain’s Menused a flayingflagwith Hercules carrying a Globe on hisshoulderstoannunce the imminent performance of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar.
SHALL I COMAPRE THEE : sonnet XVIII Shall I compare theeto a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate:Roughwinds do shake the darlingbudsof May,And summer's leasehathalltoo short a date: Sometimetoo hot the eyeofheavenshines,And oftenishisgoldcomplexiondimmed,And every fair from fair sometimedeclines,By chance or nature's changingcourseuntrimmed; ButthyeternalsummershallnotfadeNorlosepossessionofthat fair thouowest,Norshall Death bragthouwandr’ st in hisshade,When in eternallinestotimethougrowest: So long asmen can breathe or eyes can see, So long livesthis and thisgives life tothee. Thissonnetiscomposedbythreeqatrain and a final couplet. In the quatrainswehave the alternate rhymes and in the couplet the rhyme couplet.
1° STANZA Shall I compare theeto a summer's day? (A) Thou art more lovely and more temperate: (B)Roughwinds do shake the darlingbudsof May, (A)And summer's leasehathalltoo short a date: (B) In this first quatrain, the speaker is trying to find something that compares to the beauty of the young man. The speaker tries to compare him to a summer's day, but realizes that the young man is both more lovely and temperate than summer. The summer can be cruel and rough, while the young man is not. Summer doesn't last all that long, which is inadequate for the description of this young man. The speaker's main goal is to help the young man live forever. In the first linewefind a questionand in the secondline the answer.
2° STANZA Sometimetoo hot the eyeofheavenshines, (C)And oftenishisgoldcomplexiondimmed, (D)And every fair from fair sometimedeclines, (C)By chance or nature's changingcourseuntrimmed; (D) In the second quatrain, the poet reflects on the passing of time and the effects that this causes on the young man ; hoping that the 'summer, the time of wellness and beauty should not end for him. In the second stanza wehave a justificationto the answer.
3° STANZA Butthyeternalsummershallnotfade(E)Norlosepossessionofthat fair thouowest, (F)Norshall Death bragthouwandr’ st in hisshade, (E)When in eternallinestotimethougrowest: (F) In the third quatrain, the narrator asserts that the young man is superior to nature, because his beauty will not fade like that of summer. . The speaker considers beauty as if it is a possession (something that lasts forever), instead of something that has been given to the young man as a gift of nature that will eventually fade. The young man is able to escape from the hands of Death; time and death cannot harm the beautiful young man as long as his beauty.Finally, the speaker concludes that the beloved is blessed with 'eternal summer' in his eyes, and that even Death won't be able to take away the memory of love. In the third part we find a promise.
4° STANZA So long asmen can breathe or eyes can see, (G) So long livesthis and thisgives life tothee. (G) The speaker tells the young man that he will live forever, as long as men are alive and can read. His verses seem to give life to the young man and when someone reads this verses it will be as the young man comes alive again, and as a consequence he will live forever. In the last twolineswehave the resultof the promise. In the sonnet the authorusescomparison, metaphor and allitaration.
MY MISTRESS’ EYES : sonnet CXXX Mymistress' eyes are nothinglike the sun; Coralis far more redthanherlips' red; Ifsnowbewhite, whythenherbreasts are dun; Ifhairsbewires, blackwiresgrow on her head, I haveseenrosesdamased, red and white, But no suchrosessee in hercheeks; And in some perfumesisthere more delight Than in the breaththatfrommymistressreeks; I love tohearherspeak, yetwell I know Thatmusichath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I neversaw a goddess go. Mymistress, whenshewalks, treads on the ground. And yet, byheaven, I thinkmy love as rare As anyshebeliedwith false compare.
1 ° STANZA Mymistress' eyes are nothinglike the sun; (A) Coralis far more redthanherlips' red; (B) Ifsnowbewhite, whythenherbreasts are dun; (A) Ifhairsbewires, blackwiresgrow on herhead, (B) In the first quatrain we have alternate rhymes. In these verses the poet gives us a physical description of the woman, but he does not describe it in an angelic way. He says that her eyes are more beautiful than the sun, her lips are red, the skin is gray and the hair are black strands. Wehave a lotofallitterationsand assonanceand comparationwithnaturalelements, suchas the eyeswith the sun, the lipswith the coral, etc…
2° STANZA I haveseenrosesdamased, red and white, (C) But no suchrosessee in hercheeks; (D) And in some perfumesisthere more delight(C) Than in the breaththatfrommymistressreeks; (D) In the second quatrain we still find the alternaterhymes, and the poet continues with the physical description of the woman saying that her cheeks have a strange color, they are not white and red, and finally the smell is more pleasant than the smell of the 'breath of the woman . Alsoherewehaveassonance and allitteration.
3 ° STANZA I love tohearherspeak, yetwell I know (E) Thatmusichath a far more pleasingsound; (F) I grant I neversaw a goddessgo. (E) Mymistress, whenshewalks, treadson the ground. (F) In the third quatrain there are the alternate rhyme, assonance and alliteration, but here the poet describes other qualities and skills of the woman. He says that he loves to hear her speaks, even if she has a bad voice, and the woman walks in a very heavy way and does not include a goddess.
4 ° STANZA And yet, byheaven, I thinkmy love as rare (G) As anyshebeliedwith false compare. (G) in the last two verses we have a rhyming couplet. Shakespeare contradicts everything he has said before and he says that despite her ugliness she is the woman he loves. MESSAGE: With his sonnet Shakespeare wanted to criticize the poem that exalt the 'love for a woman and her beauty’. We need to see this such as a comic text. The message is that love and beauty are not necessarily related, but a man can love a woman even if she's ugly, and she doesn’t like an angel.