An Essay On Great British Authors William Shakespeare And Thomas Stearns Eliot

1319 words - 6 pages

Throughout time there have been several great authors whose works have influenced authors in later generations; however, upon deeming an author to be “great” one must ask what exactly makes an author a great author? Is it his ability to successfully utilize various writing techniques or his ability to create various writing techniques? Is it his ability to define a character or his ability to leave characters open to interpretations by his audience? Is it his ability to influence other authors or his ability to dwarf them? Or, above all, is it his ability to successfully weave all of these seemingly conflicting ideas into his works? While many authors have attempted to achieve all of these ...view middle of the document...

S. Eliot, to use Shakespeare’s writing as the basis or for inspiration for their own works. Through his mastery of tying new and old techniques together, as well as his ability to achieve the perfect balance between definite and open interpretations, Shakespeare more than any other British author has influenced writers in later generations, such as T.S. Eliot, to become great authors themselves.
William Shakespeare is a man whose name defies borders, language, and the years. Despite working in the 16th and 17th century, his name and works are still known by nearly every person in the 21st century. Shakespeare excelled as both a playwright and poet through his solid structure, creative plots, and unique characters. As a playwright, Shakespeare is well known for patterns in his plays with the most prominent of patterns seen, not in his plots, but in his writing structure and nearly all his structural brilliance is exemplified in Hamlet. The vast majority of Shakespeare’s plays follow, what will be referred to in this essay as, a “five act” structure; Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Hamlet itself, and so many other great works of his follow the structure of a five act which serves as the basic outline for nearly every writer today - playwright or not. The five act structure looks like the basic plot hill that most elementary children are taught. It begins with an introduction to the setting and key characters, followed by a “rising action” in which the conflict is introduced which leads to the “climax” which is the most intense point of conflict. After the climax, things begin to fall into place as the falling action leads to the resolution. In terms of Hamlet, the introduction is key to understanding Hamlet as a character as it introduces the death of the King who is Hamlet’s father. The rising action is, most likely, seen in Hamlet’s increasing suspicion of Claudius who is set on pushing Hamlet to madness or death in order to keep the crown. The climax is set in the third act, although, it has two parts. The first part is at the peak of intensity for Claudius as Hamlet stages a play that almost perfectly mimics the way in which Claudius killed the King. Following this scene, Hamlet is dead set on murdering Claudius, however, he has confessed his sins and Hamlet is angry that his father did not have the same luxury before dying so he is content to wait until a time in which he can guarantee Claudius’s suffering in the afterlife. What is unique about Hamlet, is the way in which the falling action and the resolution somehow meld together. While the falling action should set the stage for the tragic hero’s downfall, it is almost as if Hamlet has sealed his own downfall by murdering Polonius. At this point, his mother believes he...

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