Analysis of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare’s life has brought much curiosity to many. This is natural as he is considered to be the greatest figure of English Literature. William Shakespeare, in terms of his life and work, is the most written-about author in the history of Western civilization. His works include 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and 2 epic narrative poems, the First of which was published after his death in 1623 by two of Shakespeare's acting companions, John Heminges and Henry Condell. Since then, the works of Shakespeare have been studied, analyzed, and enjoyed as some of the finest work of art in the English language.
In his time, Shakespeare was the most popular ...view middle of the document...
He got his big break in 1593 when the London theaters were closed because of an outbreak of the plagues. He had to have work, and so the Earl of Southampton supported him and soon the famous Globe Theater, where he was a major shareholder and playwright, was built.
Not much has been written about Shakespeare the man and there has been great controversy about his works. Most of what is known about him comes from church and legal documents. No original writings of his work exist today. He lived and worked during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Much of what was happening during this period in London sets the stage for Shakespeare’s work. There was great religious turmoil, economic strife, and political unrest. Much of Shakespeare’s plays were about what was happening at the time. Shakespeare’s reputation is based primarily on his plays but he became famous first as a poet.
Shakespeare’s plays had much to say against the evils of social ambition, and there has been a great deal of criticisms about his work since his death. During this time he was both admired and condemned. Some criticisms were directed at the way his work was written. Two critics, Dryden and Johnson, criticized him claiming that he was mixing comedy and tragedy and failing to observe the unities of time and place prescribed by rules of classical drama. He had corrupted the language with false wit, puns, and ambiguity. While some of these early plays were charged with such frivolous use of devices, 20th century critics have praised their use in some of his later plays. Critics of the 17th and 18th century accused him of lacking creative control while on the other hand praising him for having bountiful imagination.
Shakespeare’s reputation is based primarily on his plays but he became famous first as a poet. Shakespeare’s plays have caused much controversy. Some questioned whether a tradesman from provincial Warwick who was baptized Gullielmus Shakespere, who never had a day’s schooling, could have written such great literary works. In 1592 while he was enjoying much success as the author of great dramatic scripts, Robert Greene attacked his writings calling him an “upstart crow”. This was common in those days however, where the theatrical company rather than the author was given no recognition for his works. It was not until 1597 that Shakespeare’s name appeared on two of his plays. It is almost impossible to say what the themes of Shakespeare’s plays are because there is something to fit...