SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM

SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM
   great world-poet and dramatist, born in Stratford-on-Avon, in Warwickshire; his father, John Shakespeare, a respected burgess; his mother, Mary Arden, the daughter of a well-to-do farmer, through whom the family acquired some property; was at school at Stratford, married Anne Hathaway, a yeoman's daughter, at 18, she eight years older, and had by her three daughters; left for London somewhere between 1585 and 1587, in consequence, it is said, of some deer-stealing frolic; took charge of horses at the theatre door, and by-and-by became an actor. His first work, "Venus and Adonis," appeared in 1593, and "Lucrece" the year after; became connected with different theatres, and a shareholder in certain of them, in some of which he took part as actor, with the result, in a pecuniary point of view, that he bought a house in his native place, extended it afterwards, where he chiefly resided for the ten years preceding his death. Not much more than this is known of the poet's external history, and what there is contributes nothing towards accounting for either him or the genius revealed in his dramas. Of the man, says Carlyle, "the best judgment not of this country, but of Europe at large, is slowly pointing to the conclusion that he is the chief of all poets hitherto - the greatest intellect, in our recorded world, that has left record of himself in the way of literature. On the whole, I know not such a power of vision, such a faculty of thought, if we take all the characters of it, in any other man - such a calmness of depth, placid, joyous strength, all things in that great soul of his so true and clear, as in a tranquil, unfathomable sea.... It is not a transitory glance of insight that will suffice; it is a deliberate illumination of the whole matter; it is a calmly seeing eye - a great intellect, in short.... It is in delineating of men and things, especially of men, that Shakespeare is great.... The thing he looks at reveals not this or that face, but its inmost heart, its generic secret; it dissolves itself as in light before him, so that he discerns the perfect structure of it.... It is a perfectly level mirror we have here; no twisted, poor convex-concave mirror reflecting all objects with its own convexities and concavities, that is to say, withal a man justly related to all things and men, a good man.... And his intellect is an unconscious intellect; there is more virtue in it than he himself is aware of.... His art is not artifice; the noblest worth of it is not there by plan or pre-contrivance. It grows up from the deeps of Nature, through this noble sincere soul, who is a voice of Nature.... It is Nature's highest reward to a true, simple, great soul that he got thus to be part of herself." Of his works nothing can or need be said here; enough to add, as Carlyle further says, "His works are so many windows through which we see a glimpse of the world that was in him.... Alas! Shakespeare had to write for the Globe Playhouse; his great soul had to crush itself, as it could, into that and no other mould. It was with him, then, as it is with us all. No man works save under conditions. The sculptor cannot set his own free thought before us, but his thought as he could translate into the stone that was given, with the tools that were given. Disjecta membra are all that we find of any poet, or of any man." Shakespeare's plays, with the order of their publication, are as follows: "Love's Labour's Lost," 1590; "Comedy of Errors," 1591; 1, 2, 3 "Henry VI.," 1590-1592; "Two Gentlemen of Verona," 1592-1593; "Midsummer-Night's Dream," 1593-1594; "Richard III.," 1593; "Romeo and Juliet," 1591-1596 (?); "Richard II.," 1594; "King John," 1595; "Merchant of Venice," 1596; 1 and 2 "Henry IV.," 1597-1598; "Henry V.," 1599; "Taming of the Shrew," 1597 (?); "Merry Wives of Windsor," 1598; "Much Ado about Nothing," 1598; "As You Like It," 1599; "Twelfth Night," 1600-1601; "Julius Cæsar," 1601; "All's Well," 1601-1602 (?); "Hamlet," 1602, "Measure for Measure," 1603; "Troilus and Cressida," 1603-1607 (?); "Othello," 1604; "Lear," 1605; "Macbeth," 1606; "Antony and Cleopatra," 1607; "Coriolanus," 1608; "Timon," 1608; "Pericles," 1608; "Cymbeline," 1609; "Tempest," 1610; "Winter's Tale," 1610-1611; "Henry VIII.," 1612-1613 (1564-1616).

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM° — (1564–1616), English playwright and poet. The Merchant of Venice (1596) has been claimed as the play in which Shakespeare found himself in the fullest sense. As with other major comedies of his so called second period, the main emphasis was to… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Shakespeare, William — Shakespeare, William. Nicht länger vermocht es Orpheus, der thrakische Sänger, seine heiße Sehnsucht nach Eurydicen zu ertragen. Wohl lächelten die Blumen, der Himmel und die Fluren wie sonst; melodisch ertönten die Saiten seiner Lyra, und bei… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Shakespeare, William — (baptized April 26, 1564, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, Eng. died April 23, 1616, Stratford upon Avon) British poet and playwright, often considered the greatest writer in world literature. He spent his early life in Stratford upon Avon,… …   Universalium

  • SHAKESPEARE, William — (1564 1616) William Shakespeare was one of early modern England s most successful and celebrated playwrights, and since the eighteenth century he has often been re­garded as England s, perhaps the modern world s, greatest writer. There is… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Shakespeare, William — (1564 1616)    England s greatest drama tist. The son of a successful merchant and alderman of Stratford on Avon, he was educated in the excellent local school and learned enough Latin to become familiar with many classical authors, but he never… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Shakespeare, William — (1564 1616)    Dramatist and poet, b. at Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire, on 22nd or 23rd, and baptised on 26th April, 1564. On his father s side he belonged to a good yeoman stock, though his descent cannot be certainly traced beyond his… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Shakespeare, William — (1564 1616)    Playwright. Shakespeare s significance in the German theater has been and remains unique; many have gone so far as to argue that Shakespeare is a national playwright whose status equals that of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Johann… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Shakespeare, William — (1564–1616)    English playwright and poet. Shakespeare made a Jew a leading character in one of his plays, The Merchant of Venice, which was produced in 1597– 8. This may have been prompted by the success of Marlowe’s Jew of Malta. The Jew in… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Shakespeare, William — ► (1564 1616) Poeta y autor dramático inglés. Pintó con verdad emocionante y gran energía todos los sentimientos y todas las pasiones, con la potente libertad del genio. Su producción se divide en los siguientes géneros: comedias, como El sueño… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Shakespeare, William —    See Henry VI, Part 1; Henry VI, Part 2; Henry VI, Part 3; Richard III; Shakespeare and the Wars of the Roses …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

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