William Shakespeare The Greatest English playwright (44 BCS Preparation)

William Shakespeare The Greatest English playwright (43 BCS Preparation)
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44 BCS Preparation: The Greatest English playwright William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was the greatest English playwright, poet, and actor and the world’s greatest dramatist. He was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith.

Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. At age 49 (around 1613), he appears to have retired to Stratford, where he died three years later.

The Greatest English playwright William Shakespeare
Statue of William Shakespeare

Few records of Shakespeare’s private life survive; this has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

His plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime.

In 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare’s, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare’s dramatic works that included all but two of his plays.

Its Preface was a prescient poem by Ben Jonson that hailed Shakespeare with the now-famous epithet: “not of an age, but for all time”

Short Notes About William Shakespeare

  • ✓ Born: 26 April 1564
  • ✓ Dead: 23 April 1616
  • ✓ He was called England’s national poet.
  • ✓ He was known as the “Bard of Avon”.
  • ✓ He has written 39 plays, 154 sonnets, 3 long narrative poems, and a few other verses.
  • ✓ William Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613.
  • ✓ He belongs to the Elizabethan age of English Literature.

Works of William Shakespeare

Plays were written by William Shakespeare:

  • Tragedies
    W. Shakespeare was the legend of Tragic playwriting. Some of the Tragedy plays written by him are listed below –
    ➣ Titus Andronicus (1591 – 1592)
    ➣ Romeo and Juliet (1595 – 1596)
    ➣ Julius Caesar (1599)
    ➣ Hamlet (1600)
    ➣ Othello (1604)
    ➣ Timon of Athens (1604 – 1606)
    ➣ Macbeth (1606)
    ➣ King Lear (1605 – 1606)
    ➣ Antony and Cleopatra (1606 – 1607)
    ➣ Coriolanus (1608)

He was played a great role in writing Comedy plays. Some of his Comedy plays are listed below –
➣ The Taming of the Shrew (1580 – 1590)
➣ The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1590s)
➣ The Comedy of Errors (1594)
➣ A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595 – 1596)
➣ Love’s Labour’s Lost (1595 – 1596)
➣ The Merchant of Venice (1596 – 1597)
➣ The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597 – 1601)
➣ Much Ado About Nothing (1598)
➣ As You Like It (1599)
➣ Twelfth Night (1601)
➣ Troilus and Cressida (1601 – 1602)
➣ All’s Well That Ends Well (1603 – 1606)
➣ Measure for Measure (1604)
➣ Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1608)
➣ Cymbeline (1610)
➣ The Winter’s Tale (1611)
➣ The Tempest (1611)

There’s no question Shakespeare observed the imperial court to be something of a riddle. He made stories of treachery, love, and murder, all inside the lord’s court. We can become familiar with a great deal about this period on schedule through these plays:
➣ King John (1595 – 1597)
➣ Richard II (1595 – 1596)
➣ Richard III (1592 – 1594)
➣ Henry IV, Part 1 (1596 – 1597)
➣ Henry IV, Part 2 (1597 – 1598)
➣ Henry VI, Part 1 (1592)
➣ Henry VI, Part 2 (1591)
➣ Henry VI, Part 3 (1595)
➣ Henry V (1599)
➣ Henry VIII (1613)

Lost Works of W. Shakespeare
Some plays were either lost or simply not positively identified as his work. They include:
➣ Cardenio
➣ Edward III
➣ Love’s Labour’s Won
➣ Sir Thomas More
➣ The Two Noble Kinsmen

Famous Actors of the Time of William Shakespeare
From 1594, only an acting troupe is known as Lord Chamberlain’s Men later renamed King’s Men, performed Shakespeare’s plays. These men were some of the most famous stage actors at the time – and without their performance, Shakespeare’s plays may never have found their place in history. They include:

Richard Burbage (1567-1619), known as a method actor, played the lead roles in many of Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, Othello, Richard III, and King Lear, as well as those written by Ben Jonson. He owned 25% of the Globe Theater after having helped tear down the old one and rebuild it.

William Kempe (1560-1603) was an actor, dancer, and singer but was best known for his comedy work in Shakespeare’s plays including the roles of Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Falstaff in Henry IV, Peter in Romeo and Juliet, and Costard in Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Henry Condell (1568-1627) was one of the 26 actors known to have been in the troupe. He co-owned the Globe Theater with John Heminges and helped edit and publish Shakespeare’s First Folio without the permission of Shakespeare himself.

John Heminges (1556-1630) was also one of the actors in the troupe. With Condell, he co-owned the Globe Theater and helped him edit and publish Shakespeare’s First Folio.


Important Quotes By William Shakespeare

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die: to sleep…”
-Hamlet, Act III, Scene I

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
-Hamlet, Act I, Scene III

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.”
-Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II

“Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
-Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet…”
-Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II

“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”
-Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.”
-As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

“The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.”
-Othello, Act I, Scene III

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”
-King Henry IV, Act III, Scene I

“All that glitters is not gold.”
-The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene VII

‘Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?‘
(Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2)

‘Now is the winter of our discontent’
(Richard III, Act 1, Scene 1)

‘The better part of valor is discretion‘
(Henry IV, Part 1, Act 5, Scene 4)

‘All that glisters is not gold.‘
(The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene 7)

‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears: I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.’
(Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2)

‘Cry “havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war‘
(Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1)

‘A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!‘
(Richard III, Act 5, Scene 4)

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’
(Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5)

‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.’
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1)

‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.’
(Sonnet 18)

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.‘
(Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2)

‘This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle… This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.’
(Richard II, Act 2, Scene 1)

‘What light through yonder window breaks.’
(Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2)

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.’
(Twelfth Night, Act 2, Scene 5)

‘Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.’
(Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 2)

“Full fathom five thy father lies, of his bones are coral made. Those are pearls that were his eyes. Nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange.’
(The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2)

‘A man can die but once.’
(Henry IV, Part 2, Act 3, Part 2)

‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!’
(King Lear, Act 1, Scene 4)

‘Frailty, thy name is woman.’
(Hamlet Act 1, Scene 2)

‘I am one who loved not wisely but too well.’
(Othello, Act 5, Scene 2)

‘If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?’
(The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1)

‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.’
(The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1)

‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’
(Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)

‘To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.’
(Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3)

‘Et tu, Brute?‘
(Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1)

‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’
(Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2)

‘Nothing will come of nothing.’
(King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1)

‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1)

‘Lord, what fools these mortals be!’
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1)

‘The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.’
(Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2)

‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.’
(Sonnet 116)

‘The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interrèd with their bones.’
(Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2)

‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.’
(Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3)

‘We know what we are, but know not what we may be.’
(Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5)

‘Off with his head!’
(Richard III, Act 3, Scene 4)

‘Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.’
(The Tempest, Act 2, Scene 2)

‘This is very midsummer madness.’
(Twelfth Night, Act 3, Scene 4)

‘Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.’
(Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3, Scene 1)

‘I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.’
(The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 3, Scene 2)

‘I am a man more sinned against than sinning.’
(King Lear, Act 3, Scene 2)


Read the list of Poems of W. Shakespeare from here

The Last Word

“He was not of an age, but for all time!” exclaimed Ben Jonson in his poem “To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author Mr. William Shakespeare,” one of several dedicatory poems prefacing the great 1623 Folio of Comedies, Histories & Tragedies, the first collected volume of Shakespeare’s works. Time has thus far supported this bold declaration: no writer before or since has equaled Shakespeare in influence, reverential acclaim, or enduring commercial and popular success.

REFERENCE of this article:

Britanica, Wikipedia, Your Directory


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