Essay/Term paper: William shakespeare
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William Shakespeare: William Shakespeare is sometimes considered the
greatest playwright of all time. What is it that made Shakespeare so famous? In
his plays he combined the elements that people of his time loved and that people
still like today. Many things greatly influenced the writing of Shakespeare"s
William Shakespeare is sometimes considered the greatest playwright of all
time. What is it that made Shakespeare so famous? In his plays he combined the
elements that people of his time loved and that people still like today. Many
things greatly influenced the writing of Shakespeare"s plays.
William Shakespeare had a very interesting life that undoubtedly greatly
affected his plays. He was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and was
the third of eight children. Shakespeare went to grammar school and learned
Latin and literature. He went on and married a woman named Annie Hathaway on
November 27, 1582 and had three children. His first daughter was named Susanna
and was born on May 26, 1583 and then, two years later, he had twins-Hamnet and
Judith-that were born on February 2, 1585. By 1592, Shakespeare was a well-known
popular actor in the Elizabethan theatres. Without a doubt, this probably had a
great affect on him when he later on became a playwright. Shakespeare retired
completely in 1613. On April 23, 1616, three years after his retirement, and on
his fifty-second birthday, William Shakespeare died.
Shakespeare gathered ideas for some of his plays from other popular writers
of his time. Although this may not have made for one hundred percent
originality, his plays were interesting and became very popular. For The Winter"s
Tale, Shakespeare got the names for some of his characters from Sir Phillip
Sidney"s Arcadia. This was one of the most popular romances appealing to a
courtly audience. People of Shakespeare"s time enjoyed romances set in far
away lands, which was one of the reasons why people enjoyed Sir Phillip Sidney"s
Arcadia so much. Such stories like, Guy of Warwick, Bevis of Hampton, Amadis of
Gaul, Plamerin of England, and many others may have also inspired The Winter"s
Tale. Shakespeare was very smart to have taken ideas from other popular plays of
the time when writing The Winter"s Tale. Shakespeare used a very popular
technique of the time called pastoral romance. Pastoral romance is romance that
is not true to life and unreal. By using ideas from other popular plays and
using the popular writing technique of pastoral romance, Shakespeare"s The
Winter"s Tale, as many of his other plays, were sure to captivate the
Theatre in the sixteenth century was extremely different from theatre today.
For one thing, there was no curtain like there is today. This made it more
difficult to perform and sometimes playwrights had to add special scenes to
clear everyone from the stage to signify the ending of a scene or act and the
beginning of a new one. Also, the place on the main floor right in front of the
stage (called the pit but now called the orchestra) was the place where the poor
people stood to watch the show and it was the worst place to watch from.
However, in modern theatres, orchestra seats are the most expensive and the best
seats. Another big difference was that there were very few props whereas today
there are many. The kind of props one would"ve found may have included a
curtained area that could"ve been used as an inside room, etc., a balcony that
could"ve been used as a window or as the deck of a ship, and a trap door that
could've provided a way for ghosts and such to come onto the stage. These may
seem like very simple and primitive things and when compared to what theatres
have today, but in Elizabethan times those simple things helped for many of the
elements in the plays. One other big difference was that there were no female
actors like there are today, therefore a woman"s part had to be played by a
young man who still had a high voice. Theatres have come a long way since the
sixteenth century and there are many more differences between the theatres of
the sixteenth century and the present day theatres.
In conclusion, many things influenced the writing of Shakespeare"s plays,
including The Winter"s Tale. Without Sir Phillip Sidney"s Arcadia and other
plays of the time, Shakespeare"s acting career and the theatres of the
sixteenth century; Shakespeare"s writing would not have been the same. William
Shakespeare is sometimes considered the greatest playwright of all time and may
not have been without the many things that influenced his writing
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- Length: 886 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
William Shakespeare, the most famous of all English writers, has written
many works. One such work is Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy that includes
humor, love, and deceit. Several incidents in the life of the author influenced
him to write this play in the fashion that he did. These events come from his
life and the point in history in which he lived, thus producing Much Ado About
Shakespeare's life has very much to do with the style of his writing as
his stories are from his past experiences. Shakespeare had a life that involved
both the good and bad aspects of love. He was married for a short while,
however, the marriage was suspected to be an unhappy one because he spent much
of his later life away from his family. Shakespeare's misfortune in love is
shown in Much Ado About Nothing when it is said, "Speak low if you speak love."
(Shakespeare). Contrary to this, the positive side of love is apparent:
"Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate itself
And trust no agent." (Shakespeare)
So let it be known, Shakespeare obviously learned a great deal about love
throughout the course of his life. He learned not only the good, but also the
bad, and in this, love plays a major role in Much Ado About Nothing (Wright 10-
Another element used in Much Ado About Nothing is deceit. This deceit
involves a conflict between two brothers in which one wants to keep the other
unhappy and unwed. This conflict is present as it is said, "There's a skirmish
of wit between them." (Shakespeare). Shakespeare, in his life, had some
deceitful things forced upon him where he was cheated out of something. He was
forced out of school at an early age of fifteen to help his father financially.
Furthermore, he was forced into marrying a women that was eight years older than
himself because she was three months pregnant. In result of his unsuccessful
marriage, it is reason enough for him involving love and deceit as one in this
play. So Shakespeare also understands deceit as he incorporated it into Much
Ado About Nothing ("Shakespeare, William").
Contrary to love and deceit, Shakespeare uses comedy as the third and
final element of the play. Comedy is what gives Much Ado About Nothing it's
cheerful happiness and wit that gives this play it's recognition. Shakespeare
had many happy experiences in his life due to his great success in being a
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Other Things English Writers William Shakespeare Bad Aspects Misfortune Much Ado Married Deceit Save
playwright. His success started with him becoming the top writer of The
Chamberlain's Men, which would later be renamed The King's Men. This led to
his great career of writing which brought him fame and fortune, causing him to
live and die a happy man (Wright 10-13). The happiness and clever wit is
described like, "Merry as the day is long." (Shakespeare). All throughout this
play, there is constantly a tone of Comedy although interrupted by scenes of
deceitful hate. This is very similar to the life of William Shakespeare, and it
clearly the reason that he writes in the style he does. All in all,
Shakespeare's ability as a Comedic writer is very well spoken for and is the
reason that he wrote this play.
The elements used in this play as they have happened in Shakespeare's
life are established in the relationships of the characters of the play.
Benedict and Beatrice, throughout the entire beginning of the play, display
love, deceit, and comedy. Beatrice finds all men to be repulsive, not in the
physical sense, but in the psychological sense. Benedict does not like her
attitude and does everything he can to spite her. Through all this, they both
love each other, but both are as stubborn and hard headed as each other so it is
impossible for either one to know this. At a costume party, Benedict tricks
Beatrice into thinking he is someone else by wearing a costume and disguising
his voice by talking with a different accent. Beatrice, not being aware of this,
talks badly about Benedict to whom she thinks is a stranger. Afterwards,
Benedict is furious about her statements and complains to the prince, so
everyone else conspires to get them together. They do this by letting them
individually overhear talk of each other loving one another. When they hear this,
they are both very happy and end up telling each other their true feelings
resulting in them getting married at the end of the play. The purpose of
telling the story of Benedict and Beatrice is that their dialogue and actions
resemble the tones and elements of the play, therefore they greatly contribute
to what I am proving (Shakespeare).
Finally, the elements used in Much Ado About Nothing directly coincide
with the events of Shakespeare's life. The style that he uses comes from his
life from birth to death. In this, it is obvious that Shakespeare experienced
love in all it's aspects, he experienced deceit in a way, but more minor than
others, and also he experienced comedy from all the happy times he had in his
life as do these experiences in the play.