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 Shakespeare, an Essay

Shakespeare was an English playwright and poet. He is generally considered the “greatest dramatist the world has ever known” and the “finest poet who has written in the English language” (World Book Encyclopedia). Shakespeare has also been the world\'s most popular author. No other writer\'s plays have been produced so many times or read so widely in so many countries.
Many reasons can be given for Shakespeare\'s appeal. But his fame basically is on his understanding of human nature. Shakespeare understood people as few other artists have. He could see in a specific dramatic situation the qualities that relate to all people. He could create characters that have meaning beyond the time and place of his plays. Yet his characters are not symbolic figures. They are normal individual people. They struggle just as people do in real life, sometimes successfully and sometimes with painful and tragic failure.
Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays, which have been comedies, histories, and tragedies. These plays contain vivid characters of all types. Kings, pickpockets, drunkards, generals, hired killers, shepherds, and philosophers all mingle in Shakespeare\'s works.
In addition to his deep understanding of human nature, Shakespeare had knowledge in a wide variety of other subjects. These subjects include music, law, the Bible, military science, the stage, art, politics, the sea, history, hunting, woodcraft, and sports. Yet as far as scholars know, Shakespeare had no professional experience in any thing other then theater.
Shortly after he married at the age of 18, Shakespeare left Stratford to seek his fortune in the theatrical world of London. Within a few years, he had become one of the city\'s leading actors and playwrights. By 1612, when he seems to have partially retired to Stratford, Shakespeare had become England\'s most popular playwright.
Shakespeare has had enormous influence on culture throughout the world. All the things he wrote have helped shape the literature of all English-speaking countries. He freely experimented with grammar and vocabulary and that helped prevent literary English from becoming fixed and artificial. Many words and phrases from Shakespeare\'s plays and poems have become part of our everyday speech. They are used by millions of people who are unaware that Shakespeare created them. For example, Shakespeare originated such familiar phrases as fair play, a foregone conclusion, catch cold, and disgraceful conduct. As far as scholars can tell, Shakespeare also invented such common words as assassination, bump, eventful, and lonely.
Many people can identify lines and passages as Shakespeare\'s even though they have never seen or read one of his plays. Examples include \"To be, or not to be,\" \"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears,\" and \"A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!\" Shakespeare\'s genius as a poet enabled him to express an idea both briefly and colorfully. In his tragedy Othello, for example, he described jealousy as \"the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.\" In the tragedy King Lear, Shakespeare described a daughter\'s ingratitude toward her father as \"sharper than a serpent\'s tooth.\" (World Book Encyclopedia).


Shakespeare\'s widespread influence reflects his astonishing popularity. His plays have been a vital part of the theater in the Western world since they were written more than 300 years ago. Through the years, most serious actors and actresses have considered the major roles of Shakespeare to be the supreme test of their art.
In his life, he has accomplished so much that he didn’t know when he was alive. Today he is like a “god” to aspiring actors and actresses. They look up to him as they believe that he would help in a way that they might get there dream of being famous acting if they were to get a big role in one of his plays.
Shakespeare\'s plays appeal to readers as well as to theatergoers. His plays—and his poems—have been reprinted and translated countless times. Indeed, a publishing industry flourishes around Shakespeare, as critics and scholars examine every aspect of the man, his writings, and his influence. Each year, hundred of books and articles appear on Shakespearean subjects. Thousands of scholars from all over the world gather in dozens of meetings annually to discuss topics related to Shakespeare. Special libraries and library collections focus upon Shakespeare. Numerous motion pictures have been made of his plays. Composers have written operas, musical comedies, and instrumental works based on his stories and characters. The world has admired and respected many great writers. But only Shakespeare has generated such varied and continuing interest—and such constant affection.

Shakespeare\'s final three plays were written in with the King\'s Men\'s new dramatist , John Fletcher. Henry VIII, Two Noble Kinsmen and the now lost Cardenio were the plays. The former two are no one\'s favorites, combining elements of spectacle, romance, and tragicomedy. Little is known of the last, except that in 1653 the printer Humphrey Moseley entered in the Stationers\' Register several plays including \"The History of Cardenio, by Mr. Fletcher and Shakespeare.” and that in 1613 Heminges received payment on two occasions for performances at court of a play at one time called \"Cardenno\" and another \"Cardenna.\" There are later supposed versions of the play, but little is known of the original (World Book Encyclopedia).


In conclusion, his fame basically rests on his understanding of human nature. Shakespeare understood people as few other artists have. He could see in a specific dramatic situation the qualities that relate to all human beings. He could thus create characters that have meaning beyond the time and place of his plays. Yet his characters are not symbolic figures. They are remarkably individual human beings. They struggle just as people do in real life, sometimes successfully and sometimes with painful and tragic failure.

 

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