|Биография Вильяма Шекспира (SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM), подробный обзор его творчества. Сюжет и содержание произведения Ромео и Джульетта |
SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAMShakespeare the manLIFEAlthough the amount of factual knowledge available about Shakespeare issurprisingly large for one of his station in life, many find it a littledisappointing, for it is mostly gleaned from documents of an officialcharacter. Dates of baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials; wills,conveyances, legal processes, and payments by the court--these are thedusty details. There are, however, a fair number of contemporary allusionsto him as a writer, and these add a reasonable amount of flesh and blood tothe biographical skeleton.Early life in Stratford.The parish register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon,Warwickshire, shows that he was baptized there on April 26, 1564; hisbirthday is traditionally celebrated on April 23. His father, JohnShakespeare, was a burgess of the borough, who in 1565 was chosen analderman and in 1568 bailiff (the position corresponding to mayor, beforethe grant of a further charter to Stratford in 1664). He was engaged invarious kinds of trade and appears to have suffered some fluctuations inprosperity. His wife, Mary Arden, of Wilmcote, Warwickshire, came from anancient family and was the heiress to some land. (Given the somewhat rigidsocial distinctions of the 16th century, this marriage must have been astep up the social scale for John Shakespeare.)Stratford enjoyed a grammar school of good quality, and the education therewas free, the schoolmaster's salary being paid by the borough. No lists ofthe pupils who were at the school in the 16th century have survived, but itwould be absurd to suppose the bailiff of the town did not send his sonthere. The boy's education would consist mostly of Latin studies--learningto read, write, and speak the language fairly well and studying some of theclassical historians, moralists, and poets. Shakespeare did not go on tothe university, and indeed it is unlikely that the tedious round of logic,rhetoric, and other studies then followed there would have interested him.Instead, at the age of 18 he married. Where and exactly when are not known,but the episcopal registry at Worcester preserves a bond dated November 28,1582, and executed by two yeomen of Stratford, named Sandells andRichardson, as a security to the bishop for the issue of a license for themarriage of William Shakespeare and "Anne Hathaway of Stratford," upon theconsent of her friends and upon once asking of the banns. (Anne died in1623, seven years after Shakespeare. There is good evidence to associateher with a family of Hathaways who inhabited a beautiful farmhouse, nowmuch visited, two miles from Stratford.) The next date of interest is foundin the records of the Stratford church, where a daughter, named Susanna,born to William Shakespeare, was baptized on May 26, 1583. On February 2,1585, twins were baptized, Hamnet and Judith. (The boy Hamnet,Shakespeare's only son, died 11 years later.)How Shakespeare spent the next eight years or so, until his name begins toappear in London theatre records, is not known. There are stories--givencurrency long after his death--of stealing deer and getting into troublewith a local magnate, Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote, near Stratford; ofearning his living as a schoolmaster in the country; of going to London andgaining entry to the world of theatre by minding the horses oftheatregoers; it has also been conjectured that Shakespeare spent some timeas a member of a great household and that he was a soldier, perhaps in theLow Countries. In lieu of external evidence, such extrapolations aboutShakespeare's life have often been made from the internal "evidence" of hiswritings. But this method is unsatisfactory: one cannot conclude, forexample, from his allusions to the law that Shakespeare was a lawyer; forhe was clearly a writer, who without difficulty could get whateverknowledge he needed for the composition of his plays.Career in the theatre.The first reference to Shakespeare in the literary world of London comes in1592, when a fellow dramatist, Robert Greene, declared in a pamphletwritten on his deathbed: There is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country.It is difficult to be certain what these words mean; but it is clear thatthey are insulting and that Shakespeare is the object of the sarcasms. Whenthe book in which they appear (Greenes groats-worth of witte, bought with amillion of repentance, 1592) was published after Greene's death, a mutualacquaintance wrote a preface offering an apology to Shakespeare andtestifying to his worth. This preface also indicates that Shakespeare wasby then making important friends. For, although the puritanical city ofLondon was generally hostile to the theatre, many of the nobility were goodpatrons of the drama and friends of actors. Shakespeare seems to haveattracted the attention of the young Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd earl ofSouthampton; and to this nobleman were dedicated his first published poems,Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.One striking piece of evidence that Shakespeare began to prosper early andtried to retrieve the family fortunes and establish its gentility is thefact that a coat of arms was granted to John Shakespeare in 1596. Roughdrafts of this grant have been preserved in the College of Arms, London,though the final document, which must have been handed to the Shakespeares,has not survived. It can scarcely be doubted that it was William who tookthe initiative and paid the fees. The coat of arms appears on Shakespeare'smonument (constructed before 1623) in the Stratford church. Equallyinteresting as evidence of Shakespeare's worldly success was his purchasein 1597 of New Place, a large house in Stratford, which as a boy he musthave passed every day in walking to school.It is not clear how his career in the theatre began; but from about 1594onward he was an important member of the company of players known as theLord Chamberlain's Men (called the King's Men after the accession of JamesI in 1603). They had the best actor, Richard Burbage; they had the besttheatre, the Globe; they had the best dramatist, Shakespeare. It is nowonder that the company prospered. Shakespeare became a full-timeprofessional man of his own theatre, sharing in a cooperative enterpriseand intimately concerned with the financial success of the plays he wrote.Unfortunately, written records give little indication of the way in whichShakespeare's professional life molded his marvellous artistry. All thatcan be deduced is that for 20 years Shakespeare devoted himself assiduouslyto his art, writing more than a million words of poetic drama of thehighest quality.Private life.Shakespeare had little contact with officialdom, apart from walking--dressed in the royal livery as a member of the King's Men--at thecoronation of King James I in 1604. He continued to look after hisfinancial interests. He bought properties in London and in Stratford. In1605 he purchased a share (about one-fifth) of the Stratford tithes--a factthat explains why he was eventually buried in the chancel of its parishchurch. For some time he lodged with a French Huguenot family calledMountjoy, who lived near St. Olave's Church, Cripplegate, London. Therecords of a lawsuit in May 1612, due to a Mountjoy family quarrel, showShakespeare as giving evidence in a genial way (though unable to remembercertain important facts that would have decided the case) and asinteresting himself generally in the family's affairs.No letters written by Shakespeare have survived, but a private letter tohim happened to get caught up with some official transactions of the townof Stratford and so has been preserved in the borough archives. It waswritten by one Richard Quiney and addressed by him from the Bell Inn inCarter Lane, London, whither he had gone from Stratford upon business. Onone side of the paper is inscribed: "To my loving good friend andcountryman, Mr. Wm. Shakespeare, deliver these." Apparently Quiney thoughthis fellow Stratfordian a person to whom he could apply for the loan of 30--a large sum in Elizabethan money. Nothing further is known about thetransaction, but, because so few opportunities of seeing into Shakespeare'sprivate life present themselves, this begging letter becomes a touchingdocument. It is of some interest, moreover, that 18 years later Quiney'sson Thomas became the husband of Judith, Shakespeare's second daughter.Shakespeare's will (made on March 25, 1616) is a long and detaileddocument. It entailed his quite ample property on the male heirs of hiselder daughter, Susanna. (Both his daughters were then married, one to theaforementioned Thomas Quiney and the other to John Hall, a respectedphysician of Stratford.) As an afterthought, he bequeathed his "second-bestbed" to his wife; but no one can be certain what this notorious legacymeans. The testator's signatures to the will are apparently in a shakyhand. Perhaps Shakespeare was already ill. He died on April 23, 1616. Noname was inscribed on his gravestone in the chancel of the parish church ofStratford-upon-Avon. Instead these lines, possibly his own, appeared: Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here. Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.EARLY POSTHUMOUS DOCUMENTATIONShakespeare's family or friends, however, were not content with a simplegravestone, and, within a few years, a monument was erected on the chancelwall. It seems to have existed by 1623. Its epitaph, written in Latin andinscribed immediately below the bust, attributes to Shakespeare the worldlywisdom of Nestor, the genius of Socrates, and the poetic art of Virgil.This apparently was how his contemporaries in Stratford-upon-Avon wishedtheir fellow citizen to be remembered.CHRONOLOGY OF SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYSDespite much scholarly argument, it is often impossible to date a givenplay precisely. But there is a general consensus, especially for playswritten 1585-1601, 1605-07, and 1609 onward. The following list of firstperformances is based on external and internal evidence, on generalstylistic and thematic considerations, and on the observation that anoutput of no more than two plays a year seems to have been established inthose periods when dating is rather clearer than others.1589-92 Henry VI, Part 1; Henry VI, Part 2; Henry VI, Part 31592-93 Richard III, The Comedy of Errors1593-94 Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew1594-95 The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet1595-96 Richard II, аMidsummer Night's Dream1596-97 King John, The Merchant of Venice1597-98 Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 21598-99 Much Ado About Nothingc. 1599 Henry V1599-1600 Julius Caesar, As You Like It1600-01 Hamlet, The Merry Wives of Windsor1601-02 Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida1602-03 All's Well That Ends Well1604-05 Measure For Measure, Othello1605-06 King Lear, Macbeth1606-07 Antony and Cleopatra1607-08 Coriolanus, Timon of Athens1608-09 Pericles1609-10 Cymbeline1610-11 The Winter's Talec. 1611 The Tempest1612-13 Henry VIII, The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare's two narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape ofLucrece, can be dated with certainty to the years when the Plague stoppeddramatic performances in London, in 1592 and 1593-94, respectively, justbefore their publication. But the sonnets offer many and various problems;they cannot have been written all at one time, and most scholars set themwithin the period 1593-1600. "The Phoenix and the Turtle" can be dated 1600-01.PUBLICATIONDuring Shakespeare's early career, dramatists invariably sold their playsto an actor's company, who then took charge of them, prepared workingpromptbooks, and did their best to prevent another company or a publisherfrom getting copies; in this way they could exploit the plays themselvesfor as long as they drew an audience. But some plays did get published,usually in small books called quartos. Occasionally plays were "pirated,"the text being dictated by one or two disaffected actors from the companythat had performed it or else made up from shorthand notes takensurreptitiously during performance and subsequently corrected during otherperformances; parts 2 and 3 of the Henry VI (1594 and 1595) and Hamlet(1603) quartos are examples of pirated, or "bad," texts. Sometimes anauthor's "foul papers" (his first complete draft) or his "fair" copy--or atranscript of either of these--got into a publisher's hands, and "goodquartos" were printed from them, such as those of Titus Andronicus (1594),Love's Labour's Lost (1598), and Richard II (1597). After the publicationof "bad" quartos of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet (1597), the Chamberlain'sMen probably arranged for the release of the "foul papers" so that second--"good"--quartos could supersede the garbled versions already on the market.This company had powerful friends at court, and in 1600 a special order wasentered in the Stationers' Register to "stay" the publication of As YouLike It, Much Ado About Nothing, and Henry V, possibly in order to assurethat good texts were available. Subsequently Henry V (1600) was pirated,and Much Ado About Nothing was printed from "foul papers"; As You Like Itdid not appear in print until it was included in Mr. William ShakespearesComedies, Histories & Tragedies, published in folio (the reference is tothe size of page) by a syndicate in 1623 (later editions appearing in 1632and 1663).The only precedent for such a collected edition of public theatre plays ina handsome folio volume was Ben Jonson's collected plays of 1616.Shakespeare's folio included 36 plays, 22 of them appearing for the firsttime in a good text. (For the Third Folio reissue of 1664, Pericles wasadded from a quarto text of 1609, together with six apocryphal plays.) TheFirst Folio texts were prepared by John Heminge and Henry Condell (two ofShakespeare's fellow sharers in the Chamberlain's, now the King's, Men),who made every effort to present the volume worthily. Only about 230 copiesof the First Folio are known to have survived.The following list gives details of plays first published individually andindicates the authority for each substantive edition. Q stands for Quarto:Q2, Q3, Q4, etc., stand for reprints of an original quarto. F stands forthe First Folio edition of 1623.Henry VI, Part 2 Q 1594: a reported text. F from revised fair copies,edited with reference to Q.Titus Andronicus Q 1594: from foul papers. F from a copy of Q, withadditions from a manuscript that had been used as a promptbook.Henry VI, Part 3 Q 1595: a reported text. F as for Henry VI, Part 2.Richard III Q 1597: a reconstructed text prepared for use as a promptbook.F from reprints of Q, edited with reference to foul papers and containingsome 200 additional lines.Love's Labour's Lost Q is lost. Q2 1598: from foul papers, and badlyprinted. F from Q2.Romeo and Juliet Q 1597: a reported text. Q2 from foul papers, with somereference to Q. F from a reprint of Q2.Richard II Q 1597: from foul papers and missing the abdication scene. Q41608, with reported version of missing scene. F from reprints of Q, but theabdication scene from an authoritative manuscript, probably the promptbook(of which traces appear elsewhere in F).Henry IV, Part 1 Q 1598: from foul papers. F from Q5, with some literaryediting.аMidsummer Night's Dream Q 1600: from the author's fair copy. F from Q2,with some reference to a promptbook.The Merchant of Venice Q 1600: from foul papers. F from Q, with somereference to a promptbook.Henry IV, Part 2 Q 1600: from foul papers. F from Q, with reference to apromptbook.Much Ado About Nothing Q 1600: from the author's fair papers. F from Q,with reference to a promptbook.Henry V Q 1600: a reported text. F from foul papers (possibly of a secondversion of the play).The Merry Wives of Windsor Q 1602: a reported (and abbreviated) text. Ffrom a transcript, by Ralph Crane (scrivener of the King's Men), of arevised promptbook.Hamlet Q 1603: a reported text, with reference to an earlier play. Q2 fromfoul papers, with reference to Q. F from Q2, with reference to apromptbook, with theatrical and authorial additions.King Lear Q 1608: from an inadequate transcript of foul papers, with usemade of a reported version. F from Q, collated with a promptbook of ashortened version.Troilus and Cressida Q 1609: from a fair copy, possibly the author's. Ffrom Q, with reference to foul papers, adding 45 lines and the Prologue.Pericles Q 1609: a poor text, badly printed with both auditory and graphicerrors.Othello Q 1622: from a transcript of foul papers. F from Q, withcorrections from another authorial version of the play.The plays published for the first time in the First Folio of 1623 are:All's Well That Ends Well From the author's fair papers, or a transcript ofthem.Antony and Cleopatra From an authorial fair copy.Henry VI, Part 1As You Like It From a promptbook, or a transcript of it.The Comedy of Errors From foul papers.Coriolanus From an authorial fair copy, edited for the printer.Cymbeline From an authorial copy, or a transcript of such, imperfectlyprepared as a promptbook.Henry VIII From a transcript of a fair copy, made by the author, preparedfor reading.Julius Caesar From a transcript of a promptbook.King John From an authorial fair copy.Macbeth From a promptbook of a version prepared for court performance.Measure for Measure From a transcript, by Ralph Crane, of very imperfectfoul papers.The Taming of the Shrew From foul papers.The Tempest From an edited transcript, by Ralph Crane, of the author'spapers.Timon of Athens From foul papers, probably unfinished.Twelfth Night From a promptbook, or a transcript of it.The Two Gentlemen of Verona From a transcript, by Ralph Crane, of apromptbook, probably of a shortened version.The Winter's Tale From a transcript, by Ralph Crane, probably from theauthor's fair copy.The texts of Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594) areremarkably free from errors. Shakespeare presumably furnished a fair copyof each for the printer. He also seems to have read the proofs. The sonnetswere published in 1609, but there is no evidence that Shakespeare oversawtheir publication.POETIC AND DRAMATIC POWERSThe early poems.Shakespeare dedicated the poem Venus and Adonis to his patron, HenryWriothesley, 3rd earl of Southampton, whom he further promised to honourwith "some graver labour"--perhaps The Rape of Lucrece, which appeared ayear later and was also dedicated to Southampton. As these two poems weresomething on which Shakespeare was intending to base his reputation withthe public and to establish himself with his patron, they were displays ofhis virtuosity--diploma pieces. They were certainly the most popular of hiswritings with the reading public and impressed them with his poetic genius.Seven editions of Venus and Adonis had appeared by 1602 and 16 by 1640;Lucrece, a more serious poem, went through eight editions by 1640; andthere are numerous allusions to them in the literature of the time. Butafter that, until the 19th century, they were little regarded. Even thenthe critics did not know what to make of them: on the one hand, Venus andAdonis is licentiously erotic (though its sensuality is often rathercomic); while Lucrece may seem to be tragic enough, the treatment of thepoem is yet somewhat cold and distant. In both cases the poet seems to bedisplaying dexterity rather than being "sincere." But Shakespeare'sdetachment from his subjects has come to be admired in more recentassessments.Above all, the poems give evidence for the growth of Shakespeare'simagination. Venus and Adonis is full of vivid imagery of the countryside;birds, beasts, the hunt, the sky, and the weather, the overflowing Avon--these give freshness to the poem and contrast strangely with the sensuouslove scenes. Lucrece is more rhetorical and elaborate than Venus and Adonisand also aims higher. Its disquisitions (upon night, time, opportunity, andlust, for example) anticipate brilliant speeches on general themes in theplays--on mercy in The Merchant of Venice, suicide in Hamlet, and "degree"in Troilus and Cressida.There are a few other poems attributed to Shakespeare. When the Sonnetswere printed in 1609, a 329-line poem, "аLovers complaint," was added atthe end of the volume, plainly ascribed by the publisher to Shakespeare.There has been a good deal of discussion about the authorship of this poem.Only the evidence of style, however, could call into question thepublisher's ascription, and this is conflicting. Parts of the poem and somelines are brilliant, but other parts seem poor in a way that is not likeShakespeare's careless writing. Its narrative structure is remarkable,however, and the poem deserves more attention than it usually receives. Itis now generally thought to be from Shakespeare's pen, possibly an earlypoem revised by him at a more mature stage of his poetical style. Whetherthe poem in its extant form is later or earlier than Venus and Adonis andLucrece cannot be decided. No one could doubt the authenticity of "ThePhoenix and the Turtle," a 67-line poem that appeared with other "poeticalessays" (by John Marston, George Chapman, and Ben Jonson) appended toRobert Chester's poem Loves Martyr in 1601. The poem is attractive andmemorable, but very obscure, partly because of its style and partly becauseit contains allusions to real persons and situations whose identity can nowonly be guessed at.The sonnets.In 1609 appeared SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS. Never before Imprinted. At thisdate Shakespeare was already a successful author, a country gentleman, andan affluent member of the most important theatrical enterprise in London.How long before 1609 the sonnets were written is unknown. The phrase "neverbefore imprinted" may imply that they had existed for some time but werenow at last printed. Two of them (nos. 138 and 144) had in fact alreadyappeared (in a slightly different form) in an anthology, The PassionatePilgrime (1599). Shakespeare had certainly written some sonnets by 1598,for in that year Francis Meres, in a "survey" of literature, made referenceto "his sugared sonnets among his private friends," but whether these"sugared sonnets" were those eventually published in 1609 cannot beascertained--Shakespeare may have written other sets of sonnets, now lost.Nevertheless, the sonnets included in The Passionate Pilgrime are among hismost striking and mature, so it is likely that most of the 154 sonnets thatappeared in the 1609 printing belong to Shakespeare's early 30s rather thanto his 40s--to the time when he was writing Richard II and Romeo and Julietrather than when he was writing King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra. But, ofcourse, some of them may belong to any year of Shakespeare's life as a poetbefore 1609.The early plays.Although the record of Shakespeare's early theatrical success is obscure,clearly the newcomer soon made himself felt. His brilliant two-part play onthe Wars of the Roses, The Whole Contention between the two Famous Houses,Lancaster and Yorke, was among his earliest achievements. He showed, in TheComedy of Errors, how hilariously comic situations could be shot throughwith wonder and sentiment. In Titus Andronicus he scored a popular successwith tragedy in the high Roman fashion. The Two Gentlemen of Verona was anew kind of romantic comedy. The world has never ceased to enjoy The Tamingof the Shrew. Love's Labour's Lost is an experiment in witty and satiricalobservation of society. Romeo and Juliet combines and interconnects atragic situation with comedy and gaiety. All this represents the probableachievement of Shakespeare's first half-dozen years as a writer for theLondon stage, perhaps by the time he had reached 30. It shows astonishingversatility and originality.The histories.For his plays on subjects from English history, Shakespeare primarily drewupon Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles, which appeared in 1587, and on EdwardHall's earlier account of The union of the two noble and illustre fameliesof Lancastre and York (1548). From these and numerous secondary sources heinherited traditional themes: the divine right of royal succession, theneed for unity and order in the realm, the evil of dissension and treason,the cruelty and hardship of war, the power of money to corrupt, thestrength of family ties, the need for human understanding and carefulcalculation, and the power of God's providence, which protected hisfollowers, punished evil, and led England toward the stability of Tudorrule.The Roman plays.After the last group of English history plays, Shakespeare chose to writeabout Julius Caesar, who held particular fascination for the Elizabethans.Then, for six or seven years Shakespeare did not return to a Roman theme,but, after completing Macbeth and King Lear, he again used Thomas North'stranslation of Plutarch as a source for two more Roman plays, Antony andCleopatra and Coriolanus, both tragedies that seem as much concerned todepict the broad context of history as to present tragic heroes.The "great," or "middle," comedies.The comedies written between 1596 and 1602 have much in common and are aswell considered together as individually. With the exception of The MerryWives of Windsor, all are set in some "imaginary" country. Whether calledIllyria, Messina, Venice and Belmont, Athens, or the Forest of Arden, thesun shines as the dramatist wills. аlioness, snakes, magic caskets, fairyspells, identical twins, disguise of sex, the sudden conversion of atyrannous duke or the defeat offstage of a treacherous brother can allchange the course of the plot and bring the characters to a conclusion inwhich almost all are happy and just deserts are found. Lovers are young andwitty and almost always rich. The action concerns wooing; and itsconclusion is marriage, beyond which the audience is scarcely concerned.Whether Shakespeare's source was an Italian novel (The Merchant of Veniceand Much Ado About Nothing), an English pastoral tale ( As You Like It), anItalian comedy (the Malvolio story in Twelfth Night), or something of hisown invention (probably аMidsummer Night's Dream, and parts of each),always in his hands story and sentiments are instinct with idealism andcapable of magic transformations.In some ways these are intellectual plays. Each comedy has a multiple plotand moves from one set of characters to another, between whom Shakespeareinvites his audience to seek connections and explanations. Despite verydifferent classes of people (or immortals) in different strands of thenarrative, the plays are unified by Shakespeare's idealistic vision and byan implicit judgment of human relationships, and all their characters arebrought together--with certain significant exceptions--at, or near, theend.The great tragedies.It is a usual and reasonable opinion that Shakespeare's greatness isnowhere more visible than in the series of tragedies-- Hamlet, Othello,King Lear, and Macbeth. Julius Caesar, which was written before these, andAntony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus, which were written after, have manylinks with the four. But, because of their rather strict relationship withthe historical materials, they are best dealt with in a group bythemselves. Timon of Athens, probably written after the above-named sevenplays, shows signs of having been unfinished or abandoned by Shakespeare.It has its own splendours but has rarely been considered equal inachievement to the other tragedies of Shakespeare's maturity.The "dark" comedies.Before the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 the country was ill at ease:the House of Commons became more outspoken about monopolies and royalprerogative, and uncertainty about the succession to the throne made thefuture of the realm unsettled. In 1603 the Plague again struck London,closing the theatres. In 1601 Shakespeare's patron, the Earl ofSouthampton, was arrested on charges of treason; he was subsequentlyreleased, but such scares did not betoken confidence in the new reign.About Shakespeare's private reaction to these events there can be onlyspeculation, but three of the five plays usually assigned to these years--Troilus and Cressida, All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure--havebecome known as "dark" comedies for their distempered vision of the world.Only during the 20th century have these plays been frequently performed inanything like Shakespeare's texts, an indication that their questioning,satiric, intense, and shifting comedy could not please earlier audiences.The late plays.Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest, and Henry VIII,written between 1608 and 1612, are commonly known as Shakespeare's "lateplays," or his "last plays," and sometimes, with reference to theirtragicomic form, they are called his "romances." Works written by an authorin his 40s hardly deserve to be classified as "late" in any critical sense,yet these plays are often discussed as if they had been written by avenerable old author, tottering on the edge of a well-earned grave. On thecontrary, Shakespeare must have believed that plenty of writing years laybefore him, and indeed the theatrical effectiveness and experimental natureof Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest in particular make themvery unlike the fatigued work of a writer about to break his staff anddrown his book.The contribution of textual criticism.The early editors of Shakespeare saw their task chiefly as one ofcorrection and regularization of the faulty printing and imperfect texts ofthe original editions or their reprints. Many changes in the text of thequartos and folios that are now accepted derive from Nicholas Rowe (1709)and Alexander Pope (1723-25), but these editors also introduced manythousands of small changes that have since been rejected. Later in the 18thcentury, editors compiled collations of alternative and rejected readings.Samuel Johnson (1765), Edward Capell (1767-68), and Edmund Malone (1790)were notable pioneers. Their work reached its most comprehensive form inthe Cambridge edition in nine volumes by W.G. Clark, J. Glover, and W.A.Wright, published in 1863-66. аfamous one-volume Globe edition of 1864 wasbased on this Cambridge text.Romeo and Juliet,play by William Shakespeare, performed about 1594-95 and first published ina "bad" quarto in 1597. The characters of Romeo and Juliet have beendepicted in literature, music, dance, and theatre. The appeal of the younghero and heroine--whose families, the Montagues and Capulets, respectively,are implacable enemies--is such that they have become, in the popularimagination, the representative type of star-crossed lovers.Shakespeare's principal source for the plot was The Tragicall Historye ofRomeus and Juliet (1562), a long narrative poem by the English poet ArthurBroke (d. 1563). Broke had based his poem on a French translation of a taleby the Italian Matteo Bandello (1485-1561).Shakespeare set the scene in Verona, Italy, during July. Juliet and Romeomeet and fall instantly in love at a masked ball of the Capulets andprofess their love when Romeo later visits her at her private balcony inher family's home. Because the two noble families are enemies, the coupleis married secretly by Friar Laurence. When Tybalt, a Capulet, killsRomeo's friend Mercutio in a quarrel, Romeo kills Tybalt and is banished toMantua. Juliet's father insists on her marrying Count Paris, and Julietgoes to consult the friar. He gives her a potion that will make her appearto be dead and proposes that she take it and that Romeo rescue her; shecomplies. Unaware of the friar's scheme, Romeo returns to Verona on hearingof Juliet's apparent death. He encounters Paris, kills him, and findsJuliet in the burial vault. There he gives her a last kiss and killshimself with poison. Juliet awakens, sees the dead Romeo, and killsherself. The families learn what has happened and end their feud.The most complex of Shakespeare's early plays, Romeo and Juliet is far morethan "a play of young love" or "the world's typical love-tragedy." Weavingtogether a large number of related impressions and judgments, it is as muchabout hate as love. It tells of a family and its home as well as a feud anda tragic marriage. The public life of Verona and the private lives of theVeronese make up the setting for the love of Juliet and Romeo and providethe background against which their love can be assessed. It is not thedeaths of the lovers that conclude the play but the public revelation ofwhat has happened, with the admonitions of the Prince and thereconciliation of the two families.Shakespeare enriched an already old story by surrounding the guilelessmutual passion of Romeo and Juliet with the mature bawdry of the othercharacters--the Capulet servants Sampson and Gregory open the play withtheir fantasies of exploits with the Montague women; the tongues of theNurse and Mercutio are seldom free from sexual matters--but the innocenceof the lovers is unimpaired.Romeo and Juliet made a strong impression on contemporary audiences. It wasalso one of Shakespeare's first plays to be pirated; a very bad textappeared in 1597. Detestable though it is, this version does derive from aperformance of the play, and a good deal of what was seen on stage wasrecorded. Two years later another version of the play appeared, issued by adifferent, more respectable publisher, and this is essentially the playknown today, for the printer was working from a manuscript fairly close toShakespeare's own. Yet in neither edition did Shakespeare's name appear onthe title page, and it was only with the publication of Love's Labour'sLost in 1598 that publishers had come to feel that the name of Shakespeareas a dramatist, as well as the public esteem of the company of actors towhich he belonged, could make an impression on potential purchasers ofplaybooks.Bibliographies.WALTER EBISCH and LEVIN L. SCHЬCKING, аShakespeare Bibliography (1931,reprinted 1968), and a supplement for the years 1930-35 (1937, reissued1968), are comprehensive. They are updated by GORDON ROSS SMITH, AClassified Shakespeare Bibliography, 1936-1958 (1963). JAMES G. McMANAWAY,аSelective Bibliography of Shakespeare: Editions, Textual Studies,Commentary (1975), covers more than 4,500 items published between 1930 and1970, mainly in English. LARRY S. CHAMPION, The Essential Shakespeare: AnAnnotated Bibliography of Major Modern Studies, 2nd ed. (1993), includesworks in English published from 1900 through 1984. STANLEY WELLS (ed.),Shakespeare, new ed. (1990), provides bibliographies on topics ranging fromthe poet to the text to the performances. Shakespeare Quarterly publishesan annual classified bibliography. Shakespeare Survey (quarterly) publishesannual accounts of "Contributions to Shakespearian Study," as well asretrospective articles on work done on particular aspects. аselection ofimportant scholarly essays published during the previous year is collectedin Shakespearean Criticism (annual).
|William Shakespeare “But Shakespeare’s magic could not copied be; within that circle none durst walk but he.”||William Shakespeare|
|William Shakespeare||William Shakespeare|
|Englash writer william shakespeare||William Shakespeare The Bard of Avon|
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