History Creator / WilliamShakespeare

2nd Dec '17 9:37:21 PM DustSnitch
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Shakespeare's late tragedies, ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', and ''Theatre/KingLear'', are widely considered to be among the greatest plays ever written, while such other works as ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', and ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' have profoundly influenced Anglophone culture. Shakespeare holds the record of having five of his plays running on Broadway simultaneously.

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Shakespeare's late tragedies, ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', and ''Theatre/KingLear'', are widely considered to be among the greatest plays ever written, while such other works as ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', and ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' have profoundly influenced Anglophone culture. Shakespeare holds the record of having five of his plays running on Broadway simultaneously.
culture.
23rd Nov '17 4:38:10 PM TheGreatConversation
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* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Sonnets 40 and 41 reveals a situation where the poet was doubly betrayed. His friend sleeps with his lover, no less. In Sonnet 42, he tries to justify this morally-unjustifiable act by a clever sophistic. They both love each other only because they also both love him, the poet, and he wishes them all the best.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Sonnet 129--and '''how'''.

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* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Sonnets 40 and 41 reveals reveal a situation where the poet was doubly betrayed. His friend sleeps with his lover, no less. In Sonnet 42, he tries to justify this morally-unjustifiable act by a clever sophistic. They both love each other only because they also both love him, the poet, and he wishes them all the best.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Sonnet 129--and '''how'''.129--though it's really ''lust'' makes you evil.



* MandatoryMotherhood: In the sonnets.

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* MandatoryMotherhood: In The first seventeen sonnets, known as the sonnets."Procreation Cycle," center on the poet attempting to convince a fair young man to reproduce and thereby preserve his beauty.
8th Oct '17 6:13:23 PM DarkPhoenix94
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Every generation seems to see Shakespeare as one of theirs, and attribute to him whatever attitudes or beliefs are considered "proper", "cool", or "intelligent" at the time. The Georgians saw him as a natural man whose brilliance was completely innate, though not brought into line with proper rules of Aristotelian drama, while the Victorians and Edwardians saw him as a proper Whig gentleman with proper Whig opinions on women, foreigners, war, etc. Most notably, in the past thirty years he's been turned into a rebel who was "forced" to work for those nasty royals and aristocrats because he had no other choice. Even on this very wiki, Shakespeare is said to have "had" to write his plays in a certain way for James or Elizabeth or Essex, with the unspoken assumption that he would have done things very differently had those evil meddling Kings, Queens, and Dukes not been controlling and censoring him. Admittedly, the nobility did have the power to do just that to anyone less in rank than they were [[note]](''especially to a commoner''; even the Authorship Question doesn't help here, none of the nobles on the list outranked Queen Elizabeth/King James)[[/note]], such as [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Queen Elizabeth I]] chopping off the right hands of a writer, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stubbs John Stubbs]][[note]] ([[IAmNotLeftHanded he kept writing]], though never anything seditious again)[[/note]], his printer, and his publisher, William Page, for writings she found offensive to her. Shakespeare's plays were staged frequently for the upper crust, so they were a crowd he desired to impress.

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Every generation seems to see Shakespeare as one of theirs, and attribute to him whatever attitudes or beliefs are considered "proper", "cool", or "intelligent" at the time. The Georgians saw him as a natural man whose brilliance was completely innate, though not brought into line with proper rules of Aristotelian drama, while the Victorians and Edwardians saw him as a proper Whig gentleman with proper Whig opinions on women, foreigners, war, etc. Most notably, in the past thirty years he's been turned into a rebel who was "forced" to work for those nasty royals and aristocrats because he had no other choice. Even on this very wiki, Shakespeare is said to have "had" to write his plays in a certain way for James or Elizabeth or Essex, with the unspoken assumption that he would have done things very differently had those evil meddling Kings, Queens, and Dukes not been controlling and censoring him. Admittedly, the nobility did have the power to do just that to anyone less in rank than they were [[note]](''especially to a commoner''; even the Authorship Question doesn't help here, none of the nobles on the list outranked Queen Elizabeth/King James)[[/note]], such as [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Queen Elizabeth I]] chopping off the right hands of a writer, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stubbs John Stubbs]][[note]] ([[IAmNotLeftHanded he kept writing]], though never anything seditious again)[[/note]], his printer, and his publisher, William Page, for writings she found offensive to her. Shakespeare's plays were staged frequently for the upper crust, so they were a crowd he desired to impress.impress, and judging by their content and timing, he was a highly accomplished political weathervane.



In either case, the "evidence" cited by anti-Stratfordians that Shakespeare's works needed specialized knowledge in [[RenaissanceMan "history, mythology, law, medicine, geography, sailing, and the upper echelons of politics"]] to write so well about these subjects is not borne out by textual studies of the play. The plays are filled with anachronism, historical inaccuracies, propaganda and rumor, as well as quite a few errors in scientific and geographic facts. Moreover, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare's contemporary and friend who wrote the Essay of Dedication for the First Folio, lamented that Shakespeare knew very little Latin and Greek, in other words not someone who was a CunningLinguist by any means, perfectly matching the biographical record. The list of books that Shakespeare mentions in his will align well with the source material for his plays and they were chapbooks written in vernacular. Moreover, Shakespeare borrowed all his plots (as was tradition at the time) and government censorship meant he could not depict contemporary life anyway. Shakespeare's plays are works of artistic genius which means that conventional notions of skill from later eras do not apply. It should also be noted that the authorship debate stems from the fact that there is very little known about Shakespeare's personality, his attitudes and the like. There are no letters or diaries attributed to Shakespeare. However, this attitude stems from the notion of an artist's "personality" which is anachronistic since it was only with UsefulNotes/{{Romanticism}} that the idea of the artist as celebrity came into being.

For most contemporary scholars, this problem has become a quest to find the WordOfGod version of Shakespeare's plays when it seems likely all we really have is the WordOfStPaul at best and the WordOfDante at worst. A lot of the {{Bookworm}} types in their GreatBigLibraryOfEverything have been less worried about who The Bard was, and more worried about what was actually written in his own words. While old Bill was alive its hard to tell what publications he might have officially sanctioned: many versions printed during his life-time were shabby bootlegs used as rip-offs by other theater troupes (the so-called "Bad Quartos"). Contemporary versions of the Swan of Avon's plays rely heavily on the WordOfStPaul via what's called the First Folio, a collection of his plays put together in 1623 by some actor pals from The King's Men. Around the 1700s, editors decided that some of the bootleg printed copies were good or complete enough to be WordOfGod, and they started mixing them with the First Folio. Since then, scholars have been in an echo chamber debating what can be considered authentically Shakespearean. For example, the ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' we know and love is actually a patchwork of the 1623 Folio and a longer copy published in 1603. Today some editions of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' and ''Theatre/KingLear'' have include multiple versions of each play in one book, leaving readers to decide their own WordOfDante version to use. Since the National Poet of England didn't have a Xerox to print off an official copy and fax to his agent, any edition of his plays that claim to be straight from the Upstart Crow's mouth are, as far as we can be absolutely certain, actually just ascended {{Fanon}} with an academic stamp of approval. To make things even more complicated, almost all publications today have spelling and grammar changes to help modernize the text in order to [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe avoid misunderstandings]]. With all these changes in mind it becomes increasingly difficult to decide what counts as Shakespeare and what doesn't. Yet, for all these inconsistencies, the genius of the Immortal Bard is hard to deny; "confusion now hathe made his masterpiece."

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In either case, the "evidence" cited by anti-Stratfordians that Shakespeare's works needed specialized knowledge in [[RenaissanceMan "history, mythology, law, medicine, geography, sailing, and the upper echelons of politics"]] to write so well about these subjects is not borne out by textual studies of the play. The plays are filled with anachronism, historical inaccuracies, propaganda and rumor, rumour, as well as quite a few errors in scientific and geographic facts. Moreover, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare's contemporary and friend who wrote the Essay of Dedication for the First Folio, lamented that Shakespeare knew very little Latin and Greek, in other words not someone who was a CunningLinguist by any means, perfectly matching the biographical record. The list of books that Shakespeare mentions in his will align well with the source material for his plays and they were chapbooks written in vernacular. Moreover, Shakespeare borrowed all his plots (as was tradition at the time) and government censorship meant he could not depict contemporary life anyway. Shakespeare's plays are works of artistic genius which means that conventional notions of skill from later eras do not apply. It should also be noted that the authorship debate stems from the fact that there is very little known about Shakespeare's personality, his attitudes and the like. There are no letters or diaries attributed to Shakespeare. However, this attitude stems from the notion of an artist's "personality" which is anachronistic since it was only with UsefulNotes/{{Romanticism}} that the idea of the artist as celebrity came into being.

For most contemporary scholars, this problem has become a quest to find the WordOfGod version of Shakespeare's plays when it seems likely all we really have is the WordOfStPaul at best and the WordOfDante at worst. A lot of the {{Bookworm}} types in their GreatBigLibraryOfEverything have been less worried about who The Bard was, and more worried about what was actually written in his own words. While old Bill was alive its hard to tell what publications he might have officially sanctioned: many versions printed during his life-time were shabby bootlegs used as rip-offs by other theater theatre troupes (the so-called "Bad Quartos"). Contemporary versions of the Swan of Avon's plays rely heavily on the WordOfStPaul via what's called the First Folio, a collection of his plays put together in 1623 by some actor pals from The King's Men. Around the 1700s, editors decided that some of the bootleg printed copies were good or complete enough to be WordOfGod, and they started mixing them with the First Folio. Since then, scholars have been in an echo chamber debating what can be considered authentically Shakespearean. For example, the ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' we know and love is actually a patchwork of the 1623 Folio and a longer copy published in 1603. Today some editions of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' and ''Theatre/KingLear'' have include multiple versions of each play in one book, leaving readers to decide their own WordOfDante version to use. Since the National Poet of England didn't have a Xerox to print off an official copy and fax to his agent, any edition of his plays that claim to be straight from the Upstart Crow's mouth are, as far as we can be absolutely certain, actually just ascended {{Fanon}} with an academic stamp of approval. To make things even more complicated, almost all publications today have spelling and grammar changes to help modernize modernise the text in order to [[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe avoid misunderstandings]]. With all these changes in mind it becomes increasingly difficult to decide what counts as Shakespeare and what doesn't. Yet, for all these inconsistencies, the genius of the Immortal Bard is hard to deny; "confusion now hathe made his masterpiece."



* YouFailGeographyForever: Considering that John Dee was considered an expert of geography because he had traveled Europe, and his audience didn't really care about accuracy on this topic anyway, this is hardly a surprise. Of course, sometimes an odd quirk of history made his geography accurate, such as [[http://www.gwu.edu/~ieresgwu/assets/docs/CanalsofMilan.pdf the canal system in Italy]], linking many "landlocked" Italian cities by boat to each other and to the Mediterranean Sea; or the Bohemian Empire once extending to the ocean (under King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_II,_Holy_Roman_Emperor Rudolf II]], from 15751608, ''the period of Shakespeare''), even though Bohemia itself has no coastline.

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* YouFailGeographyForever: Considering that John Dee was considered an expert of geography because he had traveled travelled Europe, and his audience didn't really care about accuracy on this topic anyway, this is hardly a surprise. Of course, sometimes an odd quirk of history made his geography accurate, such as [[http://www.gwu.edu/~ieresgwu/assets/docs/CanalsofMilan.pdf the canal system in Italy]], linking many "landlocked" Italian cities by boat to each other and to the Mediterranean Sea; or the Bohemian Empire once extending to the ocean (under King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_II,_Holy_Roman_Emperor Rudolf II]], from 15751608, ''the period of Shakespeare''), even though Bohemia itself has no coastline.



%%* HurricaneOfPuns

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%%* HurricaneOfPuns* HurricaneOfPuns: Frequently of the dirty variety, designed for humour of the nudge-nudge-wink-wink kind, and possibly GettingCrapPastTheRadar.
2nd Oct '17 1:39:52 PM JulianLapostat
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** [[invoked]] That said, many people believe there is a subversive element in some of his history plays. For instance, in the Henry plays (Part I and II), the character with the most lines is not the King and Prince, but the fat Knight Falstaff who became a major EnsembleDarkhorse in that period. Creator/OrsonWelles hung a {{Lampshade}} to this with his ''Film/ChimesAtMidnight''.

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** [[invoked]] That said, many people believe there is a subversive element in some of his history plays. For instance, in the Henry plays (Part I and II), the character with the most lines is not the King and Prince, but the fat Knight Falstaff who became a major EnsembleDarkhorse in that period. Creator/OrsonWelles hung a {{Lampshade}} to this with his ''Film/ChimesAtMidnight''. Even in ''Theatre/HenryV'', an openly propagandistic play about Henry V, many commentators note the King's rather manipulative and shrewd behaviour.



* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Talbot, Exeter, Duke Humphrey, Prince Escalus - Shakespeare was fond of this trope.

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* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Talbot, Exeter, Duke Humphrey, Prince Escalus - Shakespeare was fond of this trope. He also enjoyed parodying it with Polonius, who is reasonable and has authority but is kind of a comic fool.



* StoryArc: Some of his histories have many recurring characters.

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* StoryArc: Some of his histories have many recurring characters. The most famous is Falstaff in the Henriad plays, he has the most lines of dialogue in any Shakespeare play after Hamlet.
13th Sep '17 10:37:15 AM LordGro
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* SlidingScaleOfIdealismvsCynicism: Depends on his writings. His tragedies range from in the middle to cynical. His "comedies" are clearly more optimistic.

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* SlidingScaleOfIdealismvsCynicism: Depends on his writings. His tragedies range from in the middle to cynical. His "comedies" are clearly more optimistic.%%* SlidingScaleOfIdealismvsCynicism
12th Sep '17 9:15:17 PM MackWylde
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Added DiffLines:

* SlidingScaleOfIdealismvsCynicism: Depends on his writings. His tragedies range from in the middle to cynical. His "comedies" are clearly more optimistic.
7th Sep '17 4:52:48 AM fruitstripegum
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* ''Double Falsehood'' (Believed to be a rewrite of ''The History of Cardenio'', later rewritten by Lewis Theobald. See MissingEpisode above.)

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* ''Double Falsehood'' (Believed to be a rewrite of ''The History of Cardenio'', later rewritten by Lewis Theobald. See MissingEpisode above.)Theobald)
3rd Sep '17 5:55:12 AM fruitstripegum
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* RealitySubtext: Some scholars have theorized about the dynamic of Shakespeare's company via reading the plays to explain some of some of plays' quirks. For example, Shakespeare is assumed to have fallen out with Will Kempe, the company clown, for his constant improvisations and audience-mugging, due to Falstaff (one of his most famous roles) dying offstage in ''Theatre/HenryV'' and due to the diatribe against ad-libbing clowns in ''Hamlet''[[note]](though in this scene Hamlet wants the players to understand how dangerous it would be to ad-lib during Hamlet's rewrite of the play)[[/note]]. It is known from historical records that Kemp, an otherwise high-ranking stakeholder in Shakespeare's Company, suddenly left for some reason. Shakespeare's bad experiences with Kempe probably explains why he hired Robert Armin, who plays a more subdued and intelligent SadClown-type character (his most famous role probably being Feste from ''Theatre/TwelfthNight''). Shakespeare wrote ''Hamlet'' with Richard Burbage in mind, which would explain why the character is middle aged when the original character was a teenager. The difficulty in procuring boy actors who can carry a leading lady's role and how short their careers are could probably explain why all the plays with more than one major female role seem to be written back-to-back, to squeeze as much work as he can out of them: ''Theatre/TheComedyOfErrors'', ''Theatre/LovesLaboursLost'', ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'', ''Theatre/TheMerryWivesOfWindsor'', and ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'' were all written in the same three years.
3rd Sep '17 5:54:37 AM fruitstripegum
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* BeamMeUpScotty: On the one hand, some of the more famous lines he put in the mouths of famous men have actually been attributed to them in later years. On the other, some of the PopculturalOsmosis quotations of his work mangle them somewhat. For example, "[[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} Double, double, toil and trouble]]" is sometimes quoted as "Hubble, bubble..." or similar.



* MissingEpisode: Records indicate that Shakespeare wrote plays entitled ''The History of Cardenio'' and ''Love Labour's Won'' (which is probably a sequel or something along those lines to ''Love's Labour's Lost''). Unfortunately, no copies of them are known to exist. An 18th-century play called ''Double Falsehood'' is thought to be a rewrite of ''Cardenio'' and was included in the Arden Shakespeare series in 2010. Arden credited the work to Shakespeare, John Fletcher (who appears to have collaborated with Shakespeare on the play or rewrote the play from Shakespeare's original script), and Lewis Theobald (a Restoration dramatist who claims to have "discovered" the play, and probably also further edited the play to make it more palatable to his contemporary audiences). A study published in 2015 confirmed this.



* PainfulRhyme: Some of his poems and plays may ''appear'' to employ this, but most are likely due to the fact that English pronunciation has changed markedly in 400 years, and they would have rhymed perfectly well when he wrote them.
10th Jul '17 2:15:20 PM pyroclastic
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* PurpleProse: Sonnet 130 ("My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun") satirizes the tendency of other poets to make overwrought, faux-profound similes.

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* PurpleProse: Sonnet 130 ("My mistress's mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun") satirizes the tendency of other poets to make overwrought, faux-profound similes.
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