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The building in Pall Mall was purchased in 1805 by the British Institution, a private club of connoisseurs founded that year to hold exhibitions. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

It remained an important part of the London art scene until disbanded in 1867, typically holding a Spring exhibition of new works for sale from the start of February to the first week of May, and a loan exhibition of old masters, generally not for sale, from the first week of June to the end of August.[84] HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

The paintings and engravings that were part of the Boydell Gallery affected the way Shakespeare's plays were staged, acted, and illustrated in the 19th century. They also became the subject of criticism in important works such asRomantic poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Lectures on Shakespeare" and William Hazlitt's dramatic criticism.  HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Despite Charles Lamb's criticism of the Gallery's productions, Charles and Mary Lamb's children's book, Tales from Shakespeare (1807), was illustrated using plates from the project.[85]

The Boydell enterprise's most enduring legacy was the folio. It was reissued throughout the 19th century, and in 1867, "by the aid of photography the whole series,  DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

excepting the portraits of their Majesties George III. and Queen Charlotte, is now presented in a handy form, suitable for ordinary libraries or the drawing-room table, and offered as an appropriate memorial of the tercentenary celebration of the poet's birth".[86] Scholars have described Boydell's folio as a precursor to the modern coffee table book.  DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard

In his own time, William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was rated as merely one among many talented playwrights and poets, but since the late 17th century he has been considered the supreme playwright and poet of the English language. No other dramatist has been performed even remotely as often on the world stage as Shakespeare. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

The plays have often been drastically adapted in performance; the version of King Lear used in performance between 1681 and 1838, for example, had a happy ending provided by the Irish poet Nahum Tate. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the era of the great acting stars, to be a star on the British stage was synonymous with being a great Shakespearean actor. DELL Vostro PP37L laptop keyboard

Then the emphasis was placed on the soliloquies as declamatory turns at the expense of pace and action, and Shakespeare's plays seemed in peril of disappearing beneath the added music, scenery, and special effects produced by thunder, lightning, and wave machines.

Editors and critics of the plays, disdaining the showiness and melodrama of Shakespearean stage representation,  SONY VAIO VGN-SZ640 laptop keyboard

soon began to focus on Shakespeare as a dramatic poet, to be studied on the printed page rather than in the theatre. The rift between Shakespeare on the stage and Shakespeare on the page was at its widest in the early 19th century, at a time when both forms of Shakespeare were hitting peaks of fame and popularity: Compaq Presario CQ56-110SE laptop keyboard

theatrical Shakespeare was successful spectacle and melodrama for the masses, while book or closet drama Shakespeare was being elevated by the reverential commentary of theRomantics into unique poetic genius, prophet, and bard. Before the Romantics, Shakespeare was simply the most admired of all dramatic poets, SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

especially for his insight into human nature and his realism, but Romantic critics such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge refactored him into an object of almost religious adoration or "bardolatry" (from bard + λατρεία, Greek for worship—a word coined by George Bernard Shaw), who towered above mere mortal writers, and whose plays were to be worshipped as not "merely great works of art" but as "phenomena of nature, SONY VAIO VGN-CR32S laptop keyboard

like the sun and the sea, the stars and the flowers" and "with entire submission of our own faculties" (Thomas de Quincey, 1823). To the later 19th century Shakespeare became in addition an emblem of national pride, the crown jewel of English culture, and a "rallying-sign", as Thomas Carlyle wrote in 1841, for the whole British empire. SONY VAIO VGN-FS790 laptop keyboard

Beginning around the turn of the 20th century, the historic rift between poet and playwright has begun to heal.

It is impossible to calculate Shakespeare's reputation in his own lifetime and shortly after. England scarcely had a modern literature to speak of before the 1570s, and detailed critical commentaries on modern authors did not begin to appear until the reign of Charles I.SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

The facts about his reputation must be surmised from fragmentary evidence. He was included in some contemporary lists of leading poets, but he seems to have lacked the stature of the aristocratic Philip Sidney, who became a cult figure due to his death in battle at a young age, or of Edmund Spenser. SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

Shakespeare's poems were reprinted far more frequently than his plays; but Shakespeare's plays were written for performance by his own company, and because no law prevented rival companies from using the plays, Shakespeare's troupe took steps to prevent his plays from being printed. HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

That many of his plays were pirated suggests his popularity in the book market, and the regular patronage of his company by the court, culminating in 1603 when James I turned it into the "King's Men," suggests his popularity among higher stations of society. Modern plays (as opposed to those in Latin and Greek) were considered ephemeral and even somewhat disreputable entertainments by some contemporaries; Compaq Presario CQ56-102SE laptop keyboard

the new Bodleian Library explicitly refused to shelve plays. Some of Shakespeare's plays, particularly the history plays, were reprinted frequently in cheap quarto (essentially pamphlet) form; others, including many of his finest, took decades to reach a third edition. TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6010L laptop keyboard

After Ben Jonson pioneered the canonization of modern plays by printing his own works in folio (the luxury book format) in 1616, Shakespeare was the next playwright to be honored by a folio collection, in 1623. The fact that that folio went into another edition within nine years indicates that he was held in unusually high regard for a playwright. HP 9J.NOL82.W01 laptop keyboard

The dedicatory poems by Ben Jonson and John Milton in the second folio were the first to suggest that Shakespeare was the supreme poet of his age. These expensive reading editions are the first visible sign of a rift between Shakespeare on the stage and Shakespeare for readers, a rift that was to widen over the next two centuries. FUJITSU Lifebook S7210 laptop keyboard

In his 1630 work 'Timber' or 'Discoveries', Ben Jonson praised the speed and ease with which Shakespeare wrote his plays as well as his contemporary's honesty and gentleness towards others.

During the Interregnum (1642–1660), all public stage performances were banned by the Puritan rulers.SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Though denied the use of the stage, costumes and scenery, actors still managed to ply their trade by performing "drolls" or short pieces of larger plays that usually ended with some type of jig. Shakespeare was among the many playwrights whose works were plundered for these scenes. HP Pavilion DV6t-4000 laptop keyboard

Among the most common scenes were Bottom's scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream and the gravedigger's scene from Hamlet. When the theatres opened again in 1660 after this uniquely long and sharp break in British theatrical history, two newly licensed London theatre companies, the Duke's and the King's Company, SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

started business with a scramble for performance rights to old plays. Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and the Beaumont and Fletcher team were among the most valuable properties and remained popular after Restoration playwriting had gained momentum.

In the elaborate Restoration London playhouses, designed by Christopher Wren, HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Shakespeare's plays were staged with music, dancing, thunder, lightning, wave machines, and fireworks. The texts were "reformed" and "improved" for the stage, an undertaking which has seemed shockingly disrespectful to posterity. A notorious example is Nahum Tate's happy-ending King Lear(1681) (which held the stage until 1838), COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

while The Tempest was turned into an opera replete with special effects by William Davenant. In fact, as the director of the Duke's Company, Davenant was legally obliged to reform and modernize Shakespeare's plays before performing them, an ad hoc ruling by the Lord Chamberlain in the battle for performance rights which "sheds an interesting light on the many twentieth-century denunciations of Davenant for his adaptations" (Hume, p. 20). HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

The common modern view of the Restoration stage as the epitome of Shakespeare abuse and bad taste has been shown by Hume to be exaggerated, and both scenery and adaptation became more reckless in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The incomplete Restoration stage records suggest that Shakespeare, although always a major repertory author, HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

was bested in the 1660–1700 period by the phenomenal popularity of Beaumont and Fletcher. "Their plays are now the most pleasant and frequent entertainments of the stage", reported fellow playwright John Dryden in 1668, "two of theirs being acted through the year for one of Shakespeare's or Jonson's". ACER Aspire 1410-742G16n Laptop Keyboard

In the early 18th century, however, Shakespeare took over the lead on the London stage fromBeaumont and Fletcher, never to relinquish it again.

By contrast to the stage history, in literary criticism there was no lag time, no temporary preference for other dramatists: Shakespeare had a unique position at least from the Restoration in 1660 and onwards. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

While Shakespeare did not follow the unbending French neo-classical "rules" for the drama and the three classical unities of time, place, and action, those strict rules had never caught on in England, and their sole zealous proponent Thomas Rymer was hardly ever mentioned by influential writers except as an example of narrow dogmatism. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Dryden, for example, argued in his influential Essay of Dramatick Poesie(1668) — the same essay in which he noted that Shakespeare's plays were performed only half as often as those of Beaumont and Fletcher — for Shakespeare's artistic superiority. Though Shakespeare does not follow the dramatic conventions, HP G62-147NR Laptop Keyboard

Dryden wrote,Ben Jonson does, and as a result Jonson lands in a distant second place to "the incomparable Shakespeare", the follower of nature, the untaught genius, the great realist of human character.

In the 18th century, Shakespeare dominated the London stage, while Shakespeare productions turned increasingly into the creation of star turns for star actors. DELL NSK-DG101 Laptop Keyboard

After the Licensing Act of 1737, one fourth of the plays performed were by Shakespeare and on at least two occasions rival London playhouses staged the very same Shakespeare play at the same time (Romeo and Juliet in 1755 and King Lear the next year) and still commanded audiences.  HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

This occasion was a striking example of the growing prominence of Shakespeare stars in the theatrical culture, the big attraction being the competition and rivalry between the male leads at Covent Garden and Drury Lane, Spranger Barry and David Garrick. Apparently no incongruity was perceived in having Barry and Garrick, SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

in their late thirties, play adolescent Romeo one season and geriatric King Lear the next: age appropriateness was nothing, the power to command and electrify audiences was all. In September 1769 Garrick staged a major Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon which was a major influence on the rise of bardolatry.  HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

As performance playscripts diverged more and more from their originals, the publication of texts intended for reading developed rapidly in the opposite direction, with the invention of textual criticism and an emphasis on fidelity to Shakespeare's original words. The texts that we read and perform today were largely settled in the 18th century. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

 Nahum Tate and Nathaniel Lee had already prepared editions and performed scene divisions in the late 17th century, and Nicholas Rowe's edition of 1709 is considered the first truly scholarly text for the plays. It was followed by many good 18th-century editions, crowned by Edmund Malone's landmark Variorum EditionTOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

which was published posthumously in 1821 and remains the basis of modern editions. These collected editions were meant for reading, not staging, and some of them were even convenient for a poetry lover to carry around; Rowe's 1709 edition was, compared to the old folios, a light pocketbook. Shakespeare criticism also increasingly spoke to readers, rather than to theatre audiences. TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

The only aspects of Shakespeare's plays that were consistently disliked and singled out for criticism in the 18th century were thepuns ("clenches") and the "low" (sexual) allusions. While a few editors, notably Alexander Pope, attempted to gloss over or remove the puns and the double entendres, they were quickly reversed, HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

and by mid-century the puns and sexual humour were (with only a few exceptions, see Thomas Bowdler) back in to stay.

Dryden's sentiments about Shakespeare's matchless imagination and capacity for painting "nature" were echoed without a break in the 18th century by, for example, Joseph Addison ("Among the English, Shakespeare has incomparably excelled all others"),HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Alexander Pope ("every single character in Shakespeare is as much an Individual as those in Life itself"), and Samuel Johnson (who scornfully dismissed Voltaire's and Rhymer's neoclassical Shakespeare criticism as "the petty cavils of petty minds"). HP Mini 110-3004tu Laptop Keyboard

The long-lived belief that the Romantics were the first generation to truly appreciate Shakespeare and to prefer him to Ben Jonson is contradicted by unstinting praise from writers throughout the 18th century. Ideas about Shakespeare that many people think of as typically post-Romantic were frequently expressed in the 18th and even in the 17th century: TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4047 Laptop Keyboard

he was described as a genius who needed no learning, as deeply original, and as creating uniquely "real" and individual characters (see Timeline of Shakespeare criticism). To compare Shakespeare and his well-educated contemporary Ben Jonson was a popular exercise at this time, a comparison that was invariably complimentary to Shakespeare. DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

It functioned to highlight the special qualities of both writers, and it especially powered the assertion that natural genius trumps rules, that "there is always an appeal open from criticism to nature" (Samuel Johnson).

Opinion of Shakespeare was briefly shaped in the 1790s by the "discovery" of the Shakespeare Papers by William Henry Ireland. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Ireland claimed to have found in atrunk a goldmine of lost documents of Shakespeare's including two plays Vortigern and Henry II. These documents appeared to demonstrate a number of unknown facts about Shakespeare that shaped opinion of his works, including a Profession of Faith demonstrating Shakespeare was a Protestant and that he had an illegitimate child.

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Although there were many believers in the provenance of the Shakespeare Papers they soon came under fierce attack from scholars who pointed out numerous inaccuracies. Vortigern had only one performance at the Drury Lane Theatre before Ireland admitted he had forged the documents and written the plays himself.  HP Mini 210-2070sb laptop keyboard

Some of Shakespeare's work was performed in continental Europe during the 17th century, but it was not until the mid 18th century that it became widely known. In Germany Lessing compared Shakespeare to German folk literature.  Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

Goethe organised a Shakespeare jubilee in Frankfurt in 1771, stating that the dramatist had shown that the Aristotelian unities were "as oppressive as a prison" and were "burdensome fetters on our imagination". Herder likewise proclaimed that reading Shakespeare's work opens "leaves from the book of events, of providence, of the world, blowing in the sands of time." LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 laptop keyboard

This claim that Shakespeare's work breaks through all creative boundaries to reveal a chaotic, teeming, contradictory world became characteristic of Romantic criticism, later being expressed by Victor Hugo in the preface to his play Cromwell, in which he lauded Shakespeare as an artist of the grotesque, a genre in which the tragic, absurd, trivial and serious were inseparably intertwined.  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

Theatres and theatrical scenery became ever more elaborate in the 19th century, and the acting editions used were progressively cut and restructured to emphasize more and more the soliloquies and the stars, at the expense of pace and action.[4] Performances were further slowed by the need for frequent pauses to change the scenery, HP Pavilion dv6-3023sy laptop keyboard

creating a perceived need for even more cuts in order to keep performance length within tolerable limits; it became a generally accepted maxim that Shakespeare's plays were too long to be performed without substantial cuts. The platform, or apron, stage, on which actors of the 17th century would come forward for audience contact, ACER Travelmate 4670 laptop keyboard

was gone, and the actors stayed permanently behind the fourth wall or proscenium arch, further separated from the audience by theorchestra, see image right.

Through the 19th century, a roll call of legendary actors' names all but drown out the plays in which they appear: Sarah Siddons (1755—1831), John Philip Kemble (1757—1823), SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460EB laptop keyboard

Henry Irving (1838—1905), and Ellen Terry (1847—1928). To be a star of the legitimate drama came to mean being first and foremost a "great Shakespeare actor", with a famous interpretation of, for men, Hamlet, and for women, Lady Macbeth, and especially with a striking delivery of the great soliloquies. HP Pavilion DV6z artist edition 2 laptop keyboard

The acme of spectacle, star, and soliloquy Shakespeare performance came with the reign of actor-manager Henry Irving at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in London from 1878 to 1899. At the same time, a revolutionary return to the roots of Shakespeare's original texts, and to the platform stage, absence of scenery, and fluid scene changes of the Elizabethan theatre, was being effected by William Poel's Elizabethan Stage Society. HP Pavilion DV7-3069wm laptop keyboard

The belief in the unappreciated 18th-century Shakespeare was proposed at the beginning of the 19th century by the Romantics, in support of their view of 18th-century literary criticism as mean, formal, and rule-bound, which was contrasted with their own reverence for the poet as prophet and genius. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Such ideas were most fully expressed by German critics such as Goethe and the Schlegel brothers. Romantic critics such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Hazlitt raised admiration for Shakespeare to worship or even "bardolatry" (a sarcastic coinage from bard + idolatry by George Bernard Shaw in 1901, meaning excessive or religious worship of Shakespeare). DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

To compare him to other Renaissance playwrights at all, even for the purpose of finding him superior, began to seem irreverent. Shakespeare was rather to be studied without any involvement of the critical faculty, to be addressed or apostrophized—almost prayed to—by his worshippers, as in Thomas de Quincey's classic essay "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth" (1823): SONY VAIO VGN-N350N laptop keyboard

"O, mighty poet! Thy works are not as those of other men, simply and merely great works of art; but are also like the phenomena of nature, like the sun and the sea, the stars and the flowers,—like frost and snow, rain and dew, hail-storm and thunder, which are to be studied with entire submission of our own faculties…".GATEWAY V030946FS1 US laptop keyboard

As the concept of literary originality grew in importance, critics were horrified at the idea of adapting Shakespeare's tragedies for the stage by putting happy endings on them, or editing out the puns in Romeo and Juliet. In another way, what happened on the stage was seen as unimportant, as the Romantics, DELL 9Z.N1K82.C01 laptop keyboard

themselves writers of closet drama, considered Shakespeare altogether more suitable for reading than staging. Charles Lamb saw any form of stage representation as distracting from the true qualities of the text. This view, argued as a timeless truth, was also a natural consequence of the dominance of melodrama and spectacle on the early 19th-century stage. SONY Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H laptop keyboard

Shakespeare became an important emblem of national pride in the 19th century, which was the heyday of the British Empire and the acme of British power in the world. To Thomas Carlyle in On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841), Shakespeare was one of the great poet-heroes of history, in the sense of being a "rallying-sign" for British cultural patriotism all over the world, including even the lost American colonies: HP Pavilion DV7t-2200 CTO laptop keyboard

"From Paramatta, from New York, wheresoever… English men and women are, they will say to one another, 'Yes, this Shakespeare is ours; we produced him, we speak and think by him; we are of one blood and kind with him'" ("The Poet as Hero"). As the foremost of the great canonical writers, the jewel of English culture, and as Carlyle puts it,  SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

"merely as a real, marketable, tangibly useful possession", Shakespeare became in the 19th century a means of creating a common heritage for the motherland and all her colonies. Post-colonial literary critics have had much to say of this use of Shakespeare's plays in what they regard as a move to subordinate and deracinate the cultures of the colonies themselves. HP Pavilion DV7-2013tx laptop keyboard

Shakespeare continued to be considered the greatest English writer of all time throughout the 20th century. Most Western educational systems required the textual study of two or more of Shakespeare's plays, and both amateur and professional stagings of Shakespeare were commonplace. TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 laptop keyboard

It was the proliferation of high-quality, well-annotated texts and the unrivalled reputation of Shakespeare that allowed for stagings of Shakespeare's plays to remain textually faithful, but with an extraordinary variety in setting, stage direction, and costuming. Institutions such as the Folger HP Pavilion dv6-2159tx laptop keyboard

Shakespeare Library in the United States worked to ensure constant, serious study of Shakespearean texts and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the United Kingdom worked to maintain a yearly staging of at least two plays.

Shakespeare performances reflected the tensions of the times, and early in the century, HP Pavilion DV7-3165dx laptop keyboard

 Barry Jackson of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre began the staging of modern-dress productions, thus starting a new trend in Shakesperian production. Performances of the plays could be highly interpretive. Thus, play directors would emphasize Marxist, feminist, or, perhaps most popularly, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

Freudian psychoanalytical interpretations of the plays, even as they retained letter-perfect scripts. The number of analytical approaches became more diverse by the latter part of the century, as critics applied theories such as structuralism, New Historicism, Cultural materialism, African American studies, queer studies, and literary semiotics to Shakespeare's works. HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu laptop keyboard

In 1934 the French government banned, in permanence, performances of Coriolanus because of its perceived unpatriotic qualities. In the international protests that followed came one from Germany, from none other than Joseph Goebbels. Although productions of Shakespeare's plays in Germany itself were subject to 'streamlining', SONY VAIO VGN-FS760/W laptop keyboard

he continued to be favoured as a great classical dramatist, especially so as almost every new German play since the late 1890s onwards was portrayed by German government propaganda as the work of left-wingers, of Jews or of "degenerates" of one kind or another. Politically acceptable writers had simply been unable to fill the gap, TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3001 laptop keyboard

or had only been able to do so with the worst kinds of agitprop. In 1935 Goebbels was to say "We can build autobahns, revive the economy, create a new army, but we... cannot manufacture new dramatists." With Schiller suspect for his radicalism, Lessing for his humanism and even the great Goethe for his lack of patriotism, the legacy of the "Aryan" Shakespeare was reinterpreted for new purposes. HP Envy 15-1040er laptop keyboard

Rodney Symington, Professor of Germanic and Russian Studies at the University of Victoria, Canada, deals with this question in The Nazi Appropriation of Shakespeare: Cultural Politics in the Third Reich (Edwin Mellen Press, 2005). The scholar reports that Hamlet, for instance, was reconceived as a proto-German warrior rather than a man with a conscience. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ19VN laptop keyboard

Of this play one critic wrote: "If the courtier Laertes is drawn to Paris and the humanist Horatio seems more Roman than Danish, it is surely no accident that Hamlet's alma mater should be Wittenberg." A leading magazine declared that the crime which deprived Hamlet of his inheritance was a foreshadow of the Treaty of Versailles, and that the conduct of Gertrude was reminiscent of the spineless Weimar politicians. SONY VAIO VGN-CR220E laptop keyboard

Weeks after Hitler took power in 1933 an official party publication appeared entitled Shakespeare - a Germanic Writer, a counter to those who wanted to ban all foreign influences. At the Propaganda Ministry, Rainer Schlosser, given charge of German theatre by Goebbels, mused that Shakespeare was more German than English. DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

After the outbreak of the war the performance of Shakespeare was banned, though it was quickly lifted by Hitler in person, a favour extended to no other. Not only did the regime appropriate the Bard but it also appropriated Elizabethan England itself. To the Nazi leaders, it was a young, vigorous nation, much like the Third Reich itself, quite unlike the decadent British Empire of the present day.  GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Laptop Keyboard

Clearly there were some exceptions to the official approval of Shakespeare, and the great patriotic plays, most notably Henry V were shelved. But interestingly the reception of The Merchant of Venice was at best lukewarm (Marlowe's The Jew of Malta was suggested as a possible alternative) because it was too ambiguous and not nearly anti-semitic enough for Nazi taste. HP G61-424CA Laptop Keyboard

So Hamlet was by far the most popular play, along with Macbeth and Richard III.

That divergence between text and performance in Shakespeare continued into the new media of film. For instance, both Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet have been filmed in modern settings, sometimes with contemporary "updated" dialogue. DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

Additionally, there were efforts (notably by the BBC) to ensure that there was a filmed or videotaped version of every Shakespeare play. The reasoning for this was educational, as many government educational initiatives recognized the need to get performative Shakespeare into the same classrooms as the read plays. GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

Many English-language Modernist poets drew on Shakespeare's works, interpreting in new ways. Ezra Pound, for instance, considered the Sonnets as a kind of apprentice work, with Shakespeare learning the art of poetry through writing them. He also declared the History plays to be the true English epic. TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 Laptop Keyboard

 Basil Buntingrewrote the sonnets as modernist poems by simply erasing all the words he considered unnecessary. Louis Zukofsky had read all of Shakespeare's works by the time he was eleven, and his Bottom: On Shakespeare (1947) is a book-length prose poem exploring the role of the eye in the plays. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In its original printing, a second volume consisting of a setting of The Tempest by the poet's wife, Celia Zukofsky was also included.

Most biographical information about William Shakespeare's life and death derives from public instead of private documents: vital records, real estate and tax records, lawsuits, records of payments, and references to Shakespeare and his works in printed and hand-written texts.  DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

The historical record documents that Shakespeare was baptised on 26 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England, in the Holy Trinity Church; at age 18 married Anne Hathaway with whom he had three children; and was an actor, playwright, poet, and theatre entrepreneur in London. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Though more is known about Shakespeare's life than most other Elizabethan and Jacobean writers, because of his social status as a commoner, the low esteem in which his profession was held and the general disinterest of the time in the personal lives of writers, few personal biographical facts about Shakespeare survive.[1]  ACER Aspire 5742ZG Laptop Keyboard

Nevertheless, hundreds of biographies have been written and more continue to be, most of which rely on inferences and the historical context of the 70 or so hard facts recorded about Shakespeare the man, a technique that sometimes leads to embellishment or unwarranted interpretation of the documented record. TOSHIBA V072426CS1 Laptop Keyboard

William Shakespeare [3] was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, a market town of around 1,500 residents about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of London. The town was a centre for the slaughter, marketing, and distribution of sheep, as well as for hide tanning and wool trading. The exact date of his birth is April 23, 1564, which is also the Feast Day of Saint George, the patron saint of England. SONY VAIO VGN-AW170YIQ Laptop Keyboard

His baptismal record was dated 26 April 1564. He was the first son and the first surviving child in the family; two earlier children, Joan and Margaret, had died early.

He was the son of John Shakespeare, a successful glover originally fromSnitterfield, and of Mary Arden, a daughter of the gentry. HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu Laptop Keyboard

They married around 1557 and lived on Henley Street when Shakespeare was born in a house now known as Shakespeare's Birthplace. They had eight children: Joan (baptised 15 September 1558, died in infancy), Margaret (bap. 2 December 1562 – buried 30 April 1563), William, Gilbert (bap. 13 October 1566 – bur. 2 February 1612), HP Pavilion dv6-3047eo Laptop Keyboard

Joan (bap. 15 April 1569 – bur. 4 November 1646), Anne (bap. 28 September 1571 – bur. 4 April 1579), Richard (bap. 11 March 1574 – bur. 4 February 1613) and Edmund (bap. 3 May 1580 – bur. London, 31 December 1607).[5]

Shakespeare's father, prosperous at the time of William's birth, was appointed to several municipal offices and served as analderman in 1565, HP Pavilion dv2-1003ax Laptop Keyboard

culminating in a term as bailiff in 1568, the chief magistrate of the town council before falling on hard times for reasons unclear to historians beginning in 1576, when his son William was 12.[6] He was prosecuted for unlicensed dealing in wool and usury, and mortgaged and subsequently lost some lands he had obtained through his wife's inheritance that would have been inherited by Shakespeare. HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

After four years of non-attendance at council meetings, he was finally replaced asburgess in 1586.

Before being allowed to perform for the general public, touring playing companies were required to present their play before the town council to be licensed. Players first acted in Stratford in 1568, the year that John Shakespeare was bailiff.[7] Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

Before Shakespeare turned 20, the Stratford town council had paid for at least 18 performances by no fewer than 12 playing companies.

Most Shakespeare biographers qualify his attendance at the King's New School in Stratford with phrases such as "almost certainly" because all attendance records for the time have been lost, HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

but Shakespeare's works exhibit detailed knowledge of the grammar school curriculum and none of the university life that is evident in university-educated playwrights such as Marlowe.[9] Edward VI, the king honoured in the school's name, had in the mid-16th century diverted money from thedissolution of the monasteries to endow COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

a network of grammar schools to "propagate good literature... throughout the kingdom", but the school had originally been set up by the Guild of the Holy Cross, a church institution in the town, early in the 15th century.[10] It was further endowed by a Catholic chaplain in 1482. It was free to male children in Stratford and it is presumed that the young Shakespeare attended,[11] HP Mini 210-1095TU Laptop Keyboard

 although this cannot be confirmed because the school's records have not survived. Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but the grammar curriculum was standardised by royal decree throughout England,[12][13] and the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin grammar and literature—"as good a formal literary training as had any of his contemporaries"[14] HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard

As a part of this education, the students were exposed to Latin plays that students performed to better understand the language. One of Shakespeare's earliest plays, The Comedy of Errors, bears similarity to Plautus's Menaechmi, which could well have been performed at the school. There is no evidence that he received a university education. HP Envy 15-1050es Laptop Keyboard

On 28 November 1582 at Temple Grafton near Stratford, the 18-year-old Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was 26. Two neighbours of Hathaway, Fulk Sandalls and John Richardson, posted bond ensuring that no legal impediments existed to the union. DELL E141395 Laptop Keyboard

The ceremony may have been arranged in some haste; their first daughter, Susanna, was born on 26 May 1583, six months later.

Twin children, a son, Hamnet, and a daughter, Judith, were baptised on 2 February 1585. Hamnet died in 1596, Susanna in 1649 and Judith in 1662. ACER Aspire 5613 Laptop Keyboard

After the birth of the twins, save for being party to a lawsuit to recover part of his mother's estate which had been mortgaged and lost by default, Shakespeare left no historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatrical scene. Indeed, the seven-year period between 1585 (when his twin children were born) HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

and 1592 (when Robert Greene called him an "upstart crow") is known as Shakespeare's "lost years" because no evidence has survived to show exactly where he was or why he left Stratford for London.[15]

However both the start date and the end date for the period of time known as the “Lost Years” are ambiguous when applied to the chronicle of Shakespeare’s life.  HP Envy 15-1040er Laptop Keyboard

For example, it is merely a presumption that Shakespeare was present for the twins' baptisms in 1585. There are sources that suggest he had already moved on to London by that time.[16] And though Greenes, Groats-worth of Witte, bought with a million of Repentance does place Shakespeare in London, the reference reaches backwards in time from its publication date in 1592, SONY KFRSBA019A Laptop Keyboard

first, because Greene was no longer living, and second, because Shakespeare would have needed a significant time to establish himself, and then to have his works performed in order for Greene to have something to respond to. Although Greene’s reference is used as the end date for the “Lost Years”, HP Pavilion dv3-2175ee laptop keyboard

it contradicts the notion since Greene finds Shakespeare busy in London for an unspecified but significant period of time during the years that are supposedly “lost”.

Several theories have been put forth to account for his life during this time, and a number of stories are given by his earliest biographers, SONY VAIO VGN-N37GH/B laptop keyboard

including that Shakespeare fled Stratford after he got in trouble for poaching deer from local squire Thomas Lucy, or that he wrote a scurrilous ballad about him. Shakespeare's first biographer Nicholas Rowe recorded both these tales, stating that he wrote the ballad after being prosecuted for poaching by Lucy. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

Rowe later passed on a story that Shakespeare minded the horses for theatre patrons in London. There is no documentary evidence to support any of these stories and they all were recorded only after Shakespeare's death.[19]

In his Brief Lives, written 1669-1696, John Aubrey reported that Shakespeare had been a "schoolmaster in the country" on the authority of William Beeston,  HP Pavilion DV7-3100 laptop keyboard

son of Christopher Beeston, who had acted with Shakespeare in Every Man in His Humour (1598) as a fellow member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men.[20] In 1985 E. A. J. Honigmann proposed that Shakespeare acted as a schoolmaster in Lancashire,[21] on the evidence found in the 1581 will of a member of the Hoghton family,  ACER TravelMate 4650 Series laptop keyboard

referring to plays and play-clothes and asking his kinsman Thomas Hesketh to take care of "...William Shakeshaft, now dwelling with me...". Honigmann proposed that John Cottam, Shakespeare's reputed last schoolmaster, recommended the young man. "Shakeshaft" was, however, a common name in Lancashire at the time. SONY VAIO VGN-FS710/W laptop keyboard

A better documented, but still far from conclusive, link was established some 20 years later in Shakespeare's life: in the will of London goldsmith Thomas Savage, Shakespeare's trustee at the Globe Theatre, one of the beneficiaries was Hesketh's widow.[22][23] Scope for further speculation is offered by records showing that Lord Strange's Men,  HP Pavilion tx2532la laptop keyboard

a company of players linked with Shakespeare's early career in London, regularly performed in the area and would have been well known to the Hoghtons and the Heskeths.[24] This would provide a neat explanation of Shakespeare's arrival on the London theatre scene when the troupe returned to the city, but no evidence to support this notion has been found.  SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

As a married man Shakespeare was ineligible to attend university and debarred from taking up a formal indentured apprenticeship in a trade with an established guild. But acting companies had so-called 'apprenticeships' which had much looser entry requirements.[26] This is a possible clue to Shakespeare's route into the profession. TOSHIBA PK13CW10200 laptop keyboard

Most scholars believe that by 1592 Shakespeare was a playwright in London, and that he had enough of a reputation for Robert Greene to denounce him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: HP Pavilion dv6-2143ez laptop keyboard

and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey." (The italicized line parodies the phrase, "Oh, tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide" which Shakespeare wrote in Henry VI, part 3.)[27]

By late 1594, Shakespeare was part-owner of a playing company, known as the Lord Chamberlain's Men —SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

like others of the period, the company took its name from its aristocratic sponsor, in this case the Lord Chamberlain. The group became popular enough that after the death of Elizabeth I and the coronation of James I(1603), the new monarch adopted the company and it became known as the King's Men, after the death of their previous sponsor. HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

The works are written within the frame of reference of the career actor, rather than a member of the learned professions or from scholarly book-learning.

The Shakespeare family had long sought armorial bearings and the status of gentleman. William's father John, a bailiff of Stratford with a wife of good birth, DELL Inspiron MINI 1010 laptop keyboard

was eligible for a coat of arms and applied to the College of Heralds, but evidently his worsening financial status prevented him from obtaining it. The application was successfully renewed in 1596, most probably at the instigation of William himself as he was the more prosperous at the time. SONY VAIO VGN-CR12GH laptop keyboard

The motto "Non sanz droict" ("Not without right") was attached to the application, but it was not used on any armorial displays that have survived. The theme of social status and restoration runs deep through the plots of many of his plays, and at times Shakespeare seems to mock his own longing.[29]  Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

By 1596, Shakespeare had moved to the parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, and by 1598 he appeared at the top of a list of actors inEvery Man in His Humour written by Ben Jonson. He is also listed among the actors in Jonson's Sejanus: His Fall. Also by 1598, his name began to appear on the title pages of his plays, presumably as a selling point. HP SG-46100-XUA laptop keyboard

There is a tradition that Shakespeare, in addition to writing many of the plays his company enacted and concerned with business and financial details as part-owner of the company, continued to act in various parts, such as the ghost of Hamlet's father, Adam in As You Like It, and the Chorus in Henry VLenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

He appears to have moved across the River Thames to Southwark sometime around 1599. In 1604, Shakespeare acted as a matchmaker for his landlord's daughter. Legal documents from 1612, when the case was brought to trial, show that Shakespeare was a tenant of Christopher Mountjoy, a Huguenot tire-maker (a maker of ornamental headdresses) in the northwest of London in 1604. HP Pavilion DV7-3060us laptop keyboard

Mountjoy's apprentice Stephen Belott wanted to marry Mountjoy's daughter. Shakespeare was enlisted as a go-between, to help negotiate the details of the dowry. On Shakespeare's assurances, the couple married. Eight years later, Belott sued his father-in-law for delivering only part of the dowry. Shakespeare was called to testify, but remembered little of the circumstances. TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6959 laptop keyboard

On this case see article 'Bellott v. Mountjoy'.

Various documents recording legal affairs and commercial transactions show that Shakespeare grew rich enough during his stay in London years to buy a property in Blackfriars, London and own the second-largest house in Stratford, New Place.  HP Probook 4710S Laptop Keyboard

Rowe was the first biographer to pass down the tradition that Shakespeare retired to Stratford some years before his death;[31] but retirement from all work was uncommon at that time,[32] and Shakespeare continued to visit London. In 1612 he was called as a witness in a court case concerning the marriage settlement of Mountjoy's daughter, Mary.[33] HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

In March 1613 he bought a gatehouse in the former Blackfriars priory;[34] In June Shakespeare's daughter Susanna was slandered by John Lane, a local man who claimed she had caught gonorrhea from a lover. Susanna and her husband Dr John Hall sued for slander. Lane failed to appear and was convicted. SONY VAIO VGN-FS315M Laptop Keyboard

From November 1614 Shakespeare was in London for several weeks with his son-in-law Hall.[35]

In the last few weeks of Shakespeare's life, the man who was to marry his younger daughter Judith — a tavern-keeper namedThomas Quiney — was charged in the local church court with "fornication". ACER Aspire One D150-1920 Laptop Keyboard

A woman named Margaret Wheeler had given birth to a child and claimed it was Quiney's; she and the child both died soon after. Quiney was thereafter disgraced, and Shakespeare revised his will to ensure that Judith's interest in his estate was protected from possible malfeasance on Quiney's part. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

He died on 23 April 1616, at the age of 52.[36] He was married to Anne Hathaway until his death and was survived by two daughters, Susanna and Judith. His son Hamnet had died in 1596. His last surviving descendant was his granddaughter Elizabeth Hall, daughter of Susanna and John Hall. HP Mini 210-1109TU Laptop Keyboard

There are no direct descendants of the poet and playwright alive today, but the diarist John Aubrey recalls in his Brief Lives that William Davenant, his godson, was "contented" to be believed Shakespeare's actual son. Davenant's mother was the wife of a vintner at the Crown Tavern in Oxford, HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

on the road between London and Stratford, where Shakespeare would stay when travelling between his home and the capital.

Shakespeare is buried in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was granted the honour of burial in the chancel not on account of his fame as a playwright but for purchasing a share of the tithe of the church for £440 (a considerable sum of money at the time). SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

A monume

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