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Shakespeare's work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature. In particular, he expanded the dramatic potential of characterisation, plot, language, andgenre.[144] Until Romeo and Juliet, for example, romance had not been viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy.[145] Soliloquies had been used mainly to convey information about characters or events; Sony VGN-CS36TJ/U Battery

but Shakespeare used them to explore characters' minds.[146] His work heavily influenced later poetry. The Romantic poets attempted to revive Shakespearean verse drama, though with little success. Critic George Steiner described all English verse dramas from Coleridge to Tennyson as "feeble variations on Shakespearean themes."[147]Sony VGN-CS36TJ/V Battery

Shakespeare influenced novelists such as Thomas Hardy, William Faulkner, and Charles Dickens. The American novelist Herman Melville's soliloquies owe much to Shakespeare; his Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick is a classic tragic hero, inspired by King Lear.[148]Scholars have identified 20,000 pieces of music linked to Shakespeare's works. Sony VGN-CS36TJ/W Battery

These include two operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Otello and Falstaff, whose critical standing compares with that of the source plays.[149] Shakespeare has also inspired many painters, including the Romantics and the Pre-Raphaelites. Sony VGN-CS39/J Battery

The Swiss Romantic artistHenry Fuseli, a friend of William Blake, even translated Macbeth into German.[150] Thepsychoanalyst Sigmund Freud drew on Shakespearean psychology, in particular that of Hamlet, for his theories of human nature.[151]Sony VGN-CS39/U Battery


In Shakespeare's day, English grammar, spelling and pronunciation were less standardised than they are now,[152] and his use of language helped shape modern English.[153] Sony VGN-CS390JCP Battery

Samuel Johnson quoted him more often than any other author in his A Dictionary of the English Language, the first serious work of its type.[154] Expressions such as "with bated breath" (Merchant of Venice) and "a foregone conclusion" (Othello) have found their way into everyday English speech.[155]Sony VGN-CS39 Battery


Critical reputation

Shakespeare was not revered in his lifetime, but he received his share of praise.[157] In 1598, the cleric and author Francis Meres singled him out from a group of English writers as "the most excellent" in both comedy and tragedy.[158] Sony VGN-CS390JCQ Battery

And the authors of the Parnassusplays at St John's College, Cambridge, numbered him with Chaucer, Gower andSpenser.[159] In the First Folio, Ben Jonson called Shakespeare the "Soul of the age, the applause, delight, the wonder of our stage", though he had remarked elsewhere that "Shakespeare wanted art".Sony VGN-CS390JCR Battery


A recently garlanded statue of William Shakespeare in Lincoln Park, Chicago, typical of many created in the 19th and early 20th century. Sony VGN-CS390JCW Battery


Between the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the end of the 17th century, classical ideas were in vogue. As a result, critics of the time mostly rated Shakespeare below John Fletcher and Ben Jonson.[160] Sony VGN-CS390JDV Battery

Thomas Rymer, for example, condemned Shakespeare for mixing the comic with the tragic. Nevertheless, poet and critic John Dryden rated Shakespeare highly, saying of Jonson, "I admire him, but I love Shakespeare".[161]Sony VGN-CS50B/W Battery

 For several decades, Rymer's view held sway; but during the 18th century, critics began to respond to Shakespeare on his own terms and acclaim what they termed his natural genius. A series of scholarly editions of his work, notably those ofSamuel Johnson in 1765 and Edmond Malone in 1790, added to his growing reputation.[162] Sony VGN-CS50B Battery

By 1800, he was firmly enshrined as the national poet.[163] In the 18th and 19th centuries, his reputation also spread abroad. Among those who championed him were the writers Voltaire, Goethe, Stendhal and Victor Hugo.[164]Sony VGN-CS51B/W Battery


During the Romantic era, Shakespeare was praised by the poet and literary philosopherSamuel Taylor Coleridge; and the critic August Wilhelm Schlegel translated his plays in the spirit of German Romanticism.[165] Sony VGN-CS51B Battery

In the 19th century, critical admiration for Shakespeare's genius often bordered on adulation.[166] "That King Shakespeare," the essayist Thomas Carlyle wrote in 1840, "does not he shine, in crowned sovereignty, over us all, as the noblest, gentlest, yet strongest of rallying signs; indestructible".[167]Sony VGN-CS52JB/W Battery

 TheVictorians produced his plays as lavish spectacles on a grand scale.[168] The playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw mocked the cult of Shakespeare worship as "bardolatry". He claimed that the new naturalism of Ibsen's plays had made Shakespeare obsolete.[169]Sony VGN-CS60B/P Battery


The modernist revolution in the arts during the early 20th century, far from discarding Shakespeare, eagerly enlisted his work in the service of the avant-garde. TheExpressionists in Germany and the Futurists in Moscow mounted productions of his plays. Marxist playwright and director Bertolt Brecht devised an epic theatre under the influence of Shakespeare. Sony VGN-CS60B/Q Battery

The poet and critic T. S. Eliot argued against Shaw that Shakespeare's "primitiveness" in fact made him truly modern.[170] Eliot, along with G. Wilson Knight and the school of New Criticism, led a movement towards a closer reading of Shakespeare's imagery. Sony VGN-CS60B/R Battery

 In the 1950s, a wave of new critical approaches replaced modernism and paved the way for "post-modern" studies of Shakespeare.[171] By the eighties, Shakespeare studies were open to movements such as structuralism, feminism, New Historicism,African American studies, and queer studies.[172][173]Sony VGN-CS60B Battery


Speculation about Shakespeare

Around 150 years after Shakespeare's death, doubts began to be expressed about the authorship of the works attributed to him.[174] Proposed alternative candidates includeFrancis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.[175]Sony VGN-CS61B/P Battery

Several "group theories" have also been proposed.[176] Only a small minority of academics believe there is reason to question the traditional attribution,[177] but interest in the subject, particularly the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship, continues into the 21st century.[178]Sony VGN-CS61B/Q Battery


Some scholars claim that members of Shakespeare's family were Catholics, at a time when Catholic practice was against the law.[179] Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, certainly came from a pious Catholic family. The strongest evidence might be a Catholic statement of faith signed by John Shakespeare, found in 1757 in the rafters of his former house in Henley Street. Sony VGN-CS61B/R Battery

The document is now lost, however, and scholars differ as to its authenticity.[180] In 1591 the authorities reported that John Shakespeare had missed church "for fear of process for debt", a common Catholic excuse.[181] In 1606 the name of William's daughter Susanna appears on a list of those who failed to attend Eastercommunion in Stratford.[181] Scholars find evidence both for and against Shakespeare's Catholicism in his plays, but the truth may be impossible to prove either way.[182]Sony VGN-CS61B Battery



Few details of Shakespeare's sexuality are known. At 18, he married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant. Susanna, the first of their three children, was born six months later on 26 May 1583. Over the centuries some readers have posited that Shakespeare's sonnets are autobiographical,[183]Sony VGN-CS62JB/P Battery

 and point to them as evidence of his love for a young man. Others read the same passages as the expression of intense friendship rather than sexual love.[184] The 26 so-called "Dark Lady" sonnets, addressed to a married woman, are taken as evidence of heterosexual liaisons.[185]Sony VGN-CS62JB/Q Battery



There is no written description of Shakespeare's physical appearance and no evidence that he ever commissioned a portrait, so the Droeshout engraving, which Ben Jonson approved of as a good likeness,[186] Sony VGN-CS62JB/R Battery

and his Stratford monument provide the best evidence of his appearance. From the 18th century, the desire for authentic Shakespeare portraits fuelled claims that various surviving pictures depicted Shakespeare. That demand also led to the production of several fake portraits, as well as misattributions, repaintings and relabelling of portraits of other people.[187]Sony VGN-CS62JB Battery


List of works

Shakespeare's works include the 36 plays printed in the First Folio of 1623, listed below according to their folio classification as comedies, histories and tragedies.[188] Two plays not included in the First Folio, The Two Noble Kinsmen and Pericles, Prince of Tyre, are now accepted as part of the canon, with scholars agreed that Shakespeare made a major contribution to their composition.[189] No Shakespearean poems were included in the First Folio. Sony VGN-CS71B/W Battery


In the late 19th century, Edward Dowden classified four of the late comedies asromances, and though many scholars prefer to call them tragicomedies, his term is often used.[190] These plays and the associated Two Noble Kinsmen are marked with an asterisk (*) below. In 1896, Frederick S. Boas coined the term "problem plays" to describe four plays: All's Well That Ends WellMeasure for MeasureTroilus and Cressida andHamlet.[191] "Sony VGN-CS71B Battery

Dramas as singular in theme and temper cannot be strictly called comedies or tragedies", he wrote. "We may therefore borrow a convenient phrase from the theatre of today and class them together as Shakespeare's problem plays."[192] The term, much debated and sometimes applied to other plays, remains in use, though Hamlet is definitively classed as a tragedy.[193] The other problem plays are marked below with a double dagger (‡).Sony VGN-CS72JB/W Battery


Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon (also known as green bacon). Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, orsmoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating. Boiled bacon is ready to eat, as is some smoked bacon, but may be cooked further before eating. Sony VGN-CS72JB Battery


Bacon is prepared from several different cuts of meat. It is usually made from side and back cuts of pork[citation needed], except in the United States, where it is almost always prepared from pork belly (typically referred to as "streaky",Sony VGN-CS90HS Battery

"fatty", or "American style" outside of the US and Canada). The side cut has more meat and less fat than the belly. Bacon may be prepared from either of two distinct back cuts: fatback, which is almost pure fat, and pork loin, which is very lean. Bacon-cured pork loin is known as back bacon. Sony VGN-CS90NS Battery

Bacon may be eaten smoked, boiled, fried, baked, or grilled, or used as a minor ingredient to flavor dishes. Bacon is also used for barding and larding roasts, especially game, e.g. venison, pheasant. The word is derived from the Old High German bacho, meaning "buttock", "ham" or "side of bacon", and cognate with the Old French bacon.[1]Sony VGN-CS90S Battery


In continental Europe, this part of the pig is usually not smoked like bacon is in the United States; it is used primarily in cubes (lardons) as a cooking ingredient, valued both as a source of fat and for its flavor. In Italy, this is called pancetta and is usually cooked in small cubes or served uncooked and thinly sliced as part of an antipasto. Sony VGN-CS91HS Battery


Meat from other animals, such as beef, lamb, chicken, goat, or turkey, may also be cut, cured, or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon, and may even be referred to as "bacon".[2] Such use is common in areas with significant Jewish and Muslimpopulations.[3] Sony VGN-CS91NS Battery

The USDA defines bacon as "the cured belly of a swine carcass"; other cuts and characteristics must be separately qualified (e.g., "smoked pork loin bacon"). For safety, bacon must be treated to prevent trichinosis,[4] caused by Trichinella, a parasiticroundworm which can be destroyed by heating, freezing, drying, or smoking.[5]Sony VGN-CS91S Battery


Bacon is distinguished from salt pork and ham by differences in the brine (or dry packing). Bacon brine has added curing ingredients, most notably sodium nitrite, and occasionallysodium nitrate or potassium nitrate (saltpeter); Sony VGN-CS92DS Battery

 sodium ascorbate or erythorbate are added to accelerate curing and stabilize color. Flavorings such as brown sugar or maple are used for some products. Sony VGN-NS11M/S Battery

If used, sodium polyphosphates are added to improve sliceability and reduce spattering when the bacon is pan fried. Today, a brine for ham, but not bacon, includes a large amount of sugar. Historically, "ham" and "bacon" referred to different cuts of meat that were brined or packed identically, often together in the same barrel. Sony VGN-CS92JS Battery


Bacon is cured through either a process of injecting with or soaking in brine or using plain salt (dry curing).[citation needed]Sony VGN-CS92XS Battery


In America, bacon is usually cured and smoked, and different flavors can be achieved by using various types of wood, or rarely corn cobs; peat is sometimes used in the UK. This process can take up to eighteen hours, depending on the intensity of the flavor desired. Sony VGN-NS11S/S Battery

The Virginia House-Wife (1824), thought to be one of the earliest American cookbooks, gives no indication that bacon is ever not smoked, though it gives no advice on flavoring, noting only that care should be taken lest the fire get too hot.[6] In early American history, the preparation and smoking of bacon (like the making of sausage) seems to have been a gender-neutral process, one of the few food-preparation processes not divided by gender.[7]Sony VGN-NS12M/W Battery


In the United Kingdom and Ireland, smoked and unsmoked varieties are equally common, unsmoked being referred to as green bacon. Sony VGN-NS15H/S Battery

The leaner cut of back bacon is preferred to the bacon from the belly (that is ubiquitous in the United States) which is referred to asstreaky bacon due to the prominence of the bands of fat. While there is a tendency on both sides of the Atlantic to serve belly bacon well-done to crispy, back bacon may at first appear undercooked to Americans. Sony VGN-NS15G/S Battery


Cuts of bacon

Generally as for the United Kingdom. Middle bacon is the most common variety and are sold in "rashers". Middle bacon includes the streaky, fatty section along with the loin at one end. In response to increasing consumer diet-consciousness, some supermarkets also offer the loin section only. This is sold as "short cut bacon" and is usually priced slightly higher than middle bacon. Both varieties are usually available in rindless, that is, with the rind removed.[11]Sony VGN-NS190J/S Battery


A side of unsliced bacon was once known as a flitch[13] it is now known as a slab. An individual slice of bacon is a slice or strip. The term rasher of bacon is occasionally encountered (e.g., on restaurant menus) to mean a serving of bacon (typically several slices). Sony VGN-NS190J/W Battery


American bacons include varieties smoked with hickory or corncobs and flavorings such as red pepper, maple, honey, molasses, and occasionally cinnamon. They vary in sweetness and saltiness and come from the Ozarks, New England and from the upper South (mainly Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia).[14]Sony VGN-NS21M/P Battery

The term bacon on its own refers generically to strip bacon from the belly meat of the pig, which is the most popular type of bacon sold in the U.S. Sony VGN-NS21M/W Battery

The term Canadian Bacon or Canadian-style bacon must be made from the pork loin, and means back bacon,[15] but this term refers usually to the lean ovoid portion (longissimus muscle, or loineye).[10] It also can be made from the sirloin portion of the loin (gluteal muscles), but must be labeled appropriately. Similar products made from the ham are used as less expensive substitutes. Sony VGN-NS21S/S Battery


In Japan, bacon (ベーコン) is pronounced "bēkon". It is cured and smoked belly meat as in the US, and is sold in either regular or half length sizes. Bacon in Japan is different from that in the US in that the meat is not sold raw but is processed, precooked and has a ham-like consistency when cooked.[16] Uncured belly slices, known as bara (バラ), are very popular in Japan and are used in a variety of dishes.[17][18]Sony VGN-NS21S/W Battery

Addictive taste

Arun Gupta of The Indypendent has pointed out how bacon possesses six ingredient types of umami, which elicits an addictive neurochemical response.[19] According to Gupta "the chain lards on bacon" give foods a "high flavor profile" creating a "one-of-a-kind product that has no taste substitute."[20]Sony VGN-NS21Z/S Battery

 This led Dr. David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating, to note how the standard joke in the restaurant chain industry goes, "When in doubt, throw cheese and bacon on it."[20]Sony VGN-NS230DP Battery

The United States has seen an increase in popularity of bacon and bacon related recipes, dubbed "bacon mania". Dishes such as bacon explosion, chicken fried bacon, andchocolate-covered bacon have been popularized over the internet,[21] Sony VGN-NS230DW Battery

as has using candied bacon. Recipes spread quickly through the national media, culinary blogs, and YouTube.[22][23] Restaurants are organizing bacon and beer tasting nights,[24] The New York Times reported on bacon infused with Irish whiskey used for Saint Patrick's Daycocktails,[25] and celebrity chef Bobby Flay has endorsed a "Bacon of the Month" club online, in print,[26] and on national television.[27]Sony VGN-NS235J/L Battery

Commentators explain this surging interest in bacon by reference to what they deem American cultural characteristics. Sarah Hepola, in a 2008 article in Salon.com, suggests a number of reasons, one of them that eating bacon in the modern, Sony VGN-NS235J/P Battery

health-conscious world is an act of rebellion: "Loving bacon is like shoving a middle finger in the face of all that is healthy and holy while an unfiltered cigarette smolders between your lips."[28] She also suggests bacon is sexy (with a reference to Sarah Katherine Lewis' book Sex and Bacon), kitsch, and funny. Hepola concludes by saying that "Bacon is American":Sony VGN-NS235J/S Battery

Bacon is our national meat. The pig is not an elegant animal, but it is smart and resourceful and fated to wallow in mud. A scavenger. A real scrapper. Sony VGN-NS235J/W Battery

Alison Cook, writing in the Houston Chronicle (she calls bacon "democratic"), concurs with the third of these reasons, arguing the case of bacon's American citizenship by referring to historical and geographical uses of bacon.[22] Early American literature echoes the sentiment—in Ebenezer Cooke's 1708 poem The Sot-Weed Factor, a satire of life in early colonial America, the narrator already complains that practically all the food in America was bacon-infused.[29]Sony VGN-NS240DP Battery

Bacon dishes include bacon and eggs, bacon, lettuce, and tomato (BLT) sandwiches, bacon wrapped foods (scallops, shrimp,[30][31][32] and asparagus), and cobb salad. Recent bacon dishes include chicken fried bacon, chocolate covered bacon, and thebacon explosion. Tatws Pum Munud is a traditional Welsh stew, made with sliced potatoes, vegetables and smoked bacon. There is even bacon jam. Sony VGN-NS240DS Battery

In the U.S. and Europe, bacon is often used as a condiment or topping on other foods. Streaky bacon is more commonly used as a topping in the U.S., on items such as pizza,salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, baked potatoes, hot dogs, and soups. In the U.S. Sliced smoked loin, which Americans call Canadian bacon, is used less frequently than streaky, but can sometimes be found on pizza, salads, and omelettes. Sony VGN-NS240DW Battery

Bacon is also used in adaptations of dishes, for example bacon wrapped meatloaf,[33] and can be mixed in with green beans[34] or serve sauteed over spinach. Sony VGN-NS255DS Battery

Bacon fat

Bacon fat liquefies and becomes bacon drippings when it is heated. Once cool, it firms into lard if from uncured meat, or rendered bacon fat if from cured meat. Bacon fat is flavorful and is used for various cooking purposes. Traditionally, bacon grease is saved in British and southern U.S. cuisine, and used as a base for cooking and as an all-purpose flavoring, for everything from gravy to cornbread[35] to salad dressing.[36]Sony VGN-NS25G/E1 Battery

Bacon, or bacon fat, is often used for barding roast fowl and game birds, especially those that have little fat themselves. Barding consists of laying strips of bacon or other fats over a roast; a variation is the traditional method of preparing filet mignon of beef, which is wrapped in strips of bacon before cooking. The bacon itself may afterwards be discarded or served to eat, like cracklings. Sony VGN-NS25G/P Battery

One teaspoon (4 g, 0.14 oz) of bacon grease has 38 calories (160 kJ).[37] It is composed almost completely of fat, with very little additional nutritional value. Bacon fat is roughly 40% saturated.[37] Despite the disputed health risks of excessive bacon grease consumption, it remains popular in the cuisine of the American South. Sony VGN-NS25G/S Battery

Four 14-gram (0.5 oz) slices of bacon together contain 7.45 grams (0.26 oz) of fat, of which about half is monounsaturated, a third is saturated and a sixth is polyunsaturated, and 7.72 grams (0.27 oz) of protein.[38] Four pieces of bacon can also contain up to 800 mg of sodium, which is roughly equivalent to 1.92 grams of salt. The fat and protein content varies depending on the cut and cooking method. Sony VGN-NS25GP Battery

Health concerns

A 2007 study by Columbia University suggests a link between eating cured meats (such as bacon) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The preservative sodium nitrite is the probable cause,[39][40] and bacon made without added nitrites is available. Bacon is usually high in salt and saturated fat; excessive consumption of both is related to a variety of health problems. Sony VGN-NS290J/S Battery

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found in 2010 that eating processed meats such as bacon, preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives, was associated with an increased risk of both heart disease and diabetes. The same association was not found for unprocessed meat.[41]Sony VGN-NS31M/P Battery

"Bacon" products

The popularity of bacon in the United States has given rise to a number of commercial products that promise to add bacon flavoring without the labor involved in cooking it or the perceived negative qualities of bacon. Some new products are evidence of the recent fad, including Bacon vodka, bacon peanut brittle,[42Sony VGN-NS31M/W Battery

 bacon toothpaste[43] and bacon mints.[44]A range of inedible products are also available including bacon bandaids, scarfs, and air fresheners.[22]Sony VGN-NS31S/S Battery


Bacon bits are a frequently used topping on salad or potatoes, and a common element ofsalad bars. Bacon bits are made from either small, crumbled pieces of bacon (ends and pieces) or torn or misshapen slices; in commercial plants they are cooked in continuous microwave ovens. Similar products are made from ham or turkey, and analogues are made from textured vegetable protein, artificially flavored to resemble bacon.[45] They are most often salted. Sony VGN-NS50B/L Battery

Popular brands include Hormel Bacon Toppings, Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits and Pieces, and the analogue Betty Crocker Bac-Os. Sony VGN-NS50B/W Battery


Turkey bacon and vegetarian bacon fill a niche for alternatives to the meat from pigs. There is also a wide range of other bacon-flavored products, including a bacon-flavored salt, Bacon Salt,[46] and a bacon-flavored mayonnaise, Baconnaise.[47]Sony VGN-NS51B/L Battery

 Jon Stewartsatirized Baconnaise in his The Daily Show as a combination of gluttony and sloth: "for people who want heart disease but are too lazy to actually make the bacon."[48][49]Outside of the United States, baconnaise seems to characterize the U.S. in the same way Stewart proposed, as suggested by the French blog Écrans.[50]Sony VGN-NS51B/P Battery

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