In such a case, not to sympathize is not to understand; and the playfulness, which is not relished, becomes flat and insipid, or absolutely without meaning. Fortunately, after all such churls have withdrawn from my audience in high displeasure, there remains a large majority who are loud in acknowledging the amusement which they have derived from a former paper of mine, 'On Murder considered as one of the Fine Arts;' at the same time proving the sincerity of their praise by one hesitating expression of censure. Repeatedly they have suggested to me, that perhaps the extravagance, though clearly intentional, and forming one element in the general gaiety of the conception, went too far. The very excess of the extravagance, in fact, by suggesting to the reader continually the mere aeriality of the entire speculation, furnishes the surest means of disenchanting him from the horror which might else gather upon his feelings.
The best of these early playwrights, each of whom contributed some element of value, was Christopher Marlowewho is sometimes called the father of the Elizabethan drama. The prologue of this drama is at once a criticism and a promise: From jigging veins of rhyming mother-wits, And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay, We'll lead you to the stately tent of war, Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine Threatening the world with high-astounding terms, And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
The "jigging" refers to the doggerel verse of the earlier drama, and "clownage" to the crude horseplay intended to amuse the crowd. For the doggerel is substituted blank verse, "Marlowe's mighty line" as it has ever since been called, since he was the first to use it with power; and for the "clownage" he promises a play of human interest revolving around a man whose sole ambition is for world power,--such ambition as stirred the English nation when it called halt to the encroachments of Spain, and announced that henceforth it must be reckoned with in the councils of the Continent.
In the latter part of the play the action grows more intense; there is a sense of tragedy, of impending doom, in the vain attempt of the hero to oppose fate. He can conquer a world but not his own griefs; he ends his triumphant career with a pathetic admission of failure: In order to obtain it he makes a bargain with the devil, selling his soul for twenty-four years of unlimited power and pleasure.
Marlowe's play was written, probably, in the same year. After writing these four plays with their extraordinary promise, Marlowe, who led a wretched life, was stabbed in a tavern brawl. The splendid work which he only began for he died under thirty years of age was immediately taken up by the greatest of all dramatists, Shakespeare.
No man ever came near to him in the creative power of the mind; no man ever had such strength and such variety of imagination.
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|Account Options||Henderson The Sonnet is a little poem with a big heart--and at its core lie subjectivity and gender.|
|Listings for Author:||Smith And she cannot avoid feeling this sense of in-betweenness at the beginning of her progression:|
|The Grove - Revistas CientÃficas de la Universidad de JaÃ©n||Sidney In a valuable addition to the genre of Sidney biography, John Considine considers a range of what he refers to as "contemporary testimonies" in order to answer the question posed by his essay 'How Much Greek Did Philip Sidney Know? Sidney's writings themselves tell us little about his proficiency in Greek without an English translation but the documents considered by Considine in this essay undermine the traditional notion of Sidney as a scholar.|
They appear to be the work of some heavenly genius. The tributes quoted above are doubtless extravagant, but they were written by men of mark in three different countries, and they serve to indicate the tremendous impression which Shakespeare has left upon the world.
He wrote in his day some thirty-seven plays and a few poems; since then as many hundred volumes have been written in praise of his accomplishment. He died three centuries ago, without caring enough for his own work to print it. At the present time unnumbered critics, historians, scholars, are still explaining the mind and the art displayed in that same neglected work.
Most of these eulogists begin or end their volumes with the remark that Shakespeare is so great as to be above praise or criticism.
As Taine writes, before plunging into his own analysis, "Lofty words, eulogies are all used in vain; Shakespeare needs not praise but comprehension merely.
It is probably because so very little is known about Shakespeare that so many bulky biographies have been written of him. Not a solitary letter of his is known to exist; not a play comes down to us as he wrote it.
A few documents written by other men, and sometimes ending in a sprawling signature by Shakespeare, which looks as if made by a hand accustomed to almost any labor except that of the pen,--these are all we have to build upon.
One record, in dribbling Latin, relates to the christening of "Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere"; a second, unreliable as a village gossip, tells an anecdote of the same person's boyhood; a third refers to Shakespeare as "one of his Majesty's poor players"; a fourth records the burial of the poet's son Hamnet; a fifth speaks of "Willi.
Shakspere, gentleman"; a sixth is a bit of wretched doggerel inscribed on the poet's tombstone; a seventh tells us that inonly six years after the poet's death, the public had so little regard for his art that the council of his native Stratford bribed his old company of players to go away from the town without giving a performance.
It is from such dry and doubtful records that we must construct a biography, supplementing the meager facts by liberal use of our imagination. In the beautiful Warwickshire village of Stratford our poet was born, probably in the month of April, in His mother, Mary Arden, was a farmer's daughter; his father was a butcher and small tradesman, who at one time held the office of high bailiff of the village.
There was a small grammar school in Stratford, and Shakespeare may have attended it for a few years. When he was about fourteen years old his father, who was often in lawsuits, was imprisoned for debt, and the boy probably left school and went to work. At eighteen he married Anne Hathaway, a peasant's daughter eight years older than himself; at twenty-three, with his father still in debt and his own family of three children to provide for, Shakespeare took the footpath that led to the world beyond his native village.
Such is the prevalent opinion of Shakespeare's early days; but we are dealing here with surmises, not with established facts. There are scholars who allege that Shakespeare's poverty is a myth; that his father was prosperous to the end of his days; that he probably took the full course in Latin and Greek at the Stratford school.
Almost everything connected with the poet's youth is still a matter of dispute. IN LONDON] From Stratford he went to London, from solitude to crowds, from beautiful rural scenes to dirty streets, from natural country people to seekers after the bubble of fame or fortune.
Why he went is largely a matter of speculation. The most probable explanation of his departure is that the stage lured him away, as the printing press called the young Franklin from whatever else he undertook; for he seems to have headed straight for the theater, and to have found his place not by chance or calculation but by unerring instinct.
England was then, as we have noted, in danger of going stage mad, and Shakespeare appeared to put method into the madness. His first dramatic work was to revise old plays, giving them some new twist or setting to please the fickle public.
It was followed by a period of gloom and sorrow, to which something of bitterness was added. What occasioned the change is again a matter of speculation.
The first conjecture is that Shakespeare was a man to whom the low ideals of the Elizabethan stage were intolerable, and this opinion is strengthened after reading certain of Shakespeare's sonnets, which reflect a loathing for the theaters and the mannerless crowds that filled them.
Another conjectural cause of his gloom was the fate of certain noblemen with whom he was apparently on terms of friendship, to whom he dedicated his poems, and from whom he received substantial gifts of money.Philip leslutinsduphoenix.com Series Introduction by Harold Bloom another.
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The contest with past achievement is the hidden theme of all major canonical literature in Western tradition. leslutinsduphoenix.com History of English and American LiteratureHenry A. Beers2. Brief History of English and American Literature Table of ContentsBrief History of English and American.
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Jun 18, · > Sonnet 18 makes no sense, and (your) identification in > it of Mary QS, Darnley, Queen Elizabeth, etc., is close > to insane," I am arguing that it IS insane. Free Essay: Sir Philip Sidney’s “Sonnet 31” paints the portrait of a lover scorned. Sidney examines the subject of unrequited love through the sonnet’s male.