A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

1599
Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061840904
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 432
View: 1408

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1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen. James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare’s staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

1599
Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060088737
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 394
View: 8582

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A lavishly detailed portrait of a year in the life of the bard traces his career in 1599, which marked the building of the Globe Theater, the English invasion of Ireland, and the creation of the plays, Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and Hamlet. 100,000 first printing.

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

1599
Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 9780060088743
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 432
View: 7659

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1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen. James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare’s staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

Soul of the Age

A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare
Author: Jonathan Bate
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588367815
Category: Drama
Page: 496
View: 4311

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“One man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” In this illuminating, innovative biography, Jonathan Bate, one of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, has found a fascinating new way to tell the story of the great dramatist. Using the Bard’s own immortal list of a man’s seven ages in As You Like It, Bate deduces the crucial events of Shakespeare’s life and connects them to his world and work as never before. Here is the author as an infant, born into a world of plague and syphillis, diseases with which he became closely familiar; as a schoolboy, a position he portrayed in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which a clever, cheeky lad named William learns Latin grammar; as a lover, married at eighteen to an older woman already pregnant, perhaps presaging Bassanio, who in The Merchant of Venice won a wife who could save him from financial ruin. Here, too, is Shakespeare as a soldier, writing Henry the Fifth’s St. Crispin’s Day speech, with a nod to his own monarch Elizabeth I’s passionate addresses; as a justice, revealing his possible legal training in his precise use of the law in plays from Hamlet to Macbeth; and as a pantaloon, an early retiree because of, Bate postulates, either illness or a scandal. Finally, Shakespeare enters oblivion, with sonnets that suggest he actively sought immortality through his art and secretly helped shape his posthumous image more than anyone ever knew. Equal parts masterly detective story, brilliant literary analysis, and insightful world history, Soul of the Age is more than a superb new recounting of Shakespeare’s experiences; it is a bold and entertaining work of scholarship and speculation, one that shifts from past to present, reality to the imagination, to reveal how this unsurpassed artist came to be. From the Hardcover edition.

Contested Will

Who Wrote Shakespeare?
Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439170229
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 9706

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For more than two hundred years after William Shakespeare's death, no one doubted that he had written his plays. Since then, however, dozens of candidates have been proposed for the authorship of what is generally agreed to be the finest body of work by a writer in the English language. In this remarkable book, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro explains when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote his plays. Among the doubters have been such writers and thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Mark Twain, and Helen Keller. It is a fascinating story, replete with forgeries, deception, false claimants, ciphers and codes, conspiracy theories—and a stunning failure to grasp the power of the imagination. As Contested Will makes clear, much more than proper attribution of Shakespeare’s plays is at stake in this authorship controversy. Underlying the arguments over whether Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays are fundamental questions about literary genius, specifically about the relationship of life and art. Are the plays (and poems) of Shakespeare a sort of hidden autobiography? Do Hamlet, Macbeth, and the other great plays somehow reveal who wrote them? Shapiro is the first Shakespeare scholar to examine the authorship controversy and its history in this way, explaining what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted despite abundant evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays attributed to him. This is a brilliant historical investigation that will delight anyone interested in Shakespeare and the literary imagination.

1606

Shakespeare and the Year of Lear
Author: James S. Shapiro
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780571235797
Category: Kings and rulers in literature
Page: 448
View: 1776

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1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear traces Shakespeare's life and times from the autumn of 1605, when he took an old and anonymous Elizabethan play, The Chronicle History of King Leir, and transformed it into his most searing tragedy, King Lear. 1606 proved to be an especially grim year for England, which witnessed the bloody aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot, divisions over the Union of England and Scotland, and an outbreak of plague. But it turned out to be an exceptional one for Shakespeare, unrivalled at identifying the fault-lines of his cultural moment, who before the year was out went on to complete two other great Jacobean tragedies that spoke directly to these fraught times: Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. Following the biographical style of 1599, a way of thinking and writing that Shapiro has made his own, 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear promises to be one of the most significant and accessible works on Shakespeare in the decade to come.

1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare


Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571266428
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 336
View: 9602

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How did Shakespeare go from being a talented poet and playwright to become one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he saw and who he worked with as he invests in the new Globe theatre and creates four of his most famous plays - Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet. This book brings the news, intrigue and flavour of the times together with wonderful detail about how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman and playwright, to create an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

Shakespeare's Restless World

Portrait of an Era
Author: Neil MacGregor
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101638117
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 5621

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The New York Times bestselling author of A History of the World in 100 Objects brings the world of Shakespeare and the Tudor era of Elizabeth I into focus We feel we know Shakespeare’s characters. Think of Hamlet, trapped in indecision, or Macbeth’s merciless and ultimately self-destructive ambition, or the Machiavellian rise and short reign of Richard III. They are so vital, so alive and real that we can see aspects of ourselves in them. But their world was at once familiar and nothing like our own. In this brilliant work of historical reconstruction Neil MacGregor and his team at the British Museum, working together in a landmark collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC, bring us twenty objects that capture the essence of Shakespeare’s universe. A perfect complement to A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor’s landmark New York Times bestseller, Shakespeare’s Restless World highlights a turning point in human history. This magnificent book, illustrated throughout with more than one hundred vibrant color photographs, invites you to travel back in history and to touch, smell, and feel what life was like at that pivotal moment, when humankind leaped into the modern age. This was an exhilarating time when discoveries in science and technology altered the parameters of the known world. Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation map allows us to imagine the age of exploration from the point of view of one of its most ambitious navigators. A bishop’s cup captures the most sacred and divisive act in Christendom. With A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor pioneered a new way of telling history through artifacts. Now he trains his eye closer to home, on a subject that has mesmerized him since childhood, and lets us see Shakespeare and his world in a whole new light.

Shakespeare

The Biography
Author: Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780307490827
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 592
View: 1010

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A TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Drawing on an exceptional combination of skills as literary biographer, novelist, and chronicler of London history, Peter Ackroyd surely re-creates the world that shaped Shakespeare--and brings the playwright himself into unusually vivid focus. With characteristic narrative panache, Ackroyd immerses us in sixteenth-century Stratford and the rural landscape–the industry, the animals, even the flowers–that would appear in Shakespeare’s plays. He takes us through Shakespeare’s London neighborhood and the fertile, competitive theater world where he worked as actor and writer. He shows us Shakespeare as a businessman, and as a constant reviser of his writing. In joining these intimate details with profound intuitions about the playwright and his work, Ackroyd has produced an altogether engaging masterpiece.

Shakespeare and the Jews


Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231541872
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 320
View: 2103

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First published in 1996, James Shapiro's pathbreaking analysis of the portrayal of Jews in Elizabethan England challenged readers to recognize the significance of Jewish questions in Shakespeare's day. From accounts of Christians masquerading as Jews to fantasies of settling foreign Jews in Ireland, Shapiro's work delves deeply into the cultural insecurities of Elizabethans while illuminating Shakespeare's portrayal of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. In a new preface, Shapiro reflects upon what he has learned about intolerance since the first publication of Shakespeare and the Jews.

Shakespeare's Lives


Author: Samuel Schoenbaum
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198186182
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 612
View: 1565

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A chronicle of Shakespeare's life and image as it has been interpreted by almost four centuries of biography and criticism

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare


Author: Stephen Greenblatt
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393079845
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 384
View: 837

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"Greenblatt knows more about [Shakespeare] than Ben Jonson or the Dark Lady did."—John Leonard, ?Harper's A young man from a small provincial town moves to London in the late 1580s and, in a remarkably short time, becomes the greatest playwright not of his age alone but of all time. How is an achievement of this magnitude to be explained? How did Shakespeare become Shakespeare? Stephen Greenblatt brings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world's greatest playwright. A Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Finalist.

Shakespeare in America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now

Library of America #251
Author: Various,James Shapiro
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 1598534637
Category: Drama
Page: 688
View: 1045

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“The history of Shakespeare in America,” writes James Shapiro in his introduction to this groundbreaking anthology, “is also the history of America itself.” Shakespeare was a central, inescapable part of America’s literary inheritance, and a prism through which crucial American issues—revolution, slavery, war, social justice—were refracted and understood. In tracing the many surprising forms this influence took, Shapiro draws on many genres—poetry, fiction, essays, plays, memoirs, songs, speeches, letters, movie reviews, comedy routines—and on a remarkable range of American writers from Emerson, Melville, Lincoln, and Mark Twain to James Agee, John Berryman, Pauline Kael, and Cynthia Ozick. Americans of the revolutionary era ponder the question “to sign or not to sign;” Othello becomes the focal point of debates on race; the Astor Place riots, set off by a production of Macbeth, attest to the violent energies aroused by theatrical controversies; Jane Addams finds in King Lear a metaphor for American struggles between capital and labor. Orson Welles revolutionizes approaches to Shakespeare with his legendary productions of Macbeth and Julius Caesar; American actors from Charlotte Cushman and Ira Aldridge to John Barrymore, Paul Robeson, and Marlon Brando reimagine Shakespeare for each new era. The rich and tangled story of how Americans made Shakespeare their own is a literary and historical revelation. As a special feature, the book includes a foreword by Bill Clinton, among the latest in a long line of American presidents, including John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Abraham Lincoln, who, as the collection demonstrates, have turned to Shakespeare’s plays for inspiration.

Shadowplay

The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
Author: Clare Asquith
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781586483876
Category: History
Page: 368
View: 9301

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In 16th century England many loyal subjects to the crown were asked to make a terrible choice: to follow their monarch or their God. The era was one of unprecedented authoritarianism: England, it seemed, had become a police state, fearful of threats from abroad and plotters at home. This age of terror was also the era of the greatest creative genius the world has ever known: William Shakespeare. How, then, could such a remarkable man born into such violently volatile times apparently make no comment about the state of England in his work? He did. But it was hidden. Revealing Shakespeare's sophisticated version of a forgotten code developed by 16th-century dissidents, Clare Asquith shows how he was both a genius for all time and utterly a creature of his own era: a writer who was supported by dissident Catholic aristocrats, who agonized about the fate of England's spiritual and political life and who used the stage to attack and expose a regime which he believed had seized illegal control of the country he loved. Shakespeare's plays offer an acute insight into the politics and personalities of his era. And Clare Asquith's decoding of them offers answers to several mysteries surrounding Shakespeare's own life, including most notably why he stopped writing while still at the height of his powers. An utterly compelling combination of literary detection and political revelation, Shadowplay is the definitive expose of how Shakespeare lived through and understood the agonies of his time, and what he had to say about them.

The Book of William

How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World
Author: Paul Collins
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608191389
Category: History
Page: 256
View: 6761

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The first complete collection of Shakespeare's plays was almost never printed. Only the machinations of several wealthy donors and publishers brought it into existence, and even then it was practically unnoticed. Many of the original 750 copies of Shakespeare's First Folio were gone before the turn of the 18th century. But a hundred years later, the greatest plays in English were rediscovered, revamped, and re-publicized, beginning the long and surprising process that secured the legacy of Shakespeare. Broken down into five sections, each tied to a different location and century, The Book of William explores the curious rise of the First Folio: Frankfurt (17th century), Fleet Street (18th century), the British Museum (19th century), the Folger Shakespeare Library (20th century), and Meisei University of Tokyo (21st century). It recounts the book's remarkable journey, as it lies undiscovered for decades, burns, sinks, is bought and sold, and ultimately, becomes untouchable. Finally, Collins speculates on Shakespeare's cross-cultural future as more and more Folios migrate to Japanese buyers, who are entering their contents into the electronic ether.

The Shakespeare Circle

An Alternative Biography
Author: Paul Edmondson,Stanley Wells
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110705432X
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 368
View: 742

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This collection tells the life stories of the people whom we know Shakespeare encountered, shedding new light on Shakespeare's life and times.

Globe

Life in Shakespeare's London
Author: Catharine Arnold
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1471125718
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 1782

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The life of William Shakespeare, Britain's greatest dramatist, was inextricably linked with the history of London. Together, the great writer and the great city came of age and confronted triumph and tragedy. Triumph came when Shakespeare's company, the Chamberlain's Men, opened the Globe playhouse on Bankside in 1599, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. Tragedy touched the lives of many of his contemporaries, from fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe to the disgraced Earl of Essex, while London struggled against the ever-present threat of riots, rebellions and outbreaks of plague. Globetakes its readers on a tour of London through Shakespeare's life and work. In fascinating detail, Catharine Arnold tells how acting came of age, how troupes of touring players were transformed from scruffy vagabonds into the finely-dressed 'strutters' of the Globe itself. We learn about James Burbage, founder of the original Theatre, in Shoreditch, who carried timbers across the Thames to build the Globe among the bear-gardens and brothels of Bankside. And of the terrible night in 1613 when the theatre caught fire during a performance of King Henry VIII. Rebuilt once more, the Globe continued to stand as a monument to Shakespeare's genius until 1642 when it was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. And finally we learn how 300 years later, Shakespeare's Globe opened once more upon the Bankside, to great acclaim, rising like a phoenix from the flames. Arnold creates a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard's own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist's eye for detail with a historian's grasp of his unique contribution to the development of the English theatre. This is a portrait of Shakespeare, London, the man and the myth.

Women of Will

Following the Feminine in Shakespeare's Plays
Author: Tina Packer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 038535326X
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 336
View: 1796

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From one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts, actor, director, and master teacher Tina Packer offers an exploration—fierce, funny, fearless—of the women of Shakespeare’s plays. A profound, and profoundly illuminating, book that gives us the playwright’s changing understanding of the feminine and reveals some of his deepest insights. Packer, with expert grasp and perception, constructs a radically different understanding of power, sexuality, and redemption. Beginning with the early comedies (The Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors), Packer shows that Shakespeare wrote the women of these plays as shrews to be tamed or as sweet little things with no definable independent thought, virgins on the pedestal. The women of the histories (the three parts of Henry VI; Richard III) are, Packer shows, much more interesting, beginning with Joan of Arc, possibly the first woman character Shakespeare ever created. In her opening scene, she’s wonderfully alive—a virgin, true, sent from heaven, a country girl going to lead men bravely into battle, the kind of girl Shakespeare could have known and loved in Stratford. Her independent resolution collapses within a few scenes, as Shakespeare himself suddenly turns against her, and she yields to the common caricature of his culture and becomes Joan the Enemy, the Warrior Woman, the witch; a woman to be feared and destroyed . . . As Packer turns her attention to the extraordinary Juliet, the author perceives a large shift. Suddenly Shakespeare’s women have depth of character, motivation, understanding of life more than equal to that of the men; once Juliet has led the way, the plays are never the same again. As Shakespeare ceases to write about women as predictable caricatures and starts writing them from the inside, embodying their voices, his women become as dimensional, spirited, spiritual, active, and sexual as any of his male characters. Juliet is just as passionately in love as Romeo—risking everything, initiating marriage, getting into bed, fighting courageously when her parents threaten to disown her—and just as brave in facing death when she discovers Romeo is dead. And, wondering if Shakespeare himself fell in love (Packer considers with whom, and what she may have been like), the author observes that from Juliet on, Shakespeare writes the women as if he were a woman, giving them desires, needs, ambition, insight. Women of Will follows Shakespeare’s development as a human being, from youth to enlightened maturity, exploring the spiritual journey he undertook. Packer shows that Shakespeare’s imagination, mirrored and revealed in his female characters, develops and deepens until finally the women, his creative knowledge, and a sense of a larger spiritual good come together in the late plays, making clear that when women and men are equal in status and sexual passion, they can—and do—change the world. Part master class, part brilliant analysis—Women of Will is all inspiring discovery. From the Hardcover edition.

Measure for Measure


Author: William Shakespeare,Brian Gibbons
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521670780
Category: Drama
Page: 221
View: 2220

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Presents the text of the classic comedy, in which Isabella is asked to sacrifice her virtue to save her brother's life, along with explanatory notes and commentary.