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A history of the play and the playwright plus a list of works referenced - Essay Example

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A history of the play and the playwright plus a list of works referenced

He was, in the eyes of the world, an ordinary young man. But he was soon to prove them wrong. Shakespeare came into the picture in 1592, as an actor and dramatist. The exact date of his entrance in the theatrical world is as yet, not known, but it is believed to be the late 1500s. And still, the first published work of the infamous William Shakespeare was seven years after his demise, in the year 1616, a result of the efforts of his companions and colleagues. It was called, The Great Folio of 1623 (Honigmann 1-12). His works were considered classic during his lifetime, but the fame was nothing which came after his demise. Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets mostly followed the genre of tragedy, yet in the later part of his career, he wrote romantics, or tragic comedies. But it was the tragedies that really took place into the hearts and souls of men. He gave authenticity to his tragedies by relating them to real historical instances; however, the plays were not in the exact timeline of these instances (Bevington 50-68). His tragedies are renowned for a reason. “Shakespeare’s language, his insight into the characters, and his dramaturgical inventiveness set his tragedies apart from any else” (McAlindon 1-22). Any exceptional play or book is exalted in the words, “like a Shakespearean tragedy”. However, no tragedy can ever touch the bar set by Shakespeare. It is that reason that his tragic works became so distinguished. “A tragedy is an intense exploration of suffering and evil focused on the experience of an exceptional individual, distinguished by rank or character or both” and Shakespeare’s had it and more (McAlindon 1-22). One such Shakespearean Tragedy was the story of Caesar. Shakespeare’s main source for the play is Plutarch's famous biography The Life of Julius Caesar, written in Greek in the 1st century and translated into English in 1579 by Sir Thomas North. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar was published in the First Folio in 1623; however, it was performed on stage before that. The earliest performance of the play that has been recorded was in Shakespeare’s time. It was held in the Globe Theatre (possibly), on the twenty first of September, 1599 (Ripley 13-14). It was Thomas Platter, a Swiss traveller, who saw and recorded this play which has been the earliest record of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. According to his memoirs, the play was performed by excellent actors in a “strewn roof-house” at around 2 o’clock after dinner (Ripley). Shakespeare’s writing on Caesar was not the first, nor was it the last. Many writers wrote before him about the great Caesar, and even more wrote after Shakespeare. Yet none was able to capture the beauty of the story; no one portrayed better the betrayals, the morbid qualities, the desperation and the love in the story. It therefore, became most known as Shakespeare’s tragedy, rather than being known as one of his numerous works. In fact, among all of Shakespeare’s plays, Caesar stands ninth in theatrical popularity; Macbeth, Othello Hamlet and such preceding it (Raffel xvii-xix). Caesar himself appears very few times throughout the play, however. It is the chaos that reigns after his death that captivates the audience. A particularly famous one that I love is the twentieth century production by Orson Welles. George Orson Welles remains one of the most famous of all Hollywood’s directors. He was also a writer and his take on this play ...Show more
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Summary

In 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, a boy was born, named William Arden Shakespeare. He was the son of a mere commoner, a Glover and Whittawer by profession. His parents, John and Mary Arden, died 1601 and 1608, respectively. William attended a free school and got out by the age of fifteen or sixteen (as was the norm then)…
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