A cast of modern performers for Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"
A portarit of Shakespeare
Thesis: Shakespeare is/was important because of his influence on theater, his influence on plays and writing, and his effect on entertainment in the modern world, and past.
Influence on Theater:
Quote #1: "It has been said that all you need for a theater is "two planks and a passion." Since Shakespeare's time "the planks" (the stage) have undergone various changes" (Anderson 778-780).
Commentary: Shakespeare and his men funded The Globe, and that has been developed over time and modernized for modern theater now. Shakespeare's place of acting, of drama, had started a chain reaction, and we use many of the techniques used in The Globe in theaters all over the world.
Quote #2: "Like Shakespeare's stage, this kind of thrust stage, with its minimal scenery, allows playwrights (if they want) to move their stories rapidly from place to place" (Anderson 778-780).
Commentary: Having minimal scenery, like Shakespeare's stage, allows directors/playwrights to quickly change the setting of the play, they don't need to take a break to put out new props, they can just switch the scene. I think this is an amazing technique because it can really bring the audience into the play, because they are constantly imagining and filling in the blanks themselves.
Influence on Plays and Writing:
Quote #1: "Shakespeare generally followed the Elizabethan custom of basing his plots on published historical and literary works. But he differed from most other dramatists in one important way. In retelling a story, Shakespeare shaped the borrowed material with such genius that he produced a work of art that was uniquely different from its source" (Lander).
Commentary: When writing his plays, Shakespeare followed an Elizabethan tradition of writing based on historical and literary works. Although he did that, he was unique from other dramatists. He wrote in a way that made his works art, significantly different from his sources. This fits what I know because I knew that Shakespeare had a big influence on theater because of how unique his plays were.
Quote #2: "The most successful of these characters create an impression of psychological depth never before seen in English literature" (Lander).
Commentary: When Shakespeare's characters were portrayed correctly,they gave such an impression of the human complexity that was never seen previously in English literature. I think that Shakespeare was such a deep and complex person, with a mind to reflect that, and it really came out through his plays that he wrote. I wonder if that's why he's considered a genius, because he exuded such depth in his plays, and that really clicked with something in the audience's mind. That's what made him so relatable, and it made writers start to write like him.
Quote #3: "This King Shakespeare does he not shine, in crowned sovereignty, over us all, as the noblest, gentlest, yet strongest of rallying-signs; indestructible; really more valuable in that point of view than any other means or appliance whatsoever? We can fancy him as radiant aloft over all Nations of Englishmen, thousand years hence. From Paramatta, from New York, wheresoever, under what sort of Parish-Constable soever, 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" (Mallibard).
Commentary: Shakespeare, even though not literally our king, we value him as such. Men and women from everywhere will claim Shakespeare as their inspiration. Shakespeare was such an amazing writer, that people called him a king. They praised and loved him with their whole hearts, and souls. They were inspired by him, and aspired to be as he was. Thus, because he was such an inspiration, it lead other writers to start writing as if they were him.
Shakespeare’s Effect on Entertainment:
Quote #1: "As we become more media-driven, Shakespeare will become the counterculture for people who believe in the word. There will come a time when we have to start thinking again. The complexity of thought lies in language" (Packer).
Commentary: Shakespeare's writing caused audiences, and readers to think. It caused them to think and question the world, and in today's world the majority of people do still question sometimes, but no one really thinks deeply about the world. No one feels deep emotion as much as during simpler times. One day, once again, humans will have to start thinking, and Shakespeare has really made it so people think deeper and more often. To make entertainment make people think is a powerful thing. Nowadays entertainment is not very useful for thinking, it's kind of just sitting and watching, there is no complexity involved. For Shakespeare to have written so well, for it to be quality entertainment in today's world, is a great accomplishment.
Quote #2: "Although Julius Caesar focuses on events that occurred more than two millennia ago, the play remains relevant and engaging today" (Adney).
Commentary: Although Shakespeare's writings were about times ages ago, they are still useful today. Their themes and human behaviors are still true till this day. Shakespeare didn't only focus on the time period when writing his plays, he thought about basic human behavior. Because he did this, it caused his plays to not just be stories of the olden days, but lessons that are still useful today, and used in many other plays and/or stories.
Quote #3: "Shakespeare’s imagination derives from the focus that theater, the instrument of his imagination, provides" (D'amico).
Commentary: Shakespeare's writing comes from his own imagination, and provides stories of greatness. Shakespeare was original and unique because he used his own imagination, and that inspired other writers to use their imaginations, but they still wrote in a what is now called "Shakespearean" way. This causing entertainment to be more… entertaining and not just something you watch, read, listen to, to pass the time.
Anderson, Robert. “Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Holt Literature and Language Arts, pp. 778-80.
Adney, Karley K. “Julius Caesar: The Play Today.” In Baker, William, and Kenneth Womack, eds. The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2012. Bloom’s Literature, Facts On File, Inc.
Shakespeare and Italy : The City and the Stage. E-book.
Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare’s Influence on Other Writers. Shakespeare Online. 20 Oct. 2013.
Fanger, Iris. “All the World’s a Shakespeare Stage.” Christian Science Monitor. Aug. 12 2005: n.p. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.
Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.