Life of Shakespeare Amelia Barrios - Period 3 Campbell

Thesis: In the time of the Renaissance, William Shakespeare left a great deal of impact and teaching through his early life, his work in the theater, and his writing style.

Early Life:

Quote #1: "The students chiefly studied Latin, the language of ancient Rome. Knowledge of Latin was necessary for a career in medicine, law, or the church. In addition, the ability to read Latin was considered a sign of an educated person. Young Shakespeare may have read such outstanding ancient Roman authors as Cicero, Ovid, Plautus, Seneca, Terence, and Virgil" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare was exposed to the many great minds of ancient Roman authors, where he was reading these writings completely in its own raw language. Throughout this time period, one who was educated was able to speak the language of Latin, which surely built the gateway to his imaginative, overwhelmingly intense mind.

Quote #2: "Stratford also offered other pleasures. The fields and woods surrounding the town provided opportunities to hunt and trap small game. The River Avon, which ran through the town, had fish to catch. Shakespeare’s poems and plays show a love of nature and rural life" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare was able to bring his own personal experiences into his plays, had always done so. Whatever aspect it may have been that he was admirable towards, he would bring that aspect to life in his plays.

Quote #3: "Beginning at about the age of 7, William probably attended the Stratford grammar school with other boys of his social class. The school’s highly qualified teachers were graduates of Oxford University" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare, luckily, was able to learn from some very educated minds. His teachers were also able to influence him at such the young age of seven as well. It goes to show that sometimes great minds can make great people.

His Work in the Theater:

Quote #4: "By 1954, he was a charter member of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which was later to become the King's Men... Shakespeare worked with this company for the rest of his writing life. Year after year, he provided it with plays, almost on demand. Shakespeare was the ultimate professional writer" (Anderson 777).

Commentary: Shakespeare portrayed a great amount of passion through his plays and poems, especially his plays. He put hours of effort into his writings, it was something he truly loved and valued. The fact that he stayed with the same company and was able to provide plays on almost demand shows his passion and true love for writing, for acting.

Quote #5: "In one interesting aspect the theater in Shakespeare's day was very different from the theater we know today. Plays were originally performed by all-male medieval trade guilds, so all-women's parts were played by boys. It would be many years before women appeared on-stage in the professional English Theater. In Shakespeare's day, Juliet would have been played by a trained boy actor" (Anderson 779).

Commentary: To believe that Juliet was played by a male character is almost crazy. There was incredible passion in the words Shakespeare used to exaggerate Romeo and Juliet's love for one another. These actors looked at his brilliance and played their character with honor, surely.

Quote #6: "The strength of Shakespeare's plays lies in the absorbing stories they tell, in their wealth of complex characters, and in the eloquent speech—vivid, forceful, and at the same time lyric—that the playwright puts on his characters' lips. It has often been noted that Shakespeare's characters are neither wholly good nor wholly evil, and that it is their flawed, inconsistent nature that makes them memorable" ("William").

Commentary: Again, his passion is where he leaves his true mark on everyone. When people came to his plays, they expected passion and received it, luckily. Shakespeare made sure he explained each and every character in detail, good detail, thus, showing his efforts into making his writings something to remember.

Quote #7: "Besides his ability to create a variety of unforgettable characters, there are at least two other qualities that account for Shakespeare’s achievement. One of these is his love of play with language, ranging from the lowest pun to some of the world’s best poetry. His love of language sometimes makes him difficult to read, particularly for young students, but frequently the meaning becomes clear in a well-acted version. The second quality is his openness, his lack of any restrictive point of view, ideology, or morality. Shakespeare was able to embrace, identify with, and depict an enormous range of human behavior, from the good to the bad to the indifferent. The capaciousness of his language and vision thus help account for the universality of his appeal" (Branam).

Commentary: Shakespeare's work in the theater, as this, was completely raw. Before the time of the Renaissance, having a closed mind was the way to live for everyone. Throughout this time, Shakespeare spoke his mind completely and utterly, leaving no room to hide any feeling. He spoke truth, every true human feeling, without influence from church, this is what made him impacting.

His Writing Style:

Quote #8: "...he put old words to new uses, borrowed from other languages, and invented new terms. What sets apart Shakespeare’s verbal creativity is that so many of his innovations were adopted by English speakers" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare was his own person, his own made-up vocabulary was adopted by future authors to come, leaving a statement on the world. He constantly would mix up his writing with old and current English, again, leaving bold words to let people hear in awe.

Quote #9: "Shakespeare used rhetorical techniques to create rich imagery that gives his writing its unique style. A famous example of his brilliant imagery comes from Macbeth" (Lander).

Commentary: This famous example speaks about Macbeth's horrific amount of guilt in killing King Duncan. This imagery opens up broad horizons in anyone's imagination, leaving it to be bold, memorable, and of course leaving a statement.

Quote #10: "Shakespeare reinforced his imagery with the rhythm of his verse. He composed his plays largely in blank verse—that is, in lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter. In such a pattern, each line is divided into five units called feet, with the accent falling on every second syllable" (Lander).

Commentary: This rhythm was almost like a rap beat, completely ongoing of course. The large pauses he would leave after his lines were just like the little cherry on top of the entire dessert, making everything so much more passionate and intense.

Works Cited

Anderson, Robert. “Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 778-80.

Anderson. “William Shakespeare’s Life: A Genius From Stratford.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 776-77.

Branam, Harold. “William Shakespeare.” Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (2016): Topic Overviews 6-12. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

“William Shakespeare.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1-4. History Reference Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

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