Shakespeare's Work By: Zachary Reclusado Period: 6

William Shakespeare was a writer who wrote multiple genres including plays. Measure for Measure, Othello, and Hamlet are just a small amount of plays William Shakespeare had wrote.

Thesis: Shakespeare had multiple published works, including plays and poems written in his own unique style that were otherwise criticized by critics in his time.

Shakespeare's Different Genres of Literature:

Quote #1: "Venus and Adonis represents Shakespeare’s successful attempt to write the kind of love poetry that was fashionable in court circles and enormously popular" (Lander)

Commentary: Venus and Adonis is a narrative poem that tells the story of Venus loving a mortal named Adonis that would later reject Venus and get killed by boar while hunting. Shakespeare published this around 1593 and wrote it to hold a group of tales and verses by Ovid, a Roman poet.

Quote #2: "Some sonnet sequences followed a narrative pattern that was autobiographical in varying degrees. For this reason, scholars have tried to learn about Shakespeare’s life from his sonnets. But they have reached no general agreement on autobiographical information that the poems might contain" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare's sonnets followed a narrative style that may have hinted to Shakespeare's life outside of writing. This means that Shakespeare may have put some aspects in his early life into his writing. This is what scholars believe although according to the article it is currently unknown if anything in these sonnets have anything to do with Shakespeare's life.

Quote #3: "Shakespeare wrote two long poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. Both are narrative poems—that is, they tell a story" (Lander).

Commentary: Theses two poems by Shakespeare are considered narrative poems. This means they each have a story they follow. They are still considered poems so they follow a certain pattern of writing instead of being written in a story kind of writing an in Shakespeare's time.

Quote #4: "Shakespeare had written thirty-seven plays including such masterpieces as Julies Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. Shakespeare's plays are still produced all over the world" (Anderson).

Commentary: Shakespeare was a well known playwright, writing multiple well known plays that are still known today. His plays are still performed in theaters to this day making them available to everyone in this age to see what entertainment was like during Shakespeare's lifetime.

His Style:

Quote #1: "...playwrights (if they want) to move their stories rapidly from place to place. They can establish each new scene with a line like 'Well, this is the Forest of Arden'" (Anderson).

Commentary: This quote states that when writing plays, they mainly establish what the scenery was with just a quote from a character. This was because they were on a stage with minimal scenery and little props so playwrights write their stories based on this information.

Quote #2: "Shakespeare wrote The Rape of Lucrece in rime royal, which uses seven-line stanzas of iambic pentameter that are rhymed ababbcc" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare wrote this poem in a style that made it rhyme ababbcc meaning that the poem, if each of the last word of a stanza was labeled a letter according to if they rhymed, it would go like; like, bat, right, sat, pat, quiet, silent. The Rape of Lucrece was written in a more serious tone than the previously mentioned poem which is supported due to the violent events and consequences that were written in long yet detailed speeches.

Quote #3: "Shakespeare’s style has helped shape the language of all English-speaking countries... Many later writers in English have accepted the Elizabethan style as their model. As a result, much English and American literature reflects the highly individualized enthusiasm of most Elizabethan writing" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare helped to create the English language how it is today. He has served as a model to multiple modern writers to make sure their writing is special similar to how Shakespeare's writings were written in his own way.

Quote #4: "Shakespeare’s vocabulary of about 29,000 words is remarkably rich. Like his fellow writers, he put old words to new uses, borrowed from other languages, and invented new terms" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare's influences the English language through the multiple words he has introduced to the English language that grew into popularity through word of mouth in Elizabethan times. Old words were renewed in a way by Shakespeare by finding out what could he do to make this word feel new in his culture.

His Critics:

Quote #1: "Shakespeare’s refusal to observe the unities as well as his tendency to mix comedy with tragedy provoked the scorn of critics who worshiped the classical past. However, many Neoclassical critics were willing to attribute Shakespeare’s violation of classical rules to ignorance. Such critics identified Shakespeare as a natural genius who did not need the resources of classical culture" (Lander)

Commentary: Shakespeare wrote his plays differently from what was considered normal in the past. He wrote them in a way that angered critics who later praised him for his unique way of writing. His writing would later grow to become some of the most influential pieces of literature to date.

Quote #2: "The Romantic critics tended to glorify Shakespeare almost as a god who could do no wrong. They celebrated Shakespeare’s failure to observe the rules of classical literature—which the Neoclassical critics had seen as a flaw—as evidence of Shakespeare’s genius" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare's characteristic writing helped him become popular with the Romantic critics of the 1790s through 1800s. They saw him as someone of genius in literature by the way he writes without the rules of classical literature.

Quote #3: "Some people so admired Shakespeare’s plays that they refused to believe an actor from Stratford-upon-Avon could have written them... These people, called anti-Stratfordians, proposed several other writers as the author of Shakespeare’s works... The anti-Stratfordians believed that only an educated, sophisticated man of high social standing could have written the plays" (Lander).

Commentary: This group of people tend to only believe that Shakespeare could have only been written by someone who was higher in rank in the society with a great education could have written them. The people they claim could have written them were called claimants and only the richer class were considered for this category due to the better education they could have had.

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.

---. “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.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.


Created with images by Ben Sutherland - "Pages of William Shakespeare's first folio at the Bodlean Library, Oxford" • tonynetone - "William Shakespeare" • summonedbyfells - "MEASURE FOR MEASURE - WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE" • WikiImages - "william shakespeare othello poster" • Provenance Online Project - "Title page from Penn Libraries PR2750 .A07 1619"

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