Shakespeare’s creativity is the highest achievement of European literature of the Renaissance. If the powerful figure of Dante marks the beginning of the Renaissance, then the titanic figure of Shakespeare crowns its end and crouches it in the history of world culture. Its heritage gained worldwide significance, influenced the work of numerous artists of world importance and remains relevant to our time. The best theaters in the world invariably include in his repertoire his plays, and Hamlet’s dream is to play, if not every actor.
Despite the worldwide publicity of drama and poetry of Shakespeare, the most famous is not so much. Biblical data is as follows. Born Shakespeare on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in the family of a craftsman and trader. I studied at a local grammar school where I studied my mother tongue, as well as Greek and Latin in a single textbook – the Bible. According to some data, the school did not finish, because his father, because of financial difficulties, took William to his assistant. On the other hand, after graduating from school was even an assistant to a school teacher.
At the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than him. Three years after the marriage left Stratford. His first printed works appear only in 1594. Biographers assume that during this period he was for some time an actor of the traveling troupe, 3 1590 worked in various theaters of London, and from 1594 entered the best London boss James Barbeca. Since the construction of Burbage theater “Globe”, that is from 1599 and up to 1621, his life is connected with this theater, the shareholder and the actor and playwright of which he is. His family all the time remained in Stratford, where he returned, ceasing theatrical and creative activities, and where he died on April 23 (on his birthday) in 1612 at fifty-two years of age.
His dramatic and poetic heritage, according to the Shakespearean canon (the first full edition of Shakespeare’s work, made in 1623), consists of 37 dramas, 154 sonnets, and two poems – “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece”. All of Shakespeare’s dramatic works are written in white verse using prose. The combination of poetry and prose is a characteristic feature of Shakespeare’s drama, due both to artistic material and aesthetic tasks.
Thousands of books are dedicated to the work of the unsurpassed playwright and the brilliant sonnet master. Interestingly, there are over 4,500 works in the share of only one, by this time, unresolved problem of Shakespeare. And this problem, oddly enough, concerns precisely the authorship of Shakespeare’s works: who is their author – William Shakespeare himself or someone else. Today there are 58 contenders, including such names as philosopher Francis Bacon, Lord Southampton, Retland, Count Derby and even Queen Elizabeth.
The main anti-Shakespearean arguments are due to such facts. The real surname of William, which is mentioned in the book of church birth records and which is preserved on five business papers in the form of bulging signatures, Shakespeare, which is fundamentally different from Shakespeare. Shakespeare is a semantic name and translated as “the one who shakes a spear”. It was already in London during the life of William, when he, with the help of some notable patrons, received a family coat of arms, which depicted a rider with a raised spear in his hand. It is significant that most of Shakespeare’s works published at the time were signed by William Shakespeare, which emphasizes its meaning and more like a pseudonym because personal names were not written so. It is a surprise that there is not a single line written by Shakespeare’s hand.
More serious doubts about Shakespeare’s authorship is that William has never studied anywhere except grammar school, and has never been outside of England. At the same time, Shakespeare’s works impress upon unsurpassed artistic skill, scale of thinking and philosophical artistic depth of penetration into the most important problems of being. They show not only the genius of their author, but also the encyclopedic knowledge of his knowledge, which none of his contemporaries possessed. The Dictionary of Shakespeare has more than 20,000 words, while Francis Bacon has only 8,000, and Victor Hugo has 9,000.
They testify that he knew French, Italian, Greek, Latin, was well acquainted with ancient mythology, works by Homer, Ovid, Plautus, Seneca, Montaigne, Rabelais, and many others. In addition, Shakespeare freely felt in English history, jurisprudence, rhetoric, medicine, the intricacies of court etiquette, in the lives and habits of noble people. The vast majority of these knowledge at that time could only be obtained at universities where, as you know, Shakespeare never studied.
Relying on numerous materials and new discoveries, he argues that under the name of Shakespeare lies the brilliant young aristocrat Count Retland, a close friend of Lord Southampton. These two aristocrats binded not only their social origin but also the age (Retland was younger for only three years), and a love affair with the theater (with their financial participation the theater “Globus” was built, where exactly the premieres of all Shakespeare’s yes)
Retland, was a well-informed person: he studied at the University of Padua; whose names in 1596, together with his name, are the names of Rosenkranz and Gildensterna, later published in the tragedy of Hamlet; studied at Cambridge and Oxford universities; served royal orders at the crowned persons (in particular, he headed the official mission to the Danish kingdom in June 1603). Retland used the smart actor Shakespeare to transfer his plays to the theater. Since his death in 1612, the creative activity of Shakespeare, who in the same year leaves London and no longer writes anything, ends.
But whoever stands for this world-famous name, it is indisputable that the Shakespearean works, in their combination with the extraordinary power of expressiveness, captured the whole range of Renaissance reflections and feelings – from the unconditional glorification of a person capable of rising by the power of his spirit and mind to the level of God-like creation, to deep frustrations and doubts in the divinity of its nature. In this regard, Shakespeare’s creative way is traditionally divided into three periods.
The first period (1590-1600) includes drama-chronicles (9), comedies (10), tragedies (3), both poems – Venus and Adonis (1592), Fierce Lucretius (1593) and sonnets (1953- 1598).
Chronicles of which Shakespeare began his work, was a popular genre from his predecessors and contemporaries, because they responded to the acute interest of the public in their history and political problems of the present in the period of intense struggle between England and Spain. One by one there are drama-chronicles, the feature of which is the ability of the playwright to draw scale alive and vivid colors in a large scale, combining the social background with the fate of specific characters: “Henry VI, part 2” (1590), “Henry VI, part 3” (1591), “Henry VI, Part 1” (1593), “Richard No” (1594), “Richard II” (1595), “King John” (1596), “Henry IV, Part 2” (1597) Henry IV, Part 2 “(1598) and” Henry V “(1598).
In parallel with the chronicles, Shakespeare writes a series of comedies: “The Comedy of Mistakes” (1592), “The Taming of the Rebellious” (1593), “Two Veronets” (1594), “The Wrongful Love Efforts” (1594), “The Dream of the Summer Night” (1595) , “The Venetian merchant” (1596), “There is a lot of noise in vain” (1599), “Windsor castles” (1598), “How do you like it” (1599) and “Twelfth night” (1600), as well as three tragedies: The Tit Andronicus (1593), Romeo and Juliet (1594) and Julius Caesar (1598).
The general nature of the works of this period can be defined as optimistic, colored by the joyful perception of life in all its diversity, faith in the triumph of reasonable and kind. Humanistic pathos is also marked by poems and sonnets, which reveal the realism of their poetics a new stage in the development of Renaissance poetry. Shakespeare’s sonnets form a plot cycle, built on the development of relations between the poet, friend and “dark-haired lady.” In sonnets there is a complex and rich world of the Renaissance man with its comprehensive look at the world, an active attitude to life, the richness of emotional feelings and experiences.
The second period of Shakespeare’s work (1601-1608 pp.) Is marked by the deepening of the poet in the analysis of the tragic contradictions of man, who with all their strength appeared at the end of the Renaissance. Even three comedies written at this time (“Troilus and Cressida” (1602), “The End of a Case” (1603), “Measure of Measure” (1603) bear the stamp of a tragic worldview. The dramatic genius of Shakespeare was most fully manifested in tragedies This period: Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1605), Macbeth (1606), Anthony and Cleopatra (1607), Coriolan (1607), Timon Athenian “(1608).
And, finally, the third, romantic period that spans 1609-1612 years. At this time, he creates four tragicomedies, or romantic drama: Pericles (1609), Tsimbelin (1610), Winter Tale (1611); “The Storm” (1612) and the historical drama “Henry VIII” In the tragicomedy the atmosphere of fantastic fantasy dominates, in them good and justice always overcome the forces of evil. So the “king of dramatic poets” (V. Belinsky) until the last of his work remains true to the bright ideals of the humanistic art of the Renaissance.
Among the famous tragedies of Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet have been the most popular for centuries.
The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was written in the mid-1990s, in the first, so-called optimistic period of his work, most permeated with the Renaissance pathos of faith in man and his infinite possibilities.