The Works of Shakespeare

Front Cover
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 218 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK DRAMATIS PERSONS Claudius, king of Denmark. Hamlet, son to the late, and nephew to the present king. Polonius, lord chamberlain. Horatio, friend to Hamlet. Laertes, son to Polonius. Voltimand, Cornelius, Rosencrantz, Guildknstern, OSRIC, A Gentleman, A Priest. Marcellus, I Bernardo, ]omcers- Francisco, a soldier. Reynaldo, servant to Polonius, Players. Two Clowns, grave-diggers. Fortinbras, prince of Norway. A Captain. English Ambassadors. Gertrude, queen of Denmark, and mother to Hamlet Ophelia, daughter to Polonius. Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants. Ghost of Hamlet's Father. Scene: Denmark. chapter{Section 4INTRODUCTION Hamlet, the longest of Shakespeare's plays, was never printed, as it was certainly never performed, entire, in his own time. Our authentic text is derived from two early versions, each defective in certain points: viz. the Quarto of 1604 (Q2), and the Folio of 1623. The title-page of the Quarto runs: ? THE ] Tragicall Historic of Hamlet, ] Prince of Denmarke. By William Shakespeare. ] Newly imprinted and enlarged to almost as much ] againe as it was, according to the true and perfect ] Coppie. ] At London, ] Printed by I. R. for N. L., and are to be sold at his shoppe under Saint Dunstons Church in ] Fleet Street. 1604. This is the more valuable of the two editions, and the Hamlet texts of the last generation have steadily approximated towards it. But the Folio of 1623 was printed from an independent MS. containing some new passages as well as dropping many old; and while its variations in phrase were rarely for the better, it was much more accurately printed. Four Quartos followed that of 1604, each pr...

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About the author (2012)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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