Social and political power was entirely in the hands of the men in Elizabethan England and particularly, well-born men. Also, using the Elizabethan theatre convention of women disguising themselves as men, Shakespeare is able to present some women in a way that allows them to be taken seriously. At the end of the plays where he does that, however, the women always revert to their female role and the conclusion is marriage and declarations of their subservience to men and their reversion to the conventional female role. Perhaps even Shakespeare failed to imagine the model of equality that is so familiar to us and which we take for granted.
Shakespeare's Plays Before the publication of the First Folio innineteen of the thirty-seven plays in Shakespeare's canon had appeared in quarto format. With the exception of Othelloall of the quartos were published prior to the date of Shakespeare's retirement from the theatre in about It is unlikely that Shakespeare was involved directly with the printing of any of his plays, although it should be noted that two of his poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were almost certainly printed under his direct supervision.
Here you will find the complete text of Shakespeare's plays, based primarily on the First Folio, and a variety of helpful resources, including extensive explanatory notes, character analysis, source information, and articles and book excerpts on a wide range of topics unique to each drama.
Coriolanus The last of Shakespeare's great political tragedies, chronicling the life of the mighty warrior Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Hamlet Since its first recorded production, Hamlet has engrossed playgoers, thrilled readers, and challenged actors more so than any other play in the Western canon.
No other single work of fiction has produced more commonly used expressions. Although there were earlier Elizabethan plays on the subject of Julius Caesar and his turbulent rule, Shakespeare's penetrating study of political life in ancient Rome is the only version to recount the demise of Brutus and the other conspirators.
The story of King Lear, an aging monarch who decides to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters, according to which one recites the best declaration of love. Macbeth Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most stimulating and popular dramas.
Renaissance records of Shakespeare's plays in performance are scarce, but a detailed account of an original production of Macbeth has survived, thanks to Dr. Othello Othello, a valiant Moorish general in the service of Venice, falls prey to the devious schemes of his false friend, Iago.
Celebrated for the radiance of its lyric poetry, Romeo and Juliet was tremendously popular from its first performance. The sweet whispers shared by young Tudor lovers throughout the realm were often referred to as "naught but pure Romeo and Juliet.
Written late in Shakespeare's career, Timon of Athens is criticized as an underdeveloped tragedy, likely co-written by George Wilkins or Cyril Tourneur. Read the play and see if you agree.
Titus Andronicus A sordid tale of revenge and political turmoil, overflowing with bloodshed and unthinkable brutality. The play was not printed with Shakespeare credited as author during his lifetime, and critics are divided between whether it is the product of another dramatist or simply Shakespeare's first attempt at the genre.
Histories One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, featuring the opportunistic miscreant, Sir John Falstaff. Henry V is the last in the second tetralogy sequence. King Henry is considered Shakespeare's ideal monarch.
The first in Shakespeare's trilogy about the War of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York. Part two of Shakespeare's chronicle play. Based on Hall's work, the play contains some historical inaccuracies.
Part three begins in medias res, with the duke of Suffolk dead and the duke of York being named Henry VI's heir. Many believe Henry VIII to be Shakespeare's last play, but others firmly believe that he had little, if anything, to do with its creation.
In the shadow of Shakespeare's second tetralogy of history plays lies the neglected masterpiece, King John. Although seldom read or performed today, King John was once one of Shakespeare's most popular histories, praised for its poetic brilliance. More so than Shakespeare's earlier history plays, Richard II is notable for its well-rounded characters.
The devious machinations of the deformed villain, Richard, duke of Gloucester, made this play an Elizabethan favorite.
It is considered a problem play, due primarily to the character Helena and her ambiguous nature. Is she a virtuous lady or a crafty temptress? As You Like It is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies, and the heroine, Rosalind, is praised as one of his most inspiring characters.
This is Shakespeare's shortest play, which he based on Menaechmi by Plautus. Cymbeline This play, modeled after Boccaccio's Decameron, is often classified as a romance.Portrayal of Women in William Shakespeare's Plays Essay; The male and female characters in the two plays, The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing play somewhat reversal roles in that the husband controls the fate of his wife to only a certain extent, because wives can foil the fates of their husbands simply by behaving disloyally.
The Character Desdemona and the Role of Women Depicted in Shakespeare's Othello - The society in which Othello takes place is a patriarchal one, where men had complete control over women.
JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April – 23 April ) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as both the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, sonnets, two long narrative poems. The Globe Theater is a huge success The Globe Theatre was a huge success and as it had been built in close proximity to the Bear Garden.
The profits of the Bear Garden slumped and in Henslowe and Edward Alleyn (the most famous actor in Elizabethan England) had it demolished and replaced with a new playhouse which they called The Hope Theatre (aptly named!).
The 10 best Shakespeare characters The 10 best Shakespeare characters Lady Macbeth’s fiendish manipulation of her husband into acts of horrific violence makes her a supreme archetype.