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Shakespeare's Plays

Shakespeare's Plays
Shakespeare's Plays Before the publication of the First Folio in 1623, nineteen of the thirty-seven plays in Shakespeare's canon had appeared in quarto format. With the exception of Othello (1622), all of the quartos were published prior to the date of Shakespeare's retirement from the theatre in about 1611. 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. Tragedies Coriolanus (1607-1608) The last of Shakespeare's great political tragedies, chronicling the life of the mighty warrior Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

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Harold Pinter (1930 - ) The son of a Jewish tailor, Harold Pinter was born in East London in 1930. He started writing poetry for little magazines in his teens. As a young man, he studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Central School of Speech and Drama, but soon left to undertake an acting career under the stage name David Baron. He travelled around Ireland in a Shakespearean company and spent years working in provincial repertory before deciding to turn his attention to playwriting. Pinter started writing plays in 1957. Watch Nashville PBS Shakespeare Uncovered Online A personalized PBS video experience is only a few clicks away. Use one of the services below to sign-in to PBS, and you'll be able to manage videos in your Watchlist, keep track of your favorite shows, watch PBS in high definition, and much more! You've just tried to add this video to your Watchlist so you can watch it later.

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) Samuel Beckett was born on Good Friday, April 13, 1906, near Dublin, Ireland. Raised in a middle class, Protestant home, the son of a quantity surveyor and a nurse, he was sent off at the age of 14 to attend the same school which Oscar Wilde had attended. Looking back on his childhood, he once remarked, "I had little talent for happiness." Beckett was consistent in his loneliness. 74 Ways Characters Die in Shakespeare's Plays Shown in a Handy Infographic: From Snakebites to Lack of Sleep In the graduate department where I once taught freshmen and sophomores the rudiments of college English, it became common practice to include Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus on many an Intro to Lit syllabus, along with a viewing of Julie Taymor’s flamboyant film adaptation. The early work is thought to be Shakespeare’s first tragedy, cobbled together from popular Roman histories and Elizabethan revenge plays. And it is a truly bizarre play, swinging wildly in tone from classical tragedy, to satirical dark humor, to comic farce, and back to tragedy again. Critic Harold Bloom called Titus “an exploitative parody” of the very popular revenge tragedies of the time—its murders, maimings, rapes, and mutilations pile up, scene upon scene, and leave characters and readers/audiences reeling in grief and disbelief from the shocking body count. Part of the fun of teaching Titus is in watching students’ jaws drop as they realize just how bloody-minded the Bard is. via The Telegraph/Mental Floss

Luigi Pirandello (1867 - 1936) Luigi Pirandello was born in 1867 in Girgenti (now Agrigento) on the island of Sicily. Luigi's father was a fairly prosperous sulphur dealer and intended that his son should follow in his footsteps, but the boy demonstrated a studious bent early on, and as a result, he was provided with a literary schooling. He entered the University of Rome in 1887, but later transferred to Bonn University where he completed his doctoral thesis, a study of his native Sicilian dialect. 'Shakespeare and Modern Culture,' by Marjorie Garber The premise of this book is simple and direct: Shakespeare makes modern culture and modern culture makes Shakespeare. I could perhaps put the second "Shakespeare" in quotation marks, so as to indicate that what I have in mind is our idea of Shakespeare and of what is Shakespearean. But in fact it will be my claim that Shakespeare and "Shakespeare" are perceptually and conceptually the same from the viewpoint of any modern observer.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990) Born on January 5, 1921, in Konolfingen, Switzerland, Friedrich Dürrenmatt already had writing in his blood. His grandfather--a well-known satirist and political poet--encouraged in the young boy a questioning spirit which would characterize his later works. In fact, the memory of his grandfather inspired Dürrenmatt throughout his career. He would later write, "My grandfather was once sent to prison for ten days because of a poem he wrote. I haven't been honored in that way yet. Maybe it's my fault, or maybe the world has gone so far to the dogs that it doesn't even feel insulted anymore if it's criticized severely."

Tom Stoppard (1937 - ) Tom Stoppard was born "Tom Straussler" in Zlin, Czechoslovakia on July 3, 1937. His family moved to Singapore in 1939 to escape the Nazis. Then, shortly before the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1941, young Tom fled to Darjeeling, India with his mother and brother. His father, however, Eugene Straussler, remained behind and was killed during the invasion. John Osborne (1929-1994) Born on December 12, 1929, in London, John Osborne would eventually change the face of British theatre. His father, an advertising copywriter, died in 1941, leaving Osborne an insurance settlement which he used to finance a boarding school education at Belmont College in Devon. Still heartbroken, however, over his father's death, Osborne could not focus on his studies and left after striking the headmaster. He returned to London and lived briefly with his mother, a barmaid. He became involved in the theatre when he took a job tutoring a touring company of young actors. Osborne went on to serve as actor-manager for a string of repertory companies and soon decided to try his hand at playwriting.

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