A Quick Guide to Reading Shakespeare Probably the number one complaint about reading Shakespeare is that it doesn't always read like "normal" English. It's a natural and legitimate accusation. Shakespeare wrote for an audience over 400 years ago. The Elizabethan era was a particularly volatile growth spurt in the English language. So how can a reader today bridge that gap between then and now? Word Usage First and foremost, there have been numerous vocabulary changes in English since Shakespeare was writing. Grammar This is where the flexibility of Shakespeare's English is often most apparent. Wordplay Some of the most difficult passages of Shakespeare occur when the Bard is purposely playing with language. Versification One issue often overlooked is that Shakespeare's plays were written as dramatic literature-meant to be performed and heard aloud, not silently read. Other Web Resources The Internet provides a wealth of opportunities for learning more about Shakespeare and his language.
Absolute Shakespeare - plays, quotes, summaries, essays... First World War Poetry Digital Archive The First World War Poetry Digital Archive is an online repository of over 7000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research. The heart of the archive consists of collections of highly valued primary material from major poets of the period, including Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, and Edward Thomas. This is supplemented by a comprehensive range of multimedia artefacts from the Imperial War Museum, a separate archive of over 6,500 items contributed by the general public, and a set of specially developed educational resources. These educational resources include an exciting new exhibition in the three-dimensional virtual world Second Life. Freely available to the public as well as the educational community, the First World War Poetry Digital Archive is a significant resource for studying the First World War and the literature it inspired.
Life and times Very little is known for certain about William Shakespeare. What we do know about his life comes from registrar records, court records, wills, marriage certificates and his tombstone in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. William Shakespeare was baptised on 26 April 1564 at Holy Trinity in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Traditionally his birthday is celebrated three days earlier, on 23 April, St George's Day. William's father, John Shakespeare, was an affluent glove maker, tanner and wool dealer who owned property in Stratford. William's mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a prosperous farmer, Robert Arden, who had left her some land in Wilmcote, near Stratford. William almost certainly went to one of Stratford's 'petty' or junior schools where he would have learnt his letters with the help of a hornbook. In 1582, when he was 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. From 1585 until 1592, very little is known about Shakespeare. Sometime after 1611, Shakespeare retired to Stratford.
Shakespeare's Sonnets Shakespeare Bookshelf Comedies Histories Poetry Tragedies The titles in the listing above link to the editions from the 1914 edition of The Oxford Shakespeare at Bartleby. For further online Shakespeare texts in other locations and formats and Shakespeare commentary, go to the Shakespeare Section of the ipl2 Resources by Subject collection (Arts & Humanities > Literature > Authors > Shakespeare) or search on Shakespeare in the ipl2. For criticism and other information on Shakespeare and his works, go to the Shakepeare Section of the ipl2 Literary Criticism Collection. For an annotated guide to scholarly Shakespeare resources on the Internet, we recommend the excellent Mr. To search the full text of Shakespeare's works, use The Works of the Bard. For a handy guide to monologues found in Shakespeare's works, use the Shakespeare's Monologues site. Shakespeare's complete body of work in plain text (ASCII) format is available for downloading as one huge gzipped tar file [2039K].
William Shakespeare Biography Who Was William Shakespeare? William Shakespeare (baptized on April 26, 1564 to April 23, 1616) was an English playwright, actor and poet and is often called England’s national poet. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, he was an important member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men company of theatrical players from roughly 1594 onward. Written records give little indication of the way in which Shakespeare’s professional life molded his artistry. All that can be deduced is that, in his 20 years as a playwright, Shakespeare wrote plays that capture the complete range of human emotion and conflict. Known throughout the world, the works of William Shakespeare have been performed in countless hamlets, villages, cities and metropolises for more than 400 years. William Shakespeare: Plays Early Works: Histories and Comedies With the exception of the tragic love story Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare's first plays were mostly histories. Works after 1600: Tragedies and Tragicomedies Family
Words and Phrases Coined by Shakespeare Words and Phrases Coined by Shakespeare NOTE: This list (including some of the errors I originally made) is found in several other places online. That's fine, but I've asked that folks who want this on their own sites mention that I am the original compiler. For many English-speakers, the following phrases are familiar enough to be considered common expressions, proverbs, and/or clichés. All of them originated with or were popularized by Shakespeare. I compiled these from multiple sources online in 2003. How many of these are true coinages by "the Bard", and how many are simply the earliest written attestations of a word or words already in use, I can't tell you. A few words are first attested in Shakespeare and seem to have caused extra problems for the typesetters. The popular book Coined by Shakespeare acknowledges that it is presenting first attestations rather than certain inventions. Words like "anchovy", "bandit", and "zany" are just first attestations of loan-words. Back to Ed's