Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Bard of all Eras; William Shakespeare


       William Shakespeare is the most famous playwright in history for a reason. He has penned some of the most famous plays in the world including Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet , and A Midsummer Night's Dream. 
       Although not much is recorded of his early life, we do have a few facts. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, the earliest records of the famed play write are of his christening. People believe he was born just a few days  before that ceremony.      

       William was raised in a wealthy household, and because of that, it is thought that he was able to attend school.  
This is Shakespeare's home: 
Because his father got in debt, the next years to be recorded are knows as the "Lost years" because nothing is written or known about Shakespeare in this time period.   We do know, however, that Mr. Shakespeare wed Anne Hathaway when he was eighteen. Anne on the other hand was 26 years old. They had three children : Hamnet , Judith , and Susanna.  


      In his whole life, William Shakespeare created 38 plays and 154 sonnets. Sonnets are poems that have 14 lines with each line being composed of 10 syllables. The last word in each line has to have a rhyming word, but it depends upon the rhyme scheme.  We learned that the Shakespearean Sonnet has a rhyme pattern of ABABCDCDEFEFGG.  Here is an example of one of Shakespeare's sonnets: 

Sonnet XII

    When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves 
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go, 
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
    And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
    Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence. 

       Almost all of Shakespeare's plays are difficult to understand because of the language used back then including thee, thou and  ye . We read some easy-to-read books based on William Shakespeare's plays to fully understand them. One of the plays that was really amusing was A Midsummer Night's Dream . We then went to a performance of it at a theater which did an awesome job giving it a modern touch. The play is full of lovers and hysterical actors. 
   Besides writing plays and sonnets, Shakespeare wrote his will and possibly his gravestone's saying:  

"Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, to dig the dust enclosed here.                                        Blessed be the man that spares these stones.                                                                                   And cursed be he that moves my bones."            

     No one knows the reason he died but, he left the Earth on April 25, 1616, and was buried at the Church of Trinity, in Stratford-upon-Avon.


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