The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Pericles, Prince of Tyre: With Annotations and a General Introduction by Sidney Lee

Windham Press, 2013 - 138 páginas
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Pericles, Prince of Tyre with Annotations and a General Introduction by Sidney Lee

By William Shakespeare


The apocryphal works of Shakespeare are even more various in values than the apocryphal books of the Bible. There is hardly as much difference between the sub- lime "Wisdom of Solomon " and the nursery tale of " Bel and the Dragon " as between the glorious torso of " The Two Noble Kinsmen " and the abject futility of "Mucedonis " or "Locrine." There are two plays, and only two, certain that Shakespeare wrote the nobler part as that Shakespeare did not write the whole. The one is taken from the "Knight's Tale," of Chaucer, the other from an episode in Gower's " Confessio Amantis." In the one case the unfinished work of Shakespeare was completed by the feebler and yet the accomplished and the dexterous hand of a lesser and yet a great dramatic poet; in the other case the hand of Shakespeare touched and transfigured, recreated and recast, the work of an obscure precursor whose sketch he did not always give himself the trouble to correct and repaint, but chose rather now and then to leave as it stood in the rough, with an incongruous touch of unseasonable splendor flung in or thrown on here and there. It is not easy to say exactly where the work of revision or interpolation begins or ends. We may be misled and dazzled into misjudgment and injustice by the beauty of single lines or short passages, which on reconsideration may not seem so far superior as at first they seemed to the not always un- worthy context. There is true poetic dignity through- out in the part of Pericles: and the fitfully frequent relapses into rhyme which help to make the style of the earlier scenes seem cruder and more juvenile than that of the last three acts are merely, it may be, signs of haste and indifference rather than of inferiority and illegitimacy. The scene with the fishermen is at once like Shakespeare and like Heywood: either of the two might have written it. No one who knows the lesser poet will deny this; and no one can fail to see how this explains the curious and at first sight startling collocation of his name and of Dekker's with the name that is above every name in the famous passage which places on record the wish of Shakespeare's greatest disciple that what he wrote should be read by their light.

All the second act; be the text canonical or apocryphal must evidently have been written at the gallop of the pen.

The moral or spiritual charm of Shakespeare's work is as nearly indefinable as it is incomparable. There are touches or strokes of something like it now and then in Homer and the Hebrews; but they flash across the text and pass away. Divine atrocity and...


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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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