image of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

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These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which, as they kiss, consume. When Romeo first lays eyes on the bewitching Juliet, it's love at first sight. But though their love runs true and deep, it is also completely forbidden. With family and fate determined to keep them …

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Hamlet is quite possibly the world's most well-known play. Written around the turn of the 17th century by the Bard himself, and soon becoming one of the most performed tragedies of all time, Hamlet has enjoyed extensive re-adaptation and analysis throughout the ages, becoming more talked about and, in many ways, more …

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In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a …

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In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare stages the workings of love. Theseus and Hippolyta, about to marry, are figures from mythology. In the woods outside Theseus’s Athens, two young men and two young women sort themselves out into couples—but not before they form first one love triangle, and then another.Also in …

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In Othello, Shakespeare creates powerful drama from a marriage between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona that begins with elopement and mutual devotion and ends with jealous rage and death. Shakespeare builds many differences into his hero and heroine, including race, age, and cultural …

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Shakespeare’s King Lear challenges us with the magnitude, intensity, and sheer duration of the pain that it represents. Its figures harden their hearts, engage in violence, or try to alleviate the suffering of others. Lear himself rages until his sanity cracks. What, then, keeps bringing us back to King Lear? For all …

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Putting romance onstage, The Tempest gives us a magician, Prospero, a former duke of Milan who was displaced by his treacherous brother, Antonio. Prospero is exiled on an island, where his only companions are his daughter, Miranda, the spirit Ariel, and the monster Caliban. When his enemies are among those caught in a …

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William Shakespeare's Tragedy of Julius Caesar remains to this day one of the most powerful and well-written historical plays in history. Its ability to transport the audience into the past, to the time of Caesar, Brutus and all the other important protagonists who have made history in and outside Rome, still makes …

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In The Merchant of Venice, the path to marriage is hazardous. To win Portia, Bassanio must pass a test prescribed by her father’s will, choosing correctly among three caskets or chests. If he fails, he may never marry at all.Bassanio and Portia also face a magnificent villain, the moneylender Shylock. In creating …

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Much Ado About Nothing of the Ratna Sagar Shakespeare Series is enriched with complete text of the original play, plenty of short notes that explain and interpret the text, summary of each scene, as well as useful commentary on the life and times of Shakespeare, Elizabethan theatre, sources and genre, characters, …