Term Paper: William Shakespeare

By | April 28, 2011

Sample Term Paper

As time progressed Shakespeare moved on to more serious tragedies carrying within them lessons on greed, gluttony etc. These included Macbeth, King Lear and one of his more major ones Antony and Cleopatra that contained the same aforementioned elements of poetry and prose. From 1606-1607, his frequency of writing plays dropped and he stopped writing plays altogether by 1613. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church. He left a large part of his estate to his elder daughter Susana by will. His wife Anne was left the second best bed in the will, along with her automatic 1/3rd share. A monument was erected in his name sometime before 1623 on the north wall, though he has been the subject of many memorials and statues to his name since.

Shakespeare only gained true fame after his death, though he was plenty praised for his work during his lifetime. He was singled out by author and cleric Francis Meres in 1598 as the most excellent. Also amongst his admirers was Ben Jonson who called him Soul of the age, the applause, delight, and the wonder of our stage in the First Folio, a compilation of 36 of his plays. There were negative critics as well who argued that Shakespeare spoiled a genre by mixing the comic and the tragic. However, as time progressed, his fame grew within England and by the 18th century he had become renowned as a genius. By the 1800 he was recognized as the national poet. Towards the end of the18th and 19th century his fame had traveled abroad. He was enlarged in proportion to represent the pinnacle of writing prowess and the Victorians would display his plays on a grand scale. By the 20th century and in light of the modernist approach to literary arts, Shakespeare was held in just as high an esteem and with the help of the Quarto and the First Folio (compilations of his plays) was read with an eager eye addressing modern subjects of structuralism, feminism, queer studies and the likes.

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