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So, this is a thread about the dude who might be my favorite content creator of any medium of any genre of any era: William Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
If you have ever endeavored to learn English in the first world, you've almost certainly read some of these:
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.
The Tragedy of Macbeth (commonly called Macbeth) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare about a man who commits regicide so as to become king and then commits further murders to maintain his power. The play clearly demonstrates the corrupting effect of ambition, but also deals with the relationship between cruelty and masculinity, tyranny and kingship, treachery, violence, guilt, prophecy, and disruption of the natural order.
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign, Iago. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy, and betrayal, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres alike and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.
Thankfully my school curriculum had me read all of these! And a few others, but I think these are probably the three most commonly assigned to American students. Or maybe you didn't read any of them. You might have seen them performed on stage or in film.
For me personally, Shakespeare changed my life. As English is not one of my first languages, I struggled mightily (and felt a lot of alienation and insecurity) upon moving somewhere that eschewed everything else. I spent years trying to punch above my grade and read American and English classics. I read the dictionary. I read the encyclopedia. I tried to do anything I could- I threw it all at the wall, hoping that some of it would stick. None of it did. I was too young, and my grasp on the language was too tenuous.
And then I read Shakespeare. I don't know! Maybe it was just the right place and the right time. I was comfortable enough with the language that I could perceive wordplay and follow along with allusion and foreshadowing. I could predict and truncate things in my head. It might be sheer luck that his were the first works to penetrate my brainmeats. But I don't know; I don't really care. William Shakespeare gave me a lifelong appreciation for cleverness, wit, communication, complexity, interplay, and drama. I love him!
1) what do you all think of the dude
2) questions of authorship can eat my butt and find another thread