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Janine Oneal

William Shakespeare was born in April of 1564 in Stratford-uponAvon, Warwickshire, England. He was an English poet, dramatist, and actor. Often referred to as an English national poet, he is considered to be the greatest dramatist of all time. He holds a unique position in the world of literature, with no writer living or deceased holding a reputation quite like his. Shakespeares writing career started somewhere around the late 16th to early 17th century. Now they are performed and read in dozens of countries all across the world. (Britannica 1) Shakespeare was first introduced to the world of theatre at a very young age. As a child his father would take him to see play upon play, with traveling troupes of actors would come to town. These early exposures lead to the creation of imaginative visions of pathos and mirth. Whether his plays were witnessed or read, it would lead ones mind to wonder of what greatness that truly lied ahead. In 1582, at the tender age of 18, it is noted that Shakespeare was wed to Anna Hathaway when she was 26. The exact date of marriage is uncertain, but the issuing date of the marriage certificate was November

27, 1582. To this union came a daughter who was named Susanna in May of 1583. Shortly thereafter, followed the birth of twins, Hamnet and Judith in January of 1583. 11 years later came the death of his only son Hamnet from causes not listed. Shakespeare began writing historically around 1589 with Henry VI part1. His plays are often categorized as comedies, histories, and tragedies. An argument was made for a fourth category to be romance. Histories are centered on the lives of English kings. Shakespeare lived during the tenure of Elizabeth I, who was the last of the identity of the Tudor dynasty. The Shakespearean English history plays told of the countrys history at a time when the English nation was struggling with its own sense of national identity and experiencing a new sense of power. (Britannica 20) Shakespeare is an important literary figure because without his outstanding literary concept of poetry and playwrights, the English and American literature as we know it today would not exist. Shakespeare has made an impact to bring together medieval and classical literature into modern day times. His intellectual capacity and ability to perceive various literary concepts and make them his own has brought English literature a long way .

A midsummer nights dream is a comedy written in five acts based on the examination of love and its vagaries. It is one of Shakespeares most popular plays. The theme of this play to me shows the dark side of love. This play shows love from different views and angles. The characters in this play believe in romance and realism. "The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of imagination all compact." This can be translated as a person who is crazy, someone in love, and poets who all have vivid imaginations. (Intro to Literature) The theme of the play seems like a magical adventure based on the imaginations of the characters. It helps us to appreciate the forces between magic, love and humor, while reminding us of the dangers of night and the struggles we as humans endure in our purist of love and happiness. Based on the readings from the text, a midsummer nights dream is considered one of Shakespeares apprentice plays. That means the work of a young writer just beginning to find his own voice. (Intro to Literature 1685) A midsummer nights dream captivates several marriages between young lovers. This play introduces us to the Athenian craftsmen led by the fittingly named Bottom. It begins with a duke and a father provoking a group of young Athenians to rebel against them and ending with various marriages. I found three popular passges from this reading that were of very p r o f o u n d i n t e r e s t t o m e . Tis but an hour ago since it was nine, And after one hour more 'twill
be eleven. And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, And then from hour to hour we rot and rot; And

thereby hangs a tale.

What I can gather from this passage is that it is referring

to the cycle of nature. We are ripened to age but of course born to die. The ending of the passge can be looked upon as meaning the end of something. Maybe life or a journey, and that can depend upon how the reader may want to interpret it. Now the wasted brands do glow, Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, Puts the wretch, that
lies in woe, In remembrance of a shroud. Now it is the time of night, That the graves, all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite, In the church-way paths to glide.

This can be interpreted as

the running down of human life. The images portrayed in the text are of sickness and death. I hate him for he is a Christian ; But more for that in low simplicity He lends out money gratis,
and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice. If I can catch him once upon the hip, I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.

When thinking of how to interpret this Antonio leads out

passage, one must try to have the mind of Skylock.

money without adding interste to it. This in turn reduces the profit for Skylock. This causes Skylock to hold a grudge against Antonio because of their differences in how they lend money.

I chose to write about William Shakespeare because of his many contributions to literature. His name means much more than just a poet or a playwright. His presence is felt around the world through not only reading but witnessing his works. His literary works have become part of the English language that they are no longer just his works.