Shakespeare was the most important English writer.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, probably in 1564 and his father was an important merchant. When he was very young he married Anne Hathaway and they had three children. Shakespeare went to London and he worked as an actor and as a playwright, in fact the people who wrote plays were called playwrights.
He, during his life, wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets and three longer poems.
All these sonnets were written to please two patrons:
- One up to 126 sonnets were written to a young boy;
- From 127 to 154 sonnet were addressed to a dark lady, who was a sensual lady, probably from Africa.
All sonnets don’t have the title, because Shakespeare used only the numbers and more scholars use like the title the first two lines.
All the 37 plays are conteined in The First Folio and all plays are divided into three categories:
- History Plays, that are usually set in England, these plays talk about Elizabeth I Tudor and about her ancestors. England in these plays always wins to highlight the strenght of this country;
- Comedies, where Shakespeare draw inspirations from the italian short stories of Petrarca and Boccaccio. In fact in these plays there are marriages, mistaken identities and have a happy ending. One example of Shakespeare’s comedies is The Merchant of Venice;
- Tragedies, where the main themes are the tragic destiny of mankind and human foolishness. One example of his tragedy is MacBeth.
The sonnet 130 is one of the most important sonnets. This sonnet does not have the title but it’s possible to use as the title the lines “My mistress eyes are nothin like the sun”.
This sonnet was addressed to a dark lady and this was a physical love and this type of love was totally different from Italian traditional love.
The writer in this sonnet used much irony because he described things that she didn’t have.
He said that her lips weren’t red as the coral, her cheeks weren’t like the roses and also he said that her voice wasn’t like the music.
The last two lines are so important because Shakespeare said that this love was rare and wonderful because he loved her for who she really was.
Di Alexander Prus