Harvard Classics Volume 40

Harvard Classics Volume 40

by John SucklingThomas Nashe William Shakespeare and others

Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe) Publication Date: 06/09/2017

  $1.99

Contents: 1. Use Preview To See Table of Contents Inside Also available: The Complete Harvard Classics Collection (51 Volumes + The Harvard Classic Shelf Of Fiction) 50 Masterpieces You Have To Read Before You Die (Golden Deer Classics)

ISBN:
9782377934294
9782377934294
Category:
Short stories
Format:
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date:
06-09-2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
Oregan Publishing
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. The date of his birth is unknown but is celebrated on 23 April, which happens to be St George's Day, and the day in 1616 on which Shakespeare died.

Aged eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. They had three children. Around 1585 William joined an acting troupe on tour in Stratford from London, and thereafter spent much of his life in the capital. By 1595 he had written five of his history plays, six comedies and his first tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. In all, he wrote thirty-seven plays and much poetry, and earned enormous fame in his own lifetime in prelude to his immortality.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to be buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.

While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, and astronomer, composing a scientific treatise on the astrolabe for his ten-year-old son Lewis, Chaucer also maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Among his many works, which include The Book of the Duchess, the House of Fame, the Legend of Good Women and Troilus and Criseyde. He is best known today for The Canterbury Tales.

Chaucer was a crucial figure in developing the legitimacy of the vernacular, Middle English, at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin.  

Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe (1564-93) was an English playwright and poet, who through his establishment of blank verse as a medium for drama did much to free the Elizabethan theatre from the constraints of the medieval and Tudor dramatic tradition.

His first play Tamburlaine the Great, was performed that same year, probably by the Admiral's Men with Edward Alleyn in the lead. With its swaggering power-hungry title character and gorgeous verse the play proved to be enormously popular; Marlowe quickly wrote a second part, which may have been produced later that year. Marlowe's most famous play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, based on the medieval German legend of the scholar who sold his soul to the devil, was probably written and produced by 1590, although it was not published until 1604. Historically the play is important for utilizing the soliloquy as an aid to character analysis and development.

The Jew of Malta (c. 1590) has another unscrupulous aspiring character at its centre in the Machiavellian Barabas. Edward II (c. 1592), which may have influenced Shakespeare's Richard II, was highly innovatory in its treatment of a historical character and formed an important break with the more simplistic chronicle plays that had preceded it.

Marlowe also wrote two lesser plays, Dido, Queen of Carthage (date unknown) and The Massacre at Paris (1593), based on contemporary events in France. Marlowe was killed in a London tavern in May 1593. Although Marlowe's writing career lasted for only six years, his four major plays make him easily the most important predecessor of Shakespeare.

Robert Greene

Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and The Art of Seduction (both from Profile), has a degree in Classical Studies and has been an editor at Esquire and other magazines.

He is also a playwright and lives in Los Angeles.

Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was the pre-eminent poet of his day, and is most famous for his mockheroic poem The Rape of the Lock. With John Gay, Jonathan Swift and John Arbuthnot, he formed the Scriblerus Club

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