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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon. He was born in a middle class family. In fact his father was a gloves merchant. Shakespeare wasn’t very erudite. When he was only 18, he married Anne Hathaway, because she was in pregnant of their daughter. They had two twins, too. But, he wasn’t bound to his family. So, he decided to leave Stratford. He went to London when he tried to became an actor. But he was refused because of his little talent. Fist, he held horses to the nobles who went to the theater. Then, he became an excellent writer. He became very reach, so he bought a part of the Globe Theatre and built the biggest cottage in Stratford. He died in 1616.
Shakespeare wrote plays and sonnets. The sonnets are divided in two parts: the first, dedicated to a Fair Youth, probably his patron’s son, the second, dedicated to a mysterious “Dark Lady”, whose identity is unknown. He wrote tragedies, comedies and history plays. His characters represent many passions, while Marlowe’s characters examine a single passion, which is analyzed by the author. Shakespeare introduced English Sonnet, which consist of three quatrains and a couplet, while the Italian sonnet was formed from two quatrains and two triplets. His masterpieces are Hamlet, Othello, the Merchant of Venice, Machbeth, The Tempest.

Hamlet
Hamlet was the son of the king of Denmark. His father had died and his mother, Queen Gertrude, married his uncle, Claudius. One day, a ghost appeared to Hamlet at the castle of Elsinore. Hamlet knew that was his father’s ghost. The ghost told him that he was killed with a poison by his brother Claudius. So hamlet swore the avenge his father’s death. Hamlet pretended that he is mad. He pretended that he didn’t know his girlfriend Ofelia, who killed herself in despair. Claudius tried to kill Hamlet, but he not succeeded. Hamlet asked to put on a show which represented his father’s death. Claudius and Gertrude understood everything. Hamlet and Claudius fought a duel, but both died. Laerte, Hamlet’s best friend, was the only one to stay alive.


The Merchant of Venice
The merchant of Venice was written about 1597. It’s a comedy divided in five acts. The main character is Antonio, a rich merchant of Venice, who has invested all his money in foreign trade. His friend Bassanio asks Antonio for money (3000 ducats) to woo the wealthy Portia. So, Antonio borrows the money to the Jew usurer Shylock. He says that he will take a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body if he don't pay the sum on the appointed day. Bassanio, with a successful, get the hand of Portia. His friend Graziano marries Nerissa, Portia's maid. Meanwhile, Jessica, Shylock's daughter, elopes with Lorenzo, a friend of Bassanio and Antonio. Antonio can’t pay the debt because his ships are wrecked. Shylock demands his pound of flesh. Portia, disguised as a lawyer, defend in front of the Duke of Venice Antonio and saves him. The Duke confiscate the goods of Shylock and gives them to Lorenzo and Jessica. Antonio's ships return to port.

Macbeth
Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, coming back from a battle with his friend Banquo, met three witches who foretold him that he would become Thane of Cawdor and then King.
The King, Duncan, stayed to Macbeth’s house, and that same night Macbeth killed him, with the help of his wife.
Malcolm and Donalbain, Duncan’s sons, ran away from Scotland.
So, Macbeth became King.
The witches had foretold that he would be king, until the forest Birngam would move against him.
The moving wood was MacDuff’s army whose men had taken branches from the trees to disguise themselves.
In the end, after Macbeth’s death, Lady Macbeth went mad and killed herself.

The Tempest
Prospero, Duke of Milan, is left on an island with his daughter Miranda. Here they meet Caliban, the son of the witch Sycorax. Prospero learns magic and takes possession of the island. He unleashes a storm and wrecks a ship carrying Alonso, King of Naples, his son Ferdinand, Antonio, Prospero's brother. Ferdinand and Miranda fall in love. Prospero gives Miranda to Ferdinand in marriage and forgive the brother who had taken possession of the duchy. Prospero renounces magic and set sail for Italy, leaving Caliban alone and in despair.

Othello
Othello is a Moorish general in the service of the Venetian Republic. He’s a beautiful and brave young man and he fall in love with Desdemona, the daughter of the senator of Venice. But Othello is very jealous. So Iago, who aspires to the throne, steals from Desdemona a handkerchief with the help of his wife Emilia. He makes believe Othello that Desdemona betraying him with Cassio. So, Othello kills Desdemona, despite she’s innocent. When he discover that Desdemona is innocent, he kills himself. Then, Cassio kills Iago.

Othello is a tragedy that seem to be written by Marlowe, because there’s a only one theme.

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