A Brilliant And Scary Mind Of William Shakespeare

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“Parting is such a sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodnight, ‘til it be ‘morrow.” This line is derived from perhaps one of the most famous plays of all generations. That play is none other than William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This literary work is the exact reason that I chose to write about this incredible and outdated writer.

I always found myself arguing with the paper before me, asking myself if I enjoyed or despised this play. On one hand, it was a piece about blind and passionate love, giving a perspective on a romance that consumes and drives your purpose. It was a love story where the reader could ask themselves how far they would be willing to go for the ones they loved. However, on the other hand, it was about blind and immature love, giving idea that love, where you are consumed to literal death, was okay because it was a once in a lifetime passion. Not to mention, despite being common for the middle ages, the age gap still bothered me. Romeo was in his twenty’s, while Juliet was only 13 years of age.

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William Shakespeare was born in Stratford, England around April 23, 1564. Birth records were not very well kept back then, so it is hard to say for sure. However, according to public record, this was the day he was baptized, and children were baptized as soon as possible after their birth. He was born to John and Mary Shakespeare. As it was with the times, dying young was not uncommon. Shakespeare had two sisters who died in infancy and would later come to have three younger brothers and two younger sisters, one of whom passed at the age of seven. Shakespeare’s father worked as very successful leatherworker, making expensive white leather. As a businessman, he married Mary Arden, and rose to become the town bailiff when his oldest son was five.

Common with the time period, Shakespeare and his siblings were raised on a very strict upbringing. They rose early, waited on their parents, kept silent unless spoken to, and respected elders and strangers. The one thing that their parents did change was their education. Despite never having one, they did ultimately decide to introduce their children to an education. As the son of a wealthy public figure, William Shakespeare attended Stratford’s Grammar School, where he learned grammar, memorization, acting, and writing. However, Shakespeare did receive his education for free. As the new headmaster was paid a much higher salary than others, it attracted the attention of top professors and smart pupils, and education was offered to children of citizens of Stratford for free. The education provided, however, was intense. The students learned and memorized a Latin grammar book before full understanding the language and were meant to learn it verbally and intellectually.

When William Shakespeare was 18-years-old, he married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway in the year 1582. This was the only other public record kept on Shakespeare in the city of Stratford. She was already expecting their first child together, Susanna. In 1585, the two became parents to twins, Judith and Hamnet. In 1587, Shakespeare moved to London to pursue and a career in theatre and literature, although his wife and children did not come with him. After Queen Elizabeth’s death, England entered a tragedy period, where Shakespeare’s work took in a dark and unsettling portrayal. Shakespeare moved back to Stratford. His only son, Hamnet, died at the age of eleven. Susanna went on the marry a Stratford doctor, and the couple had a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1608. In 1616, shortly before his death, Judith married, and Stratford vintner, and the family died promptly ended.

In the span of 52 years, William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. While in the 16th and 17th centuries, the language introduced to England culture was new and exciting, the language makes up 10% of todays vocabulary. Examples include elbow, bedroom, label, drawn, and lonely. Shakespeare created about 1700 words used in today’s English language.

Shakespeare also raised awareness about prejudice and tolerance. Othello was written before the slave trade and was perceived in a completely different light then today. “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram/ Is tupping your white ewe. / Arise, arise! Awake the snorting citizens with the bell/ Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. / Arise, I say!” This stanza brings attention to race discrimination, where black citizens are compared to animal-like with hyper-sexuality. Shakespeare starts a controversy with ideas of discrimination and inequality.

Shakespeare had influence on today’s psychology. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory tries to explain rationalization for oppressed occurrences. Freud developed the idea of the id, ego, and superego. Rather, the unconscious, unconscious, and morality. His most controversial theory is the Oedipus complex, referring to Greek mythology’s Oedipus, who unconsciously killed his father and then tried to marry his mother. This relates to Shakespeare’s work Hamlet; whose uncle kills his father and then marries his mother. The ghost of Hamlet’s father comes back and demands Hamlet to take vengeance for his death, and Hamlet decides to do so upon proof that his uncle his guilty. This relates to Freud’s work as his Freud analyzed the struggle between the ego and the superego. “And so, he goes to Heaven, / And so am I (revenged.) That would be scanned:/ A villain kills my father, and for that, /I, his sole son, do this same villain send/ To Heaven. / Why, this is (hire) and (salary), not revenge.” Hamlet realizes that killing his uncle would be like killing himself, as he to repress a desire to sleep with his own mother.

One of the biggest reasons that Shakespeare is so widely taught in schools is because of his high intellectual ability to understand human emotion. The depth to which he expresses human emotion and unparalleled relationships between people is something that connects with everyone in all scholastic levels. Shakespeare’s work has recently been added to autistic therapy to help children on the autistic spectrum.

Shakespeare had a brilliant and scary mind, and an intellectual level far beyond his era. He was wise and fully recognized for what he could do with words. Shakespeare will perhaps forever be one the greatest influences in history on literary and theatrical work.   


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