English Theatre Week #2: Shakespeare shaken, not stirred.

ENGLISH THEATRE WEEK                                       Klingers Kulturpavillon

TUESDAY 10/18/2016

 

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Shakespeare´s early work

Let´s have a short introduction:

Yesterday we were talking about Shakespeare´s life. So today we are going to have a look at his career and work, before we start with some Investigation and critical Reviews of some of his timeless and incredible plays, which are currently on schedule of famous playhouses.

And now to:

Shakespeare in his early years: He wrote comedies and histories, too. His era was the Elizabethan Era, and comedies were very wild and also often a bit challenging to actors. Shakespeares plays were and of course, are highly popular. He often referred to italian culture, by especially two of his plays: „The Two Gentlemen of Verona“, and „The Merchant of Venice“. „The Two Gentlemen of Verona“ (1589) was Shakespeare´s first recorded (theatrical) play. „The Two Gentlemen of Verona“ was followed by „The Taming of the Shrew“ (1590), which is also a very popular play. Also in his early years, he did „Henry VI“, „Titus Andronicus“, „Richard III“, and „Edward III“. He did take advantage of kings, too.

In 1594, there was „The Comedy of Errors“, which was absolutely hilarious. Then, in the „best years“ of the poet, the all-star-story „Romeo and Juliet“ (1595). This Story (and the play) became so popular that even nowadays, tourists want to visit Juliet´s balcony, „Casa di Giulietta“, in Verona/Italy. And every pupil has to read „Romeo and Juliet“, of course. But „Romeo and Juliet“ is not an ordinary piece of art, as we would know it. It is much more of giving access to innermost thoughts and feelings (this includes men and women).

Another very special „dream“ is the one: „A Midsummer Night´s Dream“ (1595). This comedy is set in Athens, Greece, and in a cursed wood. The marriage of king and queen is also a popular theme, and the setting is just magnificent. „What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?“ is one really suitable question too. Maybe Shakespeare thought that we are a little too convinced of beautiful men and women, and that beauty is or was the most important thing when it comes to bounds.

„The Merchant of Venice“ (1597) is based on friendship, the timeless Money lending business, love and of course, religion. Partly, this piece of art is set in Venice, but important scenes are set in Belmont, the story is based on novel No. 195 from „Gesta Romanorum“ – „The doings of Romans“.

 

Tomorrow: Read the first review of the week of one of the plays described here.