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Essays on William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is considered the greatest English writer and poet of all times and the world’s most renown dramatist. His plays are still the most frequently performed in theatres worldwide, outshining by far any other playwright. With about 39 plays, 154 sonnets, and a few other works, his legacy is . fairly considerable and a subject of exploration and continuous interpretations. Essays on Shakespeare works may focus on his characters and their struggles, on love, loyalty, fate, sacrifice identity, vengeance, human nature, the corrupting effect of power, etc. This makes them relevant for students even nowadays. Check out the essay samples in this rubric for additional topics and examples of good writing focused on Shakespeare’s works. Read more

Short Essay on William Shakespeare [100, 200, 400 Words] With PDF

William Shakespeare was one of the most eminent and probably the most famous poet of English Literature. His works have made him immortal. In this lesson today, you will learn how to write an essay on the greatest poet: William Shakespeare.

Short Essay on William Shakespeare in 100 Words

William Shakespeare is by far the best-known literary figure in the history of English literature. He is principally known for his dramas and sonnets that have enriched British literature by folds. As the contemporary of Kyd and Marlow, Shakespeare has innovated the classical theatrical stances and defined them according to his contemporary audience.

He has written several comedies, tragedies, and tragicomedies in his literary career. Some of his famous plays include Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and others. His sonnets are quite famous and are dedicated to two personalities- the Earl of Southampton and the dark lady. It is said that the great poet died on 23 April 1616.

Short Essay on William Shakespeare in 200 Words

‘’Bard of Avon’’ William Shakespeare is the master playwright and poet of Renaissance England. The perfect blending of a playwright and the poet makes his genius so captivating. His career spans over twenty-four years where he has gifted his audience and readers a bounty of productions. Shakespeare has re-defined the theatre and its heroes and heroines. His career has four distinct sections that mark out his prolific capacity.

In the beginning, he has composed history plays like Henry VI plays, Richard III and Richard II, Comedy of Errors, and Love’s Labour Lost. The second phase contains all his comedies like The Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, Twelfth Night. The third phase is that of tragedies that sees Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Julius Ceaser. The final stage is of lesser-known plays like Winter’s Tale and The Tempest.

The sonnets of Shakespeare are lyrical poems that evoke sense and sensibilities in the readers. His sonnets are divided into a binary section- the first 126 sonnets are addressed to Earl of Southampton, while the rest 127-152 are for the dark lady. Both the identities of these two figures are mysteries, yet the most beautiful poems of Shakespeare are composed over them. He even dedicates his last two sonnets to Cupid.

Short Essay on William Shakespeare in 400 Words

Little is known about William Shakespeare, one of the greatest names in the British canon of dramas and poems. His biography does not much reveal about his childhood or early occupation. Yet among his contemporaries, Shakespeare is by far the best literary personality of all times and centuries. He was said to be born in 1564 at the Stratford-upon-Avon of United Kingdom. Within this span of twenty-four years of a literary career, he has gifted the British and European canon with his enormous creative prospects that from time immemorial has been the object of criticisms and researches.

The literary career of Shakespeare is roughly divided into four segments.

FIRST PHASE- It includes the history plays of Shakespeare, where he experiments with several aspects of tragedy, comedy, and history. To this period belong his Henry VI plays, Comedy of Errors, Love’ Labour Lost, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and the only tragedy, Titus Andronicus.

SECOND PHASE- This includes his comedies and is one of the best moments of the playwright. To this belongs his greatest comedies and historical plays- The Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night, Merchant of Venice, As you Like It, and King John as the first historical play.

THIRD PHASE- This stage is called the stage of tragedies, where Shakespeare has given world-class tragedies including Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Julius Ceaser, and others.

FOURTH PHASE- The last phase of the playwright’s career has some lesser-known plays like The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. It is also in this stage that his sonnets are published in 1609.

Shakespeare’s sonnets are a significant aspect of his career as within the 14lines structure, he asserts a completely different style of address. Here it is not a beautiful lady, but a man and a woman of much darker complexion. The man is considered as Earl of Southampton (1-126) and the woman as Dark lady (127-152), although their identities are still a mystery. An unconventional method of sonnet writing is apparent here. He even dedicates two of the sonnets to Cupid. His poetic style is simple, sensuous, and passionate and is perfectly carried out in his poems. Shakespeare’s literary talent is profound and incomprehensible, yet a specimen of imperishable beauty.

Though we don’t have much information about his life, many researchers say that the greatest poet of all time William Shakespeare died on the 23rd of April, 1616 in the same city he was born.

In this lesson above, I have tried to picture the life of William Shakespeare within very limited words. Hopefully, after going through this session, you have understood how you can actually concise the story of such a vast life within your recommended words. If you still have any doubts, please let me know through some quick comments. If you want to read more such essays and other kinds of English compositions, keep browsing our website.

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William Shakespeare Essays

The Theme of Gender being Shown in Romeo & Juliet

Throughout history, society has been built on the gender roles of men and women. Women were supposed to be proper and submissive, while men were often viewed as hot headed and superior to women. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, takes place in Verona, Italy in the late sixteenth century. Two houses, […]

Macbeth: Style and Structure

Introduction William Shakespeare was a scriptwriter, poet and actor in England. He is highly revered and still considered to be their national poet today. He is one of the most well know writers of all times. His plays have been studied and reproduced infinite times throughout the world. The bulk of his work was done […]

Where Can we Find Hamlet in our Lives

To say that Hamlet bears no resemblance nor relevance to everyday people’s lives would be an uninformed statement. When further examined, the intuition into our current society that Hamlet provides becomes abundantly clear. For example, the many themes and motifs present in Shakespeare’s Hamlet parallel issues that are relevant in our current society. Themes such […]

Pages: 3 Words: 974 Topics: Deception, Hamlet, Health, Mental Disorder, Mental Health, Morality, William Shakespeare

Literary Devices Used Othello

In Othello by William Shakespeare, Othello considers and thinks about all his actions before going through with them. By analyzing his soliloquies, we can understand his thoughts, and his reasons behind his actions. In act 5 scene 2 the first soliloquy Othello contemplated him killing his wife. This monologue gives you an inside scoop of […]

Macbeth: the Psychological Effects of Guilt

Guilt plays a large role in human society and how humans work. It’s a powerful feeling and if it gets put on the back burner, it might just explode. An example of this is Macbeth by William Shakespeare. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth slowly lets her guilty conscience eat at her sanity before she goes crazy. […]

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Relationships in the Tempest by Shakespeare

“The Tempest was written around 1610 and is considered Shakespeare’s final play as well as the last of his romance plays. In The Tempest, power and control are predominant themes. Many of the characters are struggling for their freedom which forces some characters to misuse their power. Prospero sustains a great deal of power throughout […]

Shakespeare’s Madness Within Hamlet and King Lear

How do you know if a person has gone mad? How do you know if a person is telling the truth? What about intention? Nowadays, we have psychologists, therapists and all kinds of doctors that help to diagnose mental illness. We are now aware of the different types of “craziness” that a person can be. […]

Seeing Love: a Reflection on King Lear

A tragedy is normally defined as a play that follows the series of events that lead to the downfall of a hero. King Lear is no exception to this rule. It shows the destruction and downfall of King Lear and the people who presided under him. Lear is an old man who seeks to retire […]

The Theme of Rivalry in Romeo and Juliet

In every long-lasting pursuance, there must be challenges faced in the process. Romeo and Juliet are strongly in love, and challenges are seen in their love life. These challenges make their life together in the future almost impossible. As such, the theme of rivalry is evident throughout Romeo and Juliet’s love story. Shakespeare’s Romeo and […]

Racialization in “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare

Racialization, “the act or process of imbuing a person with a consciousness of race distinctions or of giving a racial character to something or making it serve racist ends” (Merriam Webster). While it still remains a problem of racial identity on different countries, people are living in a civilized area where there is no racism […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1420 Topics: Critical Theory, Prejudice And Discrimination, Racism, Social Issues, The Tempest, William Shakespeare

Idea of a “Great Chain of Being” by William Shakespeare

During the period in which Shakespeare lived and wrote, there was a widely held belief in the idea of a ‘Great Chain of Being’, which asserted that “…every existing thing in the universe had its “place” in a divinely planned hierarchical order…”. With its constant references to hierarchy and social order, the narrative of Shakespeare’s […]

King Lear is a Tragedy Written by William Shakespeare

“The play follows the final years of King Lear’s life in which he decides the heirs to his kingdom and reaps the consequences of his foolish choice. The play is very dramatic as many characters become either metaphorically or physically blind. King Lear blindly and foolishly gives his kingdom to his two evil daughters ultimately […]

King Lear, by William Shakespeare, is a Tragic Play

“King Lear, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play about a king and his three daughters. King Lear has three daughters: Goneril, the eldest, Regan, the middle child, and Cordelia, the youngest and most beloved by Lear. Both Goneril and Regan are married to men of power respectively: Duke of Albany and Duke of Cornwall. […]

Shakespeare Plays and Sonnets

Even if you haven’t read Shakespeare there is a good chance you can quote it. Who hasn’t said,” To be, or not to be, that is the question.”? This famous opening of Hamlet could be one of the most famous lines in literature history. Most of Shakespeare’s works were created in the late 16th century. […]

Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

William Shakespeare’s Sonnets is a collection of 154 poems that are delicate yet powerful in their ever-intimate tone. It is unknown whether Shakespeare wrote the collection of sonnets in an auto-biographical form or if they are merely fiction. Regardless of the intention, it cannot be denied that the collection of sonnets takes on a tone […]

Shakespeare in Love

The film depicts a fictional novel featuring playwright William Shakespeare ( Joseph Fiennes ) and Viola de Lesseps ( Gwyneth Paltrow) when Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. Some characters are based on historical figures, and many characters, lines and plot techniques refer to Shakespeare’s plays. Shakespeare in Love received positive reviews from critics and […]

Shakespeare and Mistaken Identity Struggles

During the era of Shakespeare, often, his plays exposed controversial topics in casual ways masked with humor and entertainment. Within his time of popularity, Queen Elizabeth allowed theater and drama to flourish. Yet, she forbade political and religious topics to be a subject of conversation on stage (Stigler). However, ‘mistaken identity’- a heated political topic […]

In William Shakespeare’s Tragedy

The Taming of the Shrew, many readers question the importance of the induction that Shakespeare included. The induction consists of characters that are introduced only for a few pages, while the actual play is a play within the induction. Since the induction is not referenced again, many believe that it is unnecessary and pointless. While […]

Shakespeare in Love Movie Review

The young and spirited Viola De Lessep (played by Gwyneth Paltrow)is but a fictional cinematic creation. Many Shakespeare scholars claim Anne Hathaway was the light, love and muse during Shakespeare’s entire adult life. There is a great scene where the Queen exclaims that a playwright has finally portrayed true love, exalting Romeo and Juliet’s as a timeless play […]

William Shakespeare about the Overthrow of Julius Caesar

Speeches are made for many reasons, the main is to persuade an audience. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare, is a play about the overthrow of Julius Caesar by his conspirators. Following the death of Caesar, Mark Antonius, Caesars prodigee, delivers a very persuasive speech in the most indirect way. Antony’s tone, […]

King Lear by William Shakespeare is a Confusing

“King Lear, by William Shakespeare is a confusing and convoluted tragedy about a king with three daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia, who doesn’t like the truth when he here’s it. Because it Is written in 17 century English, (it felt like I was trying to read Gaelic for the first time) it is extremely difficult […]

Themes of Omens and Superstitions in Julius Caesar

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. This play has many omens and superstitions, they play a very prominent role that moves the story along drastically. Some examples of these superstitious are the Feast of Lupercal, the soothsayer, Calphurnia’s dream, and the strange occurrences described at the end of act one. The Feast of […]

Hamlet and Ophelia Relationship

Revenge is an emotion that everyone will feel at some point in their life because it is natural. The article Payback Time: Why Revenge Tastes So Sweet, by Benedict Carey, explains why humans feel the need for revenge, and how it brings them happiness and a feeling of completeness. According to Carey in his article, […]

Shakespeare’s King Henry IV

The idea of honor was born in the tenth century, most commonly known as the Elizabethan Era. It was nobel mean who earned their honor by battling in war and returning home alive. However, in King Henry IV, Shakespeare does not explicitly give the audience a definition as they are multiple characters who define honor […]

Macbeth’s Character Development Throughout the Play

William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth develops the theme of the inescapability of fate througt the prophecies relating to the drama’s main character, the conflict between Macbeth and Banquo, and the apparitions. The first way Shakespeare develops the theme of fate’s inescapability is through the main character, Macbeth. Shakespeare opens the play by showing men struggling to […]

Laertes Vs Hamlet Character Analysis

Hamlet and Laertes are characters that William Shakespeare utilized in his play entitled Hamlet. The setting of this play is in Denmark. The fundamental characters in the play incorporate Claudius (ruler of Denmark), Hamlet (otherwise called sovereign Hamlet and the child of the expired lord Hamlet and Queen Gertrude), Gertrude (sovereign of Denmark), Polonius (Lord […]

Betrayal in the Tempest

Betrayal, unwavering ness, vengeance, and compromise are the head, interconnected subjects of The Tempest. Prospero aches for the rebuilding of his dukedom; since his sibling sold out him, he is propelled as much by a craving for vengeance concerning his and his girl’s recovering their legitimate spot. Caliban too feels double-crossed by Prospero on the […]

Imagery in Macbeth

In the tragedy Macbeth, which was written as the last of the four great tragedies, Shakespeare gives the most complete characterization of a person who consciously and invariably puts what expresses his own interests above the interests of those around him. The tragedy is based on the Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland by R. […]

William Shakespeare: Hamlet Tragic Hero

Someone once said, “Grief is like living two lives. One is where you “pretend” everything is alright, and the other is where your heart silently screams in pain” (Unknown Author). In William Shakespeare’s playwright, Hamlet, the main character undergoes situations of dealing with the loss of his father. Hamlet is lost and is seeking answers […]

Colonization in the Tempest

Imperialism started significantly sooner with the revelation of America. It was a major issue during Shakespeare’s time. The opening up of new wildernesses and new land being found invigorated European data. Shakespeare’s creative mind has considered this. Investigation of new geological spaces and control of those terrains by the travelers is essentially what we know […]

About William Shakespeare

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Essay About William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was a genius, and, in some respects, he still is. His work changed the way writers considered their craft. He created new phrases that no one had ever thought to use before, some even containing new words that no one had ever used or heard of. Almost all of his sonnets embody elements of love, lust, and sexual desire, but one, in particular, makes fun of this. Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 130,’ tells about a certain ‘mistress’ of Shakespeare’s, comparing her to various objects and items, some crude, and talking about how her beauty doesn’t add up to any of them. However, at the end of the poem, Shakespeare includes a couplet that makes up for his insults about his mistress, writing ‘I think my love as rare as any belied with false compare’ (line 13-14), seemingly negating what he wrote earlier in the poem and repairing the negative remarks. William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was just 18 years old. She was about 8 years older than he (Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s Wife.), and she was also pregnant. With it being socially unacceptable for a woman to be pregnant and not married at the time, neither had much choice in the matter of marriage. They had three children together: Hamnet, Susanna, and Judith. Hamnet died when he was only 11, but Susanna and Judith lived on and had children of their own. Shakespeare died when he was only 52 years old, and his wife died when she was 67.
Anne Hathaway was rumored to be a somewhat ugly woman, even though there are no known portraits that exist of her, nor of Shakespeare for that matter. With that, it is safe to presume that ‘Sonnet 130’ is actually about Hathaway, coupled with the fact that there is no knowledge of Shakespeare having relations with any woman other than Hathaway. It is, however, important to mention that he might have had sexual relations with ‘The Dark Lady’, a character mentioned in Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Ciccarelli), but of course, none of it has been proven. From sonnets 127 to 154, Shakespeare writes about this ‘Dark Lady’. Although she is never referred to by that name, scholars have given it to her regarding her described dark features and dark nature. While many of these sonnets allude to an adulterous relationship with this woman, Shakespeare dislikes the fact that he continues relations with her despite the fact that he knows how toxic the relationship is. The sonnet begins by commenting on the eyes of his mistress, saying that they ‘are nothing like the sun’ (line 1). Shakespeare then goes on to further criticize his mistress, saying that her hair is comparable to black wires, her breath reeks, and her voice is far less pleasing than music (lines 4, 8, and 9-10). It is unknown if he is actually speaking about Anne Hathaway or the mysterious Dark Lady, but one might consider the latter, bearing in mind that this was written during the period when Shakespeare was supposedly writing about her. But this sonnet is different. Shakespeare notes at the end of the sonnet that she, whoever she may be, is his love, writing ‘I think my love as rare’ (line 13).
He would not have referenced the Dark Lady in this line, as he realizes that she is not good for him and would not refer to her as his ‘love’, therefore making it more reasonable for him to be referring to his wife in this particular sonnet. Whether it is an aside about his wife, taking a sort of ‘breather’ from this sequence of sonnets about the Dark Lady, or simply a continuation of his toxic-like sonnets about the aforementioned person, the end of the sonnet still praises his mistress. He ends the sonnet by contradicting everything else he’s written thus far. Shakespeare speaks about his love is as rare as any relationship, basically making it not rare at all, which could be his one last call to the rudeness of the sonnet and making the ending seem weak. However, after reading the final line, one understands that this is not the case. With the equal reading of the two lines, one can tell that he thinks his love to be ‘as rare as any woman who has been misrepresented by ridiculous comparisons’ (Mabillard). He believes her to be a fine woman whom he loves just the way she is. There is no embellishment needed for Shakespeare, as he is already in love with the woman.

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