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What do you most admire about Shakespeare's life?What do you most admire about...

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goodperson | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:19 AM via web

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What do you most admire about Shakespeare's life?

What do you most admire about Shakespeare's life?

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drrb | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:54 AM (Answer #2)

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Shakespeare's life was a fable, mostly shrouded in a mystery. His writings do not tell us much about his personal life. Arnold beautifully wrote: 'All abide our question /Thou art free'. His sonnets which reveal a few personal facts are like a detective story in which the last chapter where all mysteries are solved is lost. Such a life is ever inspiring. Keats , the great English romantic poet was fascinated by Shakespeare. He wanted to become a great poet like Shakespeare. But I am not Keats nor a great poet like him. I felt fascinated by the objectivity of Shakespearean writings. He was so passionate in his dramas, yet he was never self-revealing. He  mingles his personal experiences with the universal. His keen insight into human life is so engaging that I read his dramas ever and ever again. He was a man. But he could easily depict female character so truly and so accurately.His poems on love were poems on friendship. He could easily defy the traditional and yet so innovatively create the new tradition of his own. What he touches , it is a Midas touch making everything golden. Shakespeare never boasted of his scholarship like Jonson. But he was so great scholarly in his dramas and poetry. He never was hurt people  and even in his depiction of the villains he was not aggressive. His satire was poetic and it was basically humour , meaning a sympathy with the seamy side of things. All these are qualties to be emulated in life. I try to follow his life. He came to London as a penniless person and he left London as one of  wealthiest man . But he did not go to any city of luxury , he retired to his Stratford of Avon, to enjoy the serene life in the idyllic background. Any man can emulate the life of Shakespeare the man even if he cannot dare to emulate the life of Shakespeare the poet. It is ever inspiring. In my childhood I did not exactly like the bald headed picture of Shakespeare. but his tales retold by Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb gave me a endless inspiration to become a writer. Today I am not teacher but it is his writings that still rejuvenate me when I am morose or depressed.

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dstuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:19 AM (Answer #3)

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Concerning your question about Shakespeare's life, I think we should be careful about idealizing his life.  For instance, Shakespeare was very much a business man.  This is in itself neither good nor bad.  He seems to have been a pretty good one.  He invested in property and eventually was able to get his family name crested, if that is the correct term. 

He seems to have been in a bad marriage.  Some say evidence suggests he developed relationships in London and that he may have been bisexual.  He lost a child early in the child's life.  He must have worked painfully long hours.  He was a human the same as any other human. 

Shakespeare worship doesn't add to our understanding of him and his works, it gets in the way of it.  He was a master writer the same way a surgeon can be a master surgeon.   

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goodperson | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:39 AM (Answer #4)

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thnks for all ur opinion~~~

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nusratfarah | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted February 16, 2010 at 1:47 PM (Answer #5)

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Two most admirable aspects of Shakespeare's life to me are:

(a) His ability to come out as a world's one of the few greatest talents from a poor, uneducated family background.

(b) His ability to remain as much objective in his writings as possible. He is hardly partial to any particular race, age, gender or issue.

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goodperson | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2010 at 5:16 PM (Answer #6)

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Two most admirable aspects of Shakespeare's life to me are:

(a) His ability to come out as a world's one of the few greatest talents from a poor, uneducated family background.

(b) His ability to remain as much objective in his writings as possible. He is hardly partial to any particular race, age, gender or issue.

can u elaborate~thnk you  (@_@)

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nusratfarah | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:41 AM (Answer #7)

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Two most admirable aspects of Shakespeare's life to me are:

(a) His ability to come out as a world's one of the few greatest talents from a poor, uneducated family background.

(b) His ability to remain as much objective in his writings as possible. He is hardly partial to any particular race, age, gender or issue.

can u elaborate~thnk you  (@_@)

Yes, I can for your better understanding.

Shakespeare is great. And even if he wrote for money, since his aim was to earn livings for his family and himself, his talents did not become overshadowed by the material power. He was a poor ordinary fellow in his real life, and wrote plays for the sake of money chiefly. But do we find any single proof in his plays or poems that his brilliance ever compromised with riches? That was my first admiration.

Milton, as Eliot says, was affected by dissociation of sensibility- only head, no heart; Eliot himself was biased to traditions, Metaphysical poets were biased to sensuality, Romantic poets negated Realism, but it is Shakespeare where we can find almost all sorts of variations & diversities. Don't we? Can you yourself name another great writer who produced so many legendary comedies, tragedies and poems at a time so brilliantly? In fact, he is not partial to any gender or age. He was humanist. He never degenerates any particular gender. Rather, in many of his plays, we find women playing the lead role. His Othello, who is a black, is portrayed as a great human while all know how blacks were treated at his age. This impartial attitude of him was my second admiration.

OK now?

 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:51 AM (Answer #8)

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Aside from his beautiful use of the English language, I have a more personal admiration for Shakespeare since we both share the same birthday--April 23. Interestingly, the Bard also died on the same date.

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drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 18, 2010 at 10:45 AM (Answer #9)

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Shakespeare has achieved the amazing feat of standing at the pinnacle of Western literature. As an English major, I treasured my semester-long Shakespeare course and could have gladly taken more, if they had been offered. One of my goals in life is, before I die, to have read every one of Shakespeare's works. He is truly a giant of literature, possibly the greatest writer ever to put pen to parchment.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted February 21, 2010 at 11:47 AM (Answer #10)

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The thing I admire most about Shakespeare is that he was able to indulge his craft as a writer and provide the world with works of art that have lasted far longer than perhaps even he imagined they could.

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mshurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:13 PM (Answer #11)

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Besides admiring Shakespeare's amazing literary creations and the sheer volume and the variety of his work, I've also admired his skill as a playwright working with few physical stage resources. No special effects, no computers, no hydraulic equipment--no electricity! Yet he managed to work around his limitations and create compelling atmosphere on his stage. Night scene? Carry torches. Weather issues? Have people talk about the weather. Want a dagger to float in the air and turn bloody in the process? Write a speech so vivid and spooky and horrifying that the audience can "see" what isn't there!

I've often encountered the story about Shakespeare firing a cannon offstage to add authenticity to a battle scene. (Can't remember which play.) The story goes that it was the cannon ball that set fire to the thatched roof of the Globe Theater, burning it to the ground. Is it true? I'm not sure, but I hope it is. I've always imagined young Will Shakespeare walking through the charred remains of the theater and saying, "Egad!It seemed like such a good idea."

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pdomenick | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:39 PM (Answer #12)

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Student,

Your interest in Shakespeare is commendable. The play to which you're refering is Henry VIII. Indeed, the canon ball was misfired, but it was an accident, and the theatre was renovated shortly after in the early 1600s.

Yes, Shakespeare struggled greatly, even in the Globe Theatre, with prop provisions; however, in those days, it was the actors who took on the roles of both actor and visual prop. You really had to use your imagination back then. :>)

Keep up the enthusiasm.

Take care.

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jannats-singh | Student , Grade 10 | Honors

Posted February 27, 2010 at 1:16 AM (Answer #13)

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in shakespeare's time,when the graveyards were full,the people used to dig out the bodies of someone else and burry the body of someone else.shakespeare did not like this practice and did not want this to happen to his body,so on his epitah wrote he wrote:-

"good friends,for jesus' sake forbear'

to dig the bones enclosed here!

blest be the man who spares these stones.

and curst be he that moves my bones.

his grave is untouched till this day.i found this the most interesting thing of his life....er..death.

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grammargirlie2000 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 1, 2010 at 12:50 PM (Answer #14)

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What I admire most about Shakespeare's life was that he was a genuine individual with flaws, hopes, and dreams.  He was the perfect anti-hero: he wrote with a sense of what makes us really human without being on a pedastal himself.  He was a commoner who knew that sex, violence, and moralistic situations would sell to audiences and take them away from the squalid lives he so readily understood.  He was a man wracked in unhappiness but could forsee a hopeful future.  He feared the gods, but he knew how to poke fun at himself.  Lastly, he proved to the masses that he understood the plights of their daily lives, while also making his plays viable to the upper crust.

Truly, Shakespeare was a man of great talent, but first and foremost, his very humaness has made him the beloved author of generations.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 23, 2010 at 12:44 PM (Answer #15)

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I don't admire very many things at all about his life--or at least what we think must have been his life.  What I do admire is what he produced.  I guess I'd say it's a matter of appreciating something grand even if its source is less than perfect.

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