Shakespeare's reputation as the greatest English-language writer stems from at least five dimensions of his collective work. The first of these is the sheer scope of his achievement. Over some thirty-eight plays, Shakespeare addressed virtually every aspect of human experience. His plays include comedies, tragedies, histories, romances, and problem plays: it is difficult to think of a dramatic situation, a human dilemma, or a major theme that his works do not touch upon. That being so, although he wrote for a specific audience of a particular historical era, Shakespeare's works are...
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