43

I think you're reading too much into this - Shakespeare was known to capitalize significant nouns fairly commonly in his writings (several examples can be seen here). Remember that when Shakespeare was writing he was using very early Modern English and the style rules then were far looser as the language shifted from Middle English towards the more modern ...


38

The public saw the plays were fiction, perhaps even a warning against witchcraft, and the magic in them is divorced of religious overtones. It is noteworthy that the two Shakespeare plays which deal most overtly with magic, Macbeth and The Tempest were both written during the reign of King James I. James was an enthusiastic believer in the dangers of ...


29

It's not for the sake of veracity Whether the historical Caesar pronounced or not the said words is disputed. Of five Antique sources on Caesar's death: Nicolaus of Damascus, Plutarch and Appian do not report the quote Suetonius and later Cassius Dio report it only as a dubious variant to the tradition, but using Ancient Greek rather than Latin: Και συ ...


23

No. In fact, much of the content of Shakespeare's plays isn't even written in verse. There's plenty of prose in Shakespeare - indeed, at least one play (Merry Wives of Windsor) is written almost entirely in prose. But when he did use verse, it's usually iambic pentameter, with some exceptions. Note that none of this is by chance. There's actually a pretty ...


23

This is from Émile Montégut’s translation of Romeo and Juliet: Roméo. — Hélas! pourquoi faut-il que l’amour, dont la vue est toujours couverte d’un bandeau, puisse sans yeux trouver le chemin qui mène à ses caprices? Où allons-nous dîner? — Hélas de moi! — Quelle querelle aviez-vous ici tout à l’heure? mais non, ne me la racontez pas; car j’ai tout appris....


21

It's a Biblical reference. Noting that Macbeth is speaking of his own hands, and his own fears, How is ’t with me when every noise appals me? it is clear that this is an allusion to Matthew chapter 18, which speaks metaphorically of removing one's own bodyparts if they should bring you to sin. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them ...


21

You have to remember, the audience is well aware that a tragedy usually ends in the deaths of many of the main characters; therefore, I would argue that the enjoyment of the play is derived from an exploration of a set of themes that require the audience's understanding of the direction the play is moving in, in order to allow for emphasis to be placed on ...


19

If Shakespeare had depended on surprise for his plays to be enjoyable, you would never have heard of him. People would see the play once, get the full effect, and then there would be no point in going again. Roger Ebert said, "It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it." The same goes for plays. Shakespeare tells you the ending up front because ...


19

A. R. Braunmuller (Macbeth, New Cambridge Shakespeare, 1997) provides the following gloss: Contemptuous epithet for a young person (OED Egg sb 2b, citing only this line and another from 1835); (...) G. K. Hunter's edition of the play (New Penguin Shakespeare, 1967) doesn't provide a gloss here. Braunmuller also links the murderer's word choice with the ...


18

It is left open by the playwright I am going to look at the three characters you have chosen, starting with Cassius. Cassius is not an honorable man no matter whether you think Caesar should have died or not. Here is a quote of him trying to use his power to free a friend. That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this: You have condemn'd and noted ...


18

I don't believe it would be right to call him a religious fanatic. His plays contain both pro- and anti-Christian elements, all of which seem to be more about playing into the sense of the times than any personal conviction. There are hints that he may have been a crypto-Catholic (as his father was accused of, the nature of the Ghost in Hamlet, and so on), ...


18

Rhythm The word ‘do’ fills what would otherwise be a gap in the rhythm. With ‘do’ you can scan the line as regular iambic pentameter: x / x / x / x / x / x As two | spent swim- | mers that | do cling | togeth- | er (The extra syllable at the end of the line is a so-called ‘feminine’ ending.) Without the word ‘do’ there ...


18

TLDR: Shakespeare was clearly familiar with a lot of Italian literature second-hand, and there is circumstantial evidence for first-hand. Shakespeare's Italian influence is a question that's aroused a lot of interest. How could it not, when a third of his known plays were set at least partially in Italy in a wide range of geographical locations? Indeed, it ...


17

Shakespeare wrote iambic pentameter because that was the most common verse meter of the time. He didn't establish it. Edmund Spenser used it in The Faerie Queene: Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske, As time her taught, in lowly Shepheards weeds, Am now enforst a far unfitter taske, For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds, And sing ...


17

There appear to be multiple ways of reading this sentence, depending on how you interpret the context of "rest" and "silence". Hamlet has been experiencing a great deal of upset and distress during the course of the play. Enough to drive him to madness. So one possible reading of this sentence is that the "silence" of death will finally allow him to "rest". ...


17

Since Hamlet was published in several editions during the Jacobethan era, it is worth looking at how these early editions rendered these lines, using the old-spelling editions published by Internet Shakespeare Editions. The first quarto (Q1), published in 1603, which has sometimes been called a "bad quarto", gives the lines as follows: O that this ...


16

Oh, yeah, she's clearly unstable from the moment we meet her. Even better, she chooses to be unstable. In her very first appearance, she calls on supernatural forces to remove all traces of compassion: Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood; ...


16

Lady Macbeth is the villain. Macbeth is, in fact, a tragic hero. The first time I ever read Macbeth I was struck by the feeling of sympathy I had for the eponymous character at the end of the play. He had - surely - brought on his own downfall and demise and deserved his fate. Why the strange twinges of empathy for such a monster? In fact, from the very ...


15

Possibly the Bible? From Matthew 18:9: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.


14

As asked, the question is close to unanswerable. Specifically, your main question is: What is the evidence - either from the text of the play itself, or from surrounding evidence, if any - of which of these interpretations the writer himself intended? Gauging authorial intent from the text itself is a fool's game. After all, you've noted that different ...


14

Actually, most of the new words appears to have based on existing words to some extent: either taking a noun and turning into a verb or vice versa (one example of this would be "to dawn"), or shortening a word or adding a new beginning ending ("irregulous"), or joining two words together ("eyeball"): all these would be rather easily understood. More ...


14

Kevin Spacey's Richard III has a hump because Shakespeare wrote the character that way. His physical deformities (which include but aren't limited to a hunched back) are a defining part of his personality and motivation, and inform how people interact with him. As for why Shakespeare wrote him that way... Richard III had scoliosis. It wasn't pronounced ...


14

Since you say the quote isn't exact, the best I can remember is the following from Romeo and Juliet (emphasis mine): Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will! Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here's much to do with hate, but more with love. ...


14

The other answers have explained the meaning of the line—that Macbeth shall be king, as he was promised by the witches—but there is more to say about the choice of wording. The difficulty here arises because Lady Macbeth is expressing herself evasively. Why doesn’t she come straight out and say, “thou shalt be king as thou art promised”? The reason is that ...


13

No. Shakespeare wrote a fair bit of prose as well, especially later in his career. Henry VI part 1 is entirely in verse. Tempest mixes verse and prose. Often, verse indicates the "high" plot line (the rich people) and prose indicates the "low" plot line (poor people). In Twelfth Night, Viola often (though not always) speaks in poetry to Olivia: Make me a ...


13

No. As the other answers say, there are large portions of Shakespeare's plays that are in prose and not iambic pentameter. However, even in the sections that are in iambic pentameter, Shakespeare didn't write in perfect iambic pentameter. He wrote in something that today's scholars call "strict iambic pentameter", which allows certain deviations from ...


13

The subplot had several purposes; it is a contextual and dramatic device, adds comedy, is a metaphorical parallel of the main plot and is a satire on the Puritanical hold on contemporary society. To address one aspect of why it was included in the play; the comic subplot is a contextual device and was a common occurrence in Renaissance plays (Renaissance ...


13

tl;dr Nobody could credibly claim that Shakespeare was the first to write sonnets in English. He wasn't even the first to use what we now think of as the typical "Shakespearean" rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg. Nor is his the first sonnet sequence (series of linked sonnets) in English. Details. This is a supplement to and clarification of, not a ...


12

I don't believe it's a specific reference to that story in the Book of Samuel. A message that instructs the recipient to execute the messenger is a well-known old trope that has appeared in many stories. TVTROPES WARNING The TvTropes page “Please Shoot the Messenger” contains many examples. Possibly the most well-known example is the story of ...


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