Shakspere as a Playwright

Shakspere as a Playwright

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Shakspere as a Playwright

Shakspere as a Playwright

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A few years ago a French critic pointed out the significant fact that the British had chosen to consider Shakspere chiefly as a poet, whereas the French had preferred to treat him rather as a psychologist and the Germans as a philosopher. There could be no stronger testimony to the diversity of Shakspere's appeal than this divergence of approach. And yet, poet as he was, and philosopher and psychologist, Shakspere was first of all a playwright, composing plays to be performed by actors in a theater before an audience. He has been superabundantly discussed as a poet, as a philosopher, and as a psychologist; but he has been less adequately criticized as a playwright, pure and simple. Perhaps it is in the United States that this aspect of his genius has been most often considered.

This book has been born of the belief that -- thanks to the untiring investigations of devoted scholars -- our stock of information about the Elizabethan playhouse has now made it possible to relate Shakspere more intimately to the theater of his own time, to the actors of his own company, and to the contemporary spectators for whose pleasure he composed his plays. An attempt has here been made to disentangle the fundamental principles which guided him in the construction of his successive plays, to analyze the elements of his craftsmanship, and to trace the . . .

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