William Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage - Vol. 6

By Brian Vickers | Go to book overview

polished and regular, but more cold and artificial performances of other Poets, the Public should return with pleasure to such warm and genuine representations of human nature. Shakespeare possesses likewise the merit of having created, for himself, a sort of world of præternatural beings. His witches, ghosts, fairies, and spirits of all kinds are described with such circumstances of awful and mysterious solemnity, and speak a language so peculiar to themselves as strongly to affect the imagination. His two master-pieces, and in which in my opinion the strength of his genius chiefly appears, are Othello and Macbeth. With regard to his historical plays they are, properly speaking, neither Tragedies nor Comedies; but a peculiar species of Dramatic Entertainment, calculated to describe the manners of the times of which he treats, to exhibit the principal characters, and to fix our imagination on the most interesting events and revolutions of our own country. (III, 348-51)


273.

William Jackson, Shakespeare and Jonson

1783

From Thirty Letters on Various Subjects (2 vols, 1783); excerpts appeared in Walker’s Hibernian Magazine for May 1783. A second edition, ‘corrected and improved’, appeared in 1784 (see Monthly Review, lxxi (1784), pp. 346ff.), and a third, ‘with considerable additions’, in 1795.

William Jackson (1730-1803), known as Jackson of Exeter, was a composer who wrote many songs, quartets, and stage compositions, including the music for an adaptation of Lycidas performed at Co vent Garden in 1767, and had great success with his opera, The Lord of the Manor (1780: libretto by General John Burgoyne), which held the stage for fifty years. In 1792, with some friends, he founded a literary

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