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William Shakespeare's Influence on his Period - Research Paper Example

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William Shakespeare.
Most of Shakespeare’s career corresponds to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. The reign of Queen Elizabeth I, was known as the Elizabethan era, while that of King James I was known as the Jacobean era…
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William Shakespeare's Influence on his Period

Download file to see previous pages... Queen Elizabeth had strong foreign policies and tactical diplomacy, and this encouraged migration of from the two power states France and Spain. About the same period of Shakespeare’s career, religious reformations were taking place, and England was in the middle of the reformations as Queen Elizabeth reign gave freedom of religion between the Catholic and the Protestants. The Queen’s ambiguity on the issue of religion gave Shakespeare a good environment for his play. Shakespeare’s religion remains uncertain but some people believe he was Catholic, as were his parents (Huxley). However, Shakespeare brought up he daughter as a Protestant. Those who say he was Catholic base their arguments on his works saying that the scripts depict Catholic beliefs. Characters in his plays show their devotion to the saints. This is true, but we should remember that a playwright’s work does not necessarily represent his or her beliefs. The society in the Elizabethan times believed in a universal order of things, or the Great Chain of Being. All the things in the universe had their rightful place, from the angel to the plants and elements. The human race was above the animals and the plants, but the human soul and God were higher up the hierarchy. The plays by Shakespeare incorporated these beliefs (Hylton). Characters in the play follow this hierarchy, and they are punished if they do not align with the order. The serious relationships in his play follow this order of being, and commonly carry the plot of the play. An instance is in the play A Midsummer’s Night Dream where Titania is under a love spell. She is destined to fall in love with the creatures that she sets her eyes on first, which turns out to be Nick bottom, a weaver. This relationship highlights the violation of the order of being. At the end of the play, the mistakes are rectified and the Queen and king of the Fairies reunite. The other couple also reunites and they live happily ever after. All the serious relationship that Shakespeare creates complies with the Great Chain of Being (Ackroyd 321). Hence, Shakespeare seems to be advocating to the hierarchy in the society. The English Renaissance period had interests in Greek and Latin classics. Some of his plays have classical characters and settings, like Venus and Adonis, Rape of Lucrece, and Julius Caesar. Some of the critics have analyzed the use of classical setting as effects of school study of works from Ovid, Plutarch, and Livy (AbsoluteShakespeare). Nevertheless, Shakespeare also used the tragic hero, a persona described by Socrates in classical literature. This is notable in the plays King Lear, and Macbeth. Still in the plays Macbeth and King Lear, Shakespeare reflects the issue of independent in women. Lady Macbeth mock and manipulates his husbands, in contrast to what The Courtier had stipulated. The Courtier was a handbook for the society in the Renaissance era, and stipulated that a woman’s duty was to please a man. In King Lear, the daughters of the king influence their husbands and are not subservient to their father. The illustration of independent women in his play might have had an influence from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, but might as well be reflecting Shakespeare’s idea of gender equality (McEvoy 230). Female characters in plays by Shakespeare violate the regulations observed by the society and succeed in their own ways. In conclusion, Shakespeare’s works import settings from outside the Elizabethan era. An analysis of his works reflects that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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